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TRANS-GENERAL INTRODUCES DISABILITY INTERVENTION PROGRAM TO MANAGE COSTS, HELP EMPLOYERS COMPLY WITH DISABILITIES ACT

 TRANS-GENERAL INTRODUCES DISABILITY INTERVENTION PROGRAM
 TO MANAGE COSTS, HELP EMPLOYERS COMPLY WITH DISABILITIES ACT
 PITTSBURGH, March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Trans-General Life Insurance Company will introduce local employers to its innovative disability and management program during a seminar on Wednesday, April 15, at the Hyatt Pittsburgh, beginning at 8 a.m.
 To help employers meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Trans-General has designed a disability intervention and management program to facilitate return to work within an optimal time frame. Through a vocational counselor, the program provides active, ongoing planning, organizing, controlling and monitoring services and resources needed to respond to health and vocational needs of an employee with disabilities.
 The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in July of 1990 giving civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities similar to those afforded regardless of race, sex, national origin and religion.
 Title I of ADA makes it illegal to discriminate against qualified job applicants and employees who are or become disabled. The ADA has established specific and far-reaching legal rights that must now be considered when dealing with an employee with disabilities and return to work concerns. Failure to respond will further increase the cost of disability.
 The morning session of the seminar will review the ADA's "spirit and intent." Speaker Richard Pimentel, a partner in Milt Wright and Associates and a nationally known trainer and writer, specializes in staff motivation and attitudinal training for employers of persons with disabilities. He is a leading authority on the practical applications of ADA. Pimentel is a disabled Vietnam veteran, who has designed employment training systems for governmental associations throughout the United States.
 During the seminar, David Tiller, vice president/health and rehabilitation of the rehabilitation consultation firm Crawford and Company, will outline the coordinated case management services and assistance available to the employer.
 "By using an early window of opportunity to favorably influence the course of a disability, the case manager will work in concert with the employer, employee, medical providers and insurers in rehabilitative efforts," said Cathy Blanchard, Trans-General director of claims. "This approach establishes reasonable accommodations for ultimately bringing an employee with disabilities back into the employment setting."
 In addition, the program will stress importance of an integrated disability program, employer-based support systems, community resources and active employer involvement. Marlene Roberts, executive director of Pittsburgh Speech, Hearing and Deaf Services, will discuss "Accommodating the Invisible Handicap," and provide information about community services and resources available to the person with disabilities.
 Over a half a million employees each year are on disability for five or more months. Half of those off work for more than six months never return to work. In addition to this loss of productivity in the work force, the total of short-term disability, workers' compensation, and long-term disability costs may be as much as 5 percent of an employer's payroll. Adding productivity, labor replacement and administration, the percentage of payroll could be as high as 10 percent.
 "Disability case management offers the opportunity to be more proactive on behalf of employees in a cost-effective manner," said Don Menges, Trans-General vice present of operations.
 Trans-General Life Insurance Company was founded in 1966 and is licensed to offer group life and disability insurance in 38 states. Trans-General Life Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania.
 For further information regarding this seminar, call Blanchard, 412-928-5900.
 -0- 3/30/92
 /CONTACT: Diane Wuycheck of Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania, 412-255-7697/ CO: Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA INS SU:


JT-DM -- PG002 -- 2694 03/30/92 08:30 EST
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Date:Mar 30, 1992
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