Gold, Sam


Sam Gold is an injured worker who is also volunteer director of the first national injured workers advocacy organization,

Workers' Comp Doesn't Work

By Sam Gold

It hasn’t since the insurance industry got their claws into it, and it won’t until their sphere of influence is sufficiently reduced to a point where the system can achieve it’s primary goal: compensating the occupationally injured for their inability to compete in an ever changing workplace and getting them back to work as quickly as possible.

All the occupationally injured ask for is a little respect and dignity and maybe a bit of help dealing with what can sometimes be insurmountable odds. Yet, the truth just seems to get swept by the wayside and replaced by rhetoric meant to paint the injured workers as crooks and frauds and a drain and burden on society.

What’s Wrong With Workers’ Comp In America

By Sam Gold

Three words: Money, Power & Politics. Why do they even call it Workers’ Compensation? It’s certainly not about workers, it’s about insurance companies and their financial bottom lines, and the last thing in the world it does is adequately compensate workers for their occupational injuries which in many cases are due to the negligent actions and behavior of their employers. But hey, they have a “Get Out Of Jail FREE” card called the “Exclusive Remedy!"

When a worker can no longer perform his normal job duties, the law says he must be compensated for his inability to compete in the future job market. But what the insurers throw at the injured worker simply amounts to “Chump Change,” wholly inadequate and certainly not enough to make a difference to the worker.  

Dear Jerry: Stand Up for Injured Constituents

By Sam Gold
Injured Worker's Television Network
 
You recently vetoed some very important bills, specifically AB584 (Fong). This is a simple bill about law & order.  It requires that Utilization Review (UR) doctors be accountable. Currently, doctors who are hired by insurance carriers to perform UR can pretty much say anything that they want whether true or false and are accountable to no one for their acts and deeds.  Why do we need these doctors to review what our primary treating physicians prescribe for us? Is this the start of “Mother May I” medical care?

Yet their reviews are the basis for long delays and denials of medical care for our occupationally injured that supposedly are guaranteed immediate and responsible medical treatment under the laws of our state. It shouldn’t take a year to approve an MRI.  The fact is insurance companies are not in business to be compassionate care givers and pay claims, they exist for one purpose only, to close all open claims whenever, wherever and however possible!

Honest Officer, I Didn’t Do Anything Wrong

By Sam Gold
Injured Workers Television Network

In Part 2 we talked about how justice always seems to be meted out in favor of the insurance companies because they’re the ones who pump the Fraud Assessment Commission bucket full of cold hard cash. When is the last time, if any, you ever heard of an insurance carrier being prosecuted by the state or any DA for that matter, for committing fraud against an injured worker and violating his/her constitutional rights? And after all isn’t there a definite conflict of interests in our District Attorney offices when a monetary incentive is offered for successful prosecutions? You be the judge.

When The System Fails, Lives Are Destroyed

By Sam Gold
Injured Workers Television Network

In Part 1, we talked about how treatment and even the request for simple basic diagnostic procedures are now totally controlled by the insurance carriers. No longer does the opinion of your treating doctor matter if it is contradictory to what the insurance company thinks. And no longer can you be treated by your own personal physician unless he of course agrees in writing to treat you and you pre-designate him on a form submitted in advance to your employer. Why is this?

It’s all about CONTROL. Cost controls are now more important than the well-being and welfare of the poor injured worker. The insurance money talks and our legislators seem to want their piece of the action in the form of PAC and election contributions.

Call It Whatever, But Don’t Call It Workers’ Compensation

By Sam Gold

The last person who gets served by this supposed social insurance program and state mandated insurance coverage is the occupationally injured or diseased worker, and that is sadly a reality, an anthem of how far that we have NOT progressed in the 21st century.

A hundred years ago this system was created in states all around the nation and the occupationally injured are still waiting for employers and their insurers to keep their word and deliver the benefits that were promised. Instead of a quick diagnosis and treatment, some injured workers have had to wait months and in one case, a year for a simple MRI that revealed the immediate need for surgery.

Great Expectations - But For Who?

By Sam Gold
Injured Workers Television Network

Below is an IAIABC (International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions) blog entry made by David DePaolo, President and CEO of WorkCompCentral.com, a defense attorney and a Workers’ Compensation Industry veteran of some 27 years.

“In Workers’ Compensation we control medical costs through utilization review, networks and other restrictions on physicians, but the one method that is missing from the cost control formula is controlling the expectations of the injured worker – entitlement reform.

The injured worker has decisions made for him/her, and accordingly has unrealistic expectations set based upon the financial interests of others.

Doctors are too often quite eager to order tests, perform surgery, and conduct expensive medicine, when a good solid discussion of the non-medical alternatives would do more to help the injured worker than all of the medicine in the world.

It’s Still The Provider Fraud, Stupid!

By Sam Gold

In 2009 I wrote a column for CPR entitled “It’s The Provider Fraud, Stupid!” which dealt with the fact that the majority of fraud that brings the Workers Compensation system literally to its knees is perpetrated by the insurance providers themselves against the unfortunate workers who have the misfortune of becoming injured in the course of their daily work routine. Many of whom are injured due to the gross negligence of their employers who get away scott free because it’s supposedly a no-fault system.

It was inspired by some articles written in 2007 on the Workerscompzone.com blog written by my friend Julius Young, an outstanding claimants’ attorney with the Boxer&Gerson law firm. Julius talked about the fact that employers were defrauding the insurance providers out of premium dollars by falsifying records and misstating employees to reduce their Workers Comp insurance costs. An example; the roofing company with 15 office personnel and one roofer! Yeah right…

Reform? For Who?

By Sam Gold

We Californians are known to be a tough breed. Through thick or thin, we always seem to be able to get the job done. Sometimes through no fault of our own we get “injured on the job”. Sometimes these unavoidable accidents are major and we rely on Workers’ Compensation to help heal our wounds, get us thru the hard times, keep a roof over our heads and put food in our family’s bellies.

It’s Time To Fix Workers’ Compensation: Seriously

By Sam Gold

Well it’s almost the winter of 2010. We have a new Democratic governor and a new Democratic insurance commissioner. But will we have a new way of thinking to address the Workers’ Compensation insurer fraud issues that have plagued us for years? Only time will tell.

I just finished reading an investigative report issued by sitting insurance commissioner Steve Poizner and his Department of Insurance to address the issue of medical cost drivers. There were 3 panels of so-called experts, requested by the DOI to testify on the issues of increasing medical costs in the Workers’ Compensation system. The first panel consisted of representatives of insurance companies. The second panel consisted of self-insured employers. The third panel consisted of representatives of medical providers.