News Archive


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Working to Understand the Opioid Crisis: OH Pharmacy Director Receives Governor’s Award

04.19.2017

By Angela Underwood

The stats on injured workers and opioid abuse are rising as you read this report.

This week alone, WorkersCompensation.com has addressed the public plague of opioid abuse through the eyes of industry experts Peter Rousmaniere and Joseph Paduda in respective reports Rousmaniere: Getting Off Opioids and Tracking the Opioid Epidemic in Injured Workers, which is why it is important for our news center to report a little faith among the fear in Ohio...
04.19.2017

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MT Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk, Would Disallow WC Claims if Employee Isn’t Truthful at Screening

04.19.2017

By Liz Carey

A bill in the Montana Legislature would allow employers to deny workers’ compensation claims for employees who fail to disclose relevant prior workplace injuries.

The bill, SB 116, was proposed by Sen. Mark Blasdell (R-Kalispell) and would require employees to be open and honest in pre-employment questionnaires with regard to any injuries that may impact their ability to perform their jobs.

If employees don’t disclose those prior injuries, and are...
04.19.2017

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Michigan Medical Marihuana Regulation Centralized in New Bureau

04.19.2017

By the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation 

Lansing, MI (WorkersCompensation.com) - Michigan has centralized all aspects of medical marihuana regulation with the creation of the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation (BMMR) housed in the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). The new bureau combines the existing oversight functions of the state’s patient and caregiver registry with the newly established statutory requirements for medical marihuana facility licensing.

“BMMR’s organizational structure...
04.19.2017

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Given the Green Light: FL Firefighters Will Now Have Cancer Coverage

04.19.2017

By Angela Underwood

Tallahassee, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – There is a sigh of relief for first responders now that the Senate’s workers’ compensation bill has been amended to cover multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s cancers.

In February, WorkersCompensation.com covered GA Bill 152 Could Cover Cancer Costs for Firefighters when the bill was pending after being vetoed last year by Gov. Nathan Deal, who said the measure would be too costly to consider.

...
04.19.2017

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Front End Focus

04.19.2017

By Julius Young

Most of the focus of various workers’ comp studies are on the “back end” of workers’ comp.

By that, I mean studies on medical costs, the litigation process, indemnity cost trends, loss adjustment and medical cost containment expense, prescribing practices, provider abuse and the litany of other topics that I cover in this blog from time to time. These are the bread and butter topics that RAND, CWCI, WCIRB,...
04.19.2017

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Be Your Own Boss – Why Self-Employment is More Popular Than Ever

04.12.2017

By Jenny Holt

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 15 million people in the U.S. were self-employed in 2015. That’s an increase of over one million from the previous year and represents over 10% of all U.S. workers.

Comprising the self-employed are freelancers, contractors, and temporary employees. These types of workers make up the so-called ‘gig economy,’ in which workers work where and when they want and are paid for the work...
04.12.2017

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Opt-Out Model: Arkansas May Follow Lone Star State

04.12.2017

By Angela Underwood

Little Rock, AR (WorkersCompensation.com) – Opt-in or opt-out of workers’ compensation is the question Sen. David Sanders (R-Little Rock) is proposing.

If passed, SB 653 would establish an elective alternative structure to both finance and administer benefits for workers’ compensation claimants separate than what exists now.

What exists now is diluted, according to Esquire Bob Buckalew, out of Little Rock. “The workers’ compensation in Arkansas has been so...
04.12.2017

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Antibiotics as Treatment for Psyche Claim?

04.12.2017

By WorkCompAcademy

Sacramento, CA - A common antibiotic called doxycycline can disrupt the formation of negative thoughts and fears in the brain and may prove useful in treating or preventing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to research by British and Swiss scientists. In a specially designed trial involving 76 healthy volunteers who were given either the drug or a placebo dummy pill, those who were on doxycycline had a 60 percent lower fear response than those who were not. The...
04.12.2017

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What Would You Do For $2 Billion?

04.12.2017

By David Langham

Yahoo reports confidently that The Way People Buy Legal Marijuana will Change in 2019. It is an intriguing headline that belies the fact that there is no "legal" marijuana in the U.S. Marijuana is a Schedule I drug, and according to Federal law has "has no currently accepted medical treatment use in the U.S." 

The U.S. has a federalist constitutional government structure. According to "the Supremacy Clause," the U.S....
04.12.2017

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Rousmaniere: Getting Off Opioids

04.12.2017

By Peter Rousmaniere

The workers’ comp industry became something of an opioid delivery vehicle for opioids starting in the mid 1990s. Aside from anecdotes and personal narratives of individual clinicians, little was known for years about the effect of opioid prescribing. Actuaries had not said anything about any association between opioids and the more than doubling of average claims costs.

We now learn that early prescribing opioids greatly increases the risk of dependency or addiction. And...
04.12.2017

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PA Announces Workers’ Comp Insurance Rate Cut

04.05.2017

Boyertown, PA (WorkersCompensation.com) - Wolf Administration cabinet secretaries for the Insurance Department and Labor & Industry today announced Pennsylvania businesses will see another cut in workers' compensation insurance rates while maintaining benefit levels for injured workers.

Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller and Labor & Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino made the announcement at an event at Global Advanced Metals in Boyertown.

Workers' comp insurance rates will drop 6.21 percent, effective April 1, reducing a key expense for many...
04.05.2017

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Dissolving MT State Fund Dead in the Water… For Now

04.05.2017

By Angela Underwood

Helena, MT (WorkersCompensation.com) — The Montana State Fund isn't going anywhere regardless of Senator Eric Moore's (R-Miles City) proposal last week to dissolve the state's largest workers' compensation insurance carrier.

The threat to dissolve the $1.6 billion-dollar state fund with SB 371 days after the group announced a five-percent decrease in workers' comp costs and negative rate was a shock to some.

According to the senator, there would be more...
04.05.2017

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Overcoming with Community

04.05.2017

By Mark Pew

I spent some time last weekend going through some of my older blogposts and read "It's Personal" that I published on June 30, 2015. In it I relate a conversation with a lady on a shuttle bus who lost her 29 year old son to a prescription drug overdose. And someone whose brother became addicted to opioids after a Work Comp knee replacement, fortunately now clean and sober. And a vendor whose brother-in-law is addicted to the point...
04.05.2017

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Constitutionality of California’s IMR Procedure Not a ‘Slam Dunk’

04.05.2017

By John Gerboth

Sacramento, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) - On March 20, California's Third District Court of appeals heard oral arguments in the case of Ramirez v. WCAB. The case involved a constitutional challenge to California's Independent Medical Review (IMR) procedure. (A more detailed review of the constitutionality of the IMR procedure can be found here). Less than 10 days later, the court issued its decision upholding the procedure's constitutionality on March 29.

There were a couple of...
04.05.2017

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WorkersCompensation.com Enters News Publication Partnership with WCI

04.05.2017

Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – Starting this week, WorkersCompensation.com Premium Media Services will be providing current news and blog content for the Workers' Compensation Institute. It will be available on the WCI website, located at www.wci360.com, as well as through the WCI Weekly Newsletter.

The Workers' Compensation Institute (WCI) is a nonprofit educational organization that serves as a comprehensive resource to all workers' compensation stakeholders. The WCI is an outgrowth of the long-established Florida...
04.05.2017

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Unit-based Champions Promote Risk Management Culture

03.29.2017

Today, leading-edge organizations systematically share internal control knowledge across their organization, departments and functions to promote best practices and to minimize loss. Healthcare organizations, especially larger systems with multiple hospitals, clinics, freestanding outpatient surgery centers and urgent care units, are leading the way with this new approach using risk champions. “Risk Champions” help to create and maintain a system-wide risk management culture in all of their activities and departments using an embedded risk management framework to promote...
03.29.2017

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Liability MSAs: What We Know and What to Expect

03.29.2017

By: Kendell Gracey 

The dust is still swirling around the Liability Medicare Set-Aside (LMSA) issue, but a few areas clearly show Medicare’s plan and intended next steps. First, Medicare appears to have stopped or paused the official rulemaking process for LMSAs. Second, Medicare is still pursing the LMSA issue through other avenues—namely the expansion of the Workers’ Compensation MSA (WCMSA) contractor program. And finally, Medicare is obligating the soon-to-be-awarded WCMSA contractor with the...
03.29.2017

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Guest Post: Dr. Douglas Lurie on Work as Medicine

03.29.2017

What if there was a treatment that was well accepted with scientific validity as being therapeutic, low risk, cheap and proven to improve outcomes and diminish claim duration? Believe it or not, but this treatment exists. It is called work.

Returning an injured worker to the work force is therapeutic and supported by evidence-based medicine and recommended by multiple medical entities including the AAOS, AMA, ACOEM, and most state guidelines, including ours here in Louisiana.

03.29.2017

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Impact of the 2016 Election on Health Care, Labor and Workers’ Compensation

03.29.2017

At the 2017 WCRI Annual Issues and Research Conference, former US Representative Henry Waxman and former US Senator Tom Colburn discussed how the 2016 election is impacting a variety of issues. The discussion was moderated by WCRI CEO John Ruser.

Healthcare

The Affordable Care Act was complex legislation and changing it is changing it. By design, ACA attracted high-risk individuals into the insurance marketplace by prohibiting carriers from excluding pre-existing conditions. The costs of these high-risk individuals...
03.29.2017

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Recently Released and Soon to be Released Generics Expected to Reduce Claims Costs

03.29.2017

Over the past several years, prescription drug costs related to workers’ compensation claims have risen dramatically, making it increasingly important for claims professionals to carefully evaluate this exposure and mitigate costs when possible. Optum Settlement Solutions understands that keeping up to date on new generic formulations is part of an overall strategic approach to reduce the cost of claims and ultimately the prescription allocation of a Medicare Set-Aside (MSA).

Every brand medication has a patent life...
03.29.2017

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