News Archive


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Prescription Opioid Use Among Injured Workers Decreased In Many States, But Not All, Per WCRI Study

06.28.2017

By WCRI

Cambridge, MA (WorkersCompensation.com) - As states implement reforms to address issues related to overuse and misuse of opioids, a new study released today by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) observed decreases in the frequency and amount of opioids dispensed to injured workers in a majority of study states. However, higher utilization of opioids and other high-risk utilization patterns were seen in some states in the most recent study period.

“This report serves...
06.28.2017

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Social Security Numbers - Moving the Needle or Making It Twitch

06.28.2017

By Bob Wilson

I received another email while on vacation last week from BJ Dernbach, Division Administrator for the Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Department of Workforce Development. It was just a courtesy email informing me that he and his staff had acted on one of the suggestions made in last Monday’s article regarding the voluntary status of social security number provision on most Wisconsin forms. Following Massachusetts example for an identical policy, his agency has added an...
06.28.2017

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Pennsylvania High Court Magnifies Protz

06.28.2017

By Judge David Langham

In September 2015, I penned As Florida Waits, Commonwealth Court Holds Pennsylvania Statute Unconstitutional. That reference to Florida waiting for its Supreme Court to address any of the then pending constitutional workers' compensation challenges. Those cases have finally been addressed, See Westphal is Over, Questions Remain and Castellanos is Decided by Supreme Court. I have heard criticism of the Florida decisions, some directed at outcome and other directed at the extent or...
06.28.2017

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Nuclear Workers Still Face Problems with Health Coverage

06.28.2017

By Liz Carey

Washington, DC (WorkersCompensation.com) - Nearly two decades ago, the federal government passed legislation to cover any medical expenses incurred by employees working in the country’s nuclear weapons facilities.

And nearly two decades later, employees, their families, advocacy groups and attorneys are still fighting to make sure employees get those benefits.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton signed an executive order requiring the federal government to compensate nuclear weapons workers, and established...
06.28.2017

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Rousmaniere: Why Insurers Are Happy

06.28.2017

By Peter Rousmaniere

Workers’ compensation insurers are enjoying profitable and stable years.  People who run and advise them tell me that computer analytics, relatively new to underwriting, has been a gift that will keep on giving.  And it’s good for employers.

National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) chief actuary Kathy Antonello, at the organization’s annual conference in May, painted a picture of a near cloudless summer day.  Frequency of...
06.28.2017

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The Center for Excellence

06.22.2017

By Steve Rissman, Program Chair

In the last two weeks, I have written about the Industry Keynote and the Breakout for Risk Managers. This week, I will conclude these articles with a description of The Center for Excellence.   The Center for Excellence is the brainchild of Jim McConnaughhay.  Several years ago, he wondered aloud about whether the Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference could have something akin to a “think tank”.  What developed from those...
06.22.2017

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The ‘Wild, Wild, West’ of Professional Gamers and Workers’ Comp Coverage

06.21.2017

By Liz Carey

St. Louis, MO (WorkersCompensation.com) – Workers’ compensation for professional video game players just isn’t a thing right now, some experts say, but it should be. 

Professional video game playing, or eSports, is a growing industry where professional gamers can make hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. But attorneys, organizers and team owners see the industry as the “wild, wild, West” when it comes to protecting the...
06.21.2017

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Walmart’s Retail Employees to Deliver Packages?

06.21.2017

By Angela Underwood

Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) - Walmart E-Commerce Business CEO Marc Lore asks readers in a blog “why the big deal” in having employees drop off online orders to customers at their homes?

Enterprise and strategic management author Mike Benishek will tell you why.

“As a former underwriter, I have a problem with this. What Class Code is applicable? Is it Retail Store or is it Delivery Drivers-NOC? In most...
06.21.2017

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Experts Discuss 2017 Workers’ Comp Trends

06.21.2017

By Angela Underwood

Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) - The only thing that stays the same is that everything is constantly changing.

As trends come and go, workers’ compensation experts discuss in detail with WorkersCompensation.com what drives the Grand Bargain, at almost one hundred years since its formation. This is not National Council of Compensation Insurance (NCCI) Senior Division Executive Peter Burton’s first rodeo when it comes to observing what is hot and what...
06.21.2017

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WV Workers’ Comp Ruling Gains National Attention

06.21.2017

By Angela Underwood

Charleston, WV (WorkersCompensation.com) – A Supreme Court ruling recently denied an inmate workers’ compensation for an injury he sustained participating in state-mandated labor. It has been a hot topic in the industry this week.

The Associated Press (AP) was one of the news outlets who reported on the story, about former inmate William Crawford’s hand injury. The accident caused two of his fingers to be partially amputated and almost $100,000 in...
06.21.2017

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East Bay Restaurant Owners Plead Guilty

06.21.2017

By WorkCompAcademy.com

Brentwood, CA (WorkCompAcademy) - Prosecutors allege that the former owners and managers of Golden Dragon Buffet in Brentwood, New Dragon Buffet in San Leandro, Golden Wok Buffet in Roseville and Kokyo Sushi Buffet in Hayward were saving money by failing to pay their workers minimum wage and pay the correct workers' compensation premiums. Investigators estimate they committed $4.5 million in wage theft from 2009-2013, and cheated California out of another $2 million in taxes. According to the...
06.21.2017

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WCI and The Florida State University College of Law Partnership – Juris Masters Degree

06.19.2017

The Workers’ Compensation Institute (WCI) is pleased to announce its latest partnership which is in response to an expressed growing need to enhance the quality of professionals in the workers’ compensation industry. This newest innovative partnership is an arrangement with the Florida State University College of Law to sponsor an online Juris Masters Degree Program for industry employees/associates/executives who deal consistently with legal issues in their positions. It is not intended as a program to...
06.19.2017

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Breakout for Risk Managers

06.14.2017

By Steve Rissman, Program Chair

Over the last few years, the Breakout for Risk Managers at the Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference has been the envy of all workers’ compensation oriented conferences around the country.  This year, our sessions are topical and our speakers are the best and most well known in the industry.   The Breakout for Risk Managers is split into two days.  The first is Monday, August 7, 2017 from 1:00 – 3:15 pm.  We begin...
06.14.2017

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Interpreters: Employees or Contractors?

06.14.2017

By Liz Carey

Sacramento, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) - While the standard for interpreters and translators remains as contract employment, some within the industry are calling for interpreters to be classified as employees. 

On May 31, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint against SOS International, or SOSi, a vendor for the department of justice, for misclassifying interpreters as contractors instead of employees, and cited unfair labor practices. 

The company provides interpreters for...
06.14.2017

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CA: Largest Attorney Bust in Orange County History

06.14.2017

By Angela Underwood

Santa Ana, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) – It’s big.

The Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) busted ten attorneys and six others for felony charges in a one of the most “massive workers’ compensation-referral scheme(s),” in the history of the division, according to the OCDA, which made the news public this week.

The first phase of a 3-year insurance fraud investigation between the district attorney&rsquo...
06.14.2017

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$12 Million Dollar Workers’ Comp Case Reversed in OK

06.14.2017

By Angela Underwood

Tulsa, OK (WorkersCompensation.com) - A $12 million dollar workers’ compensation award decision has been reversed for two injured workers who lost their legs in a graining accident.

Zaloudek Grain Company v. CompSource began in 2011 when the Oklahoma-based grain company filed a lawsuit against their workers’ compensation insurer for unrightfully denying compensation to 17-year-olds Bryce Gannon and Tyler Zander, whose legs were lost while using a drill for boring holes.

CompSource...
06.14.2017

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Compounds: The Good, the Bad, and the Kitchen Sink

06.14.2017

By Dara Barney

Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) - PRIUM Senior Vice President Mark Pew, a self-proclaimed agitator and educator in the treatment world, described compound medications as a bad “four letter word” in workers’ compensation over the past several years. But how did we get here?

Pew, also known as the RxProfessor out of Atlanta, GA; along with several industry experts, recently took some time to interview with WorkersCompensation.com about what the big...
06.14.2017

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Rousmaniere: Pransky’s Gift

06.14.2017

By Peter Rousmaniere

Liberty Mutual closed its Center for Disability Research, along with the rest of the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, on June 6, due to corporate cost-cutting. So ends 63 years of insurer-sponsored research.   

Glenn Pransky, MD, has led disability research there, arriving in 1999. His achievements, with those of his team, are unmatched in the workers’ compensation community for vision, persistence, and output.

His role in workers’ compensation can be...
06.14.2017

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Opening General Session

06.08.2017

By Steve Rissman, Program Chair

Over the next couple of weeks, I will talk about a couple of highlights of the 2017 program for the Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference.  The Conference is scheduled from Sunday, August 6 - Wednesday, August 9 with a Give Kids the World Service Project and a Gala on Saturday, August 5.  You can register at www.wci360.com/convention.   During the last four or five years, the industry keynote has been a highlight of...
06.08.2017

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Chicago Skyline to Turn Green for Safety During National Safety Month

06.07.2017

By The National Safety Council

Itasca, IL (WorkersCompensation.com) -  The National Safety Council applauds building owners across Chicago for agreeing to light their properties green in observance of June as National Safety Month. The Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA) approved the Council's lighting request, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois building, Prudential Plaza and The Wrigley Building, 400-410 North Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill., already have agreed to participate. The National Safety...
06.07.2017

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