Pennsylvania's Workers' Compensation Automation and Integration System is Live!
The Department of Labor & Industry strives to establish common ground where both workers and employers thrive in its economy. This is our mission statement and it is passionately pursued daily by each department employee. There are many pillars that support this mission, including a strong and effective workers' compensation system.
Workers' compensation enables economic growth by permitting workers to pursue employment without fear of debilitating injuries and/or financial loss that they would be at risk for without workers' compensation insurance. It also allows employers to offer jobs without fear of crippling law suits resulting from unexpected workplace injuries. In short, it protects both workers and employers; enabling both to thrive and prosper in Pennsylvania.
Continual improvement in the workers' compensation system ensures that the benefits to the economy are sustained. With achievement of this goal in mind, the department embarked on a workers' compensation technology upgrade three years ago. After an extraordinary investment of staff effort and commitment, the new system for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will go-live September 9, 2013.
Known as the Workers' Compensation Automation and Integration System or "WCAIS", the system will integrate the program areas of the Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC), Workers' Compensation Office of Adjudication (WCOA), and the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (WCAB). WCAB and the BWC Helpline were implemented in September 2012. The September 9, 2013 go-live will implement the rest of BWC and WCOA. The workers' compensation community will have access to all workers' compensation matters, including claims, disputes and appeal information. WCAIS will provide the workers' compensation community:
"24/7" availability of online services;
Faster claims processing and litigation times and a more efficient adjudication system;
Improved data management and recordkeeping;
WCAIS introduces Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Release 3, which is a national standard for documenting and reporting claims transactions with BWC. WCAIS is a web-based application with an EDI interface that will support claims management and workflow. Staff and interested parties will be able to view and annotate documents electronically.
In the end, WCAIS will introduce system efficiencies and enhance customer service offered by department staff. With a more agile and customer-friendly system, carriers, TPAs and self-insured employers should experience cost savings as a consequence of the streamlined processes.
We look forward to receiving post go-live feedback from the workers' compensation community to ensure continual system improvements and, as such, maximize the effectiveness of the workers' compensation system. The department continues to promote economic development and strives to offer an improved business climate through a variety of initiatives and programs to help Pennsylvania's employers and workforce to remain world-class and globally competitive. WCAIS is one of many tools used by Pennsylvania to ensure that workers and employers are beneficiaries of a robust and thriving economy.