Board Stops Double-Counting Range of Motion Findings in SLU Awards
Recent Board Panel decisions have confirmed that range of motion deficits for abduction and forward flexion should not be added together in determining schedule loss of use for the arm. Originally, the Board had issued mixed decisions concerning SLU calculations for the shoulder, suggesting that the two measurements could be added together, resulting in grossly inflated SLU awards. Dan Bowers of our Buffalo office spoke about this and other problems with SLU awards at the NYSIA Spring Workshop in June 2015. His presentation offered a number of solutions for mitigating runaway SLU costs. In the year following the presentation, Board Panel decisions are now fully consistent and in accord with our analysis presented in June 2015. Armed with these decisions, carriers and self-insured employers in New York can mitigate the out-of-control SLU costs created by the Board’s incorrect original analysis of these cases coupled with the increase in the maximum benefit rate from the 2007 reforms.