5 Reasons Why Your Office Staff Needs

In a prior post I talked about the top five features that make your life easier.  But, when was the last time you thought about your office staff, hmm?

How can you make their job easier?  Well, the good news is you don’t have to, I’ve given you all the tools to make your office run faster and more efficiently, saving you time and money.

  1. American Idol, Top 5

    Top 5

    MPN’s.  Medical Provider Network lists, complete with logins and passwords.  Whether you’re on the applicant or defense side, your staff is going to need access to these lists.  You can find a doctor for your client or so you can give a list of doctors to opposing counsel.

  2. EAMS DWC to ADJ Number Search Engine. Chances are you’ve got cases with more than one “legacy” Board file number.  With this search engine, you can search for the corresponding EAMS ADJ numbers.  And, you can search for as many Board (or ADJ) numbers as you want at the same time, just by separating them with commas.
  3. EAMS Office Search Engine. When your staff is filling out documents for you, they’re going to need to know the correct name and address for all the parties.  When they need to call opposing counsel, they can also look up the phone number with this search engine.
  4. EAMS Document Type and Document Title Search Engine. Your staff needs a quick way to find the exact EAMS document type and EAMS document title for every document cover sheet getting filed with the Board.  Sure, they could comb through four or five pages of 3 point font on the Board’s form.  Or, better yet, they could search and find exactly the document type and title they need.
  5. EAMS Body Part Codes. There are 62 different body part codes in the EAMS system.  There’s no need to keep the EAMS chart on hand, just tell your staff what body part you want on the form and have them look it up on this website.
  6. DWC / WCAB  / EAMS Forms. There are now more than 130 different forms, new and “legacy”, available on the DIR website.  There’s no reason your staff should have to scroll up or down looking for the right form.  Type in a few characters and get a direct link right to the exact form you need.
  7. Date Calculator. Sure, everyone in your office could have their own date wheel.  In my experience, date wheels and money charts are two of the most commonly swiped office aides right after the good stapler and scotch tape.  With a date calculator built into the website, all of your staff can quickly and easily calculate the number of days between two dates or what day it will be in a certain number of days.

So, there you have the top 5, er 7, website search engine and workers’ compensation calculators your staff is going to benefit from using.  Registration for this site is quick, easy, and free.  Save your staff some time and frustration by having them register for this website and try out the calculators, search engines, and links.


Health Plans: Obama vs. McCain

Obama and McCain on heathcare

Obama and McCain on heathcare

I subscribe to ConsumerReports magazine for a variety of reasons.  I believe they are fair and balanced and that, having relied on their recommendations, it has also saved me a lot of time and money.  The November 2008 issue takes a close look at the details behind the Obama health plan for America and the McCain health plan for America.1

In order to view the full five pages of in depth analysis and review, you have to be a subscriber.  However,

A surprising amount of their analysis on these two plans is available for free on their site.

I learned some interesting things about Obama’s and McCain’s respective health plans from reviewing their websites.  Here are some of the things I’ve learned about thier plans:

  • McCain offers $2,500.00 tax credits per individual or $5,000.00 per family.  These tax credits go directly to the insurance company of your choice.  McCain’s plan would tax employee health benefits as income.  Under ConsumerReports’ analysis, the taxes and tax credit may be a wash in most circumstances.
  • Obama’s plan prevents insurers from rejecting anyone with a pre-existing condition, from raising prices for the sick, and from canceling policies as long as you’ve paid up your premiums.
  1. Original photos courtesy of richardmasoner, C_Dave, and mikewade.  Photo editing: me. []

Things I Learned From “Kitchen Nightmares”

Kitchen Nightmares

Kitchen Nightmares

Gordon Ramsey, the super duper chef and Fox network star, has a show called, “Kitchen Nightmares.” I watched an episode last night. Its about what you’d expect from a Fox reality show – a slow motion train wreck from which your eyes cannot be pried away.

Nevertheless, I watched it.

It featured a pizzeria owner who had a failing and tragically flawed restaurant which was entirely supported by his wife’s income. The owner prided himself on his stubbornness and his ability to do anything he set his mind to. He had dreams of turning his establishment’s business model into a global franchise.

He kept running this restaurant for two and a half years. Some might admire his persistence. I think he probably would have learned a lot more about building a successful business by failing spectacularly, rather than throwing time and money at a losing proposition. As best as I can tell, successful people take risks. Throwing good money after a bad proposition just doesn’t seem risky or brave.

My thought: When your business doesn’t make money, its just a hobby. An expensive and time consuming hobby. A friend once referred to this as “feeding the beast,” when your business turns from a money making proposition to something that will eat your savings, free time, mortgage, second mortgage, and marriage. (Thanks anonymous!)

This may seem contradictory to my prior post where I quoted, “do what you love and the money will follow.” Now, I may be a victim of Fox’s incredible ability to edit footage, but that guy didn’t seem to love what he was doing. He seemed to love the idea of what he was doing – playing at being a chef and restaurateur. The reality of his situation seemed to be escaping him.

I’m rather lucky with this little hobby/business of mine. There is no beast to feed. I have no office, no staff, no programmers, no graphic design team, and no ad department.1 Of course, I did have a significant upfront time investment. But, I said I didn’t want to talk about that. :)

Perhaps that trite phrase is better stated as, “do what you love and the money won’t matter.”

Look at me waxing all philosophic!

  1. Reminds me of the song “Turning Japanese” by “The Vapors.” []

Free as in FREE?

Hands down, the most common question I get is some variation of “free as in FREE?” I was going to add this question to the “frequently asked questions” page, but it’s asked SO often I’ve got to post it here.

Q: Free as in FREE? WHY are these calculators free? Why would you do that?

A: I’ve got a lot of reasons for making these calculators free.

First, I made the decision to not charge for calculations. While this might change in the future, I don’t think it will. The pay-only features don’t give you more calculators or more reliable calculations. Instead, you get a lot of ways to make your calculations even quicker, easier, and convenient by improving the search functions and creating reports.

Second, there are other websites and programs that offer some of the same calculators I do. Some of those are free. No one would use this site unless it offered the same or better service at the same or better price (free).

Third, while you don’t have to pay me anything, I think the pay-only features are useful enough that people will want them. The pay-only features1 are all designed to save you a lot of time and frustration. Most California workers’ compensation professionals have extremely high case loads. Shaving a few minutes off every case would save considerably more time and money than this website’s paltry monthly subscription.

Fourth, as the saying goes, “do what you love and the money will follow.” Heaven help me, I really enjoy working on this site. Over the last year I’ve invested a lot of time in this project. 2  Some people collect stamps, some people build things out of toothpicks. I design and program web based calculators for workers’ compensation professionals.

  1. Better searching for body part codes, occupational codes, work restrictions, and e-mails with multiple side-by-side ratings, and more. []
  2. Please please don’t ask me how much. []

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