I asked UC San Diego's Director of Risk Management to make sure I understood our process. His reply is here.
Sheila M. Kennedy, C.H.O.
Safety Coordinator | Teaching Laboratories
Chemistry & Biochemistry |University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr. | La Jolla, CA 92093-0303
( (858) 534 - 0221 | MC 0303
Personal medical insurance is required of every registered UCSD student. The Student Health Plan is one option and students will be charged for that coverage unless they prove they have an alternate medical plan (Kaiser, Blue Cross, etc.) As a customer service gesture I have offered to cover the out-of-pocket co-pays charged by these basic medical plans for injuries UCSD Students sustain in UCSD Teaching labs. We are not extending Workers Compensation Coverage, nor are we admitting any liability for their injuries we are just taking care of modest payments arising from injuries they suffer from performing required lab work.
The alternative to recover out-of-pocket expenses is to have each injured student file a formal liability claim with the UC Insurance Program and wait 30-60 days for a decision. UC uses a Trust Fund that "self-insures" all liability claims valued <$2.5M, and the third party administrator charged with evaluating our claims renders claim decisions based upon the Government Codes applicable to public entities in California. The vast majority of such claims would be denied via the claims process unless there is evidence our property or employees somehow caused or contributed to the accident that led to the injury. So far the costs covered by Risk Management have been very minimal and your customers are happy with the service.
Director of Risk Management
UC San Diego Campus
Steve and Jon
I'd like to respond to this with some information from UCSD CHEM, but I'm not sure I have the whole picture.
My understanding is that Student Health Service (SHS) is available and recommended for all students, regardless of insurance status. Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is recommended and covers costs of most services at SHS.
For an injury resulting from classwork in the CHEM Teaching Labs, fees for any care not covered by insurance (co-pays, deductibles) at UCSD Student Health Services or UCSD Emergency Department will be paid by UCSD Risk Management. Contact Jon Schmidt at (858) 534-3782 for assistance.
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**med.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Casadonte, Dominick
Sent: Thursday, April 7, 2016 5:29 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Question Concerning Insurance and Liability for Undergraduate Lab Accidents
A question for the collective wisdom of the list serve=D0
We had a minor accident a few weeks ago which I mentioned at the ACS symposium on how the accidents at UCLA and Texas Tech are changing the culture of safety at universities. The student was wearing his PPE, everything was done with safety in mind. He suffered only superficial lacerations on his hands. The biggest expense for him was the ambulance ride to the emergency room and being treated (no stitches were needed; I think he was given neosporin and sent home after a 2 hour wait).
When he contacted his insurance company, they wanted to know if they were the ones who should have to pay for the ambulance ride, etc. He asked the professor overseeing him (the student was doing undergraduate research for course credit, and according to legal, does not fall under workman=B9s compensation). Texas Tech is a =B3self-insured=B2 institution. The department has been instructed not to pay, as it would be an admission of liability, and could open the doors for payouts for any minor freshman chemistry lab accident, for example. The university legal would perhaps need to deal with the person=B9s insurance company or a lawyer, should the student sue.
My question to all of you: We are researching how other universities deal with the issue of who pays for medical care for minor accidents. What do your universities do? How do you deal with the financial aspects of accidents? Are your institutions insured? If so, for liability only?
Liability and damages to infrastructure?
Many thanks for your responses,
Texas Tech University
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