- Rising indemnity, severity cited in proposed 16.9% N.Y. comp rate plan
A proposal to raise New York workers compensation rates by 16.9% is based in part on increasing indemnity and medical claim severity, according to the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board.
- Walgreen in record $80M settlement over painkillers
(Reuters) — Walgreen Co., the largest U.S. drugstore chain, has agreed to pay $80 million in civil penalties to resolve allegations that it violated federal rules governing the distribution of prescription painkillers.
- Texas contract worker who lost arm limited to workers comp remedy: Court
Exclusive remedy rules prevent a contract employee whose arm was amputated in an on-the-job accident from suing the city he was working for at the time, the Texas Supreme Court has ruled.
- Appeals court to reconsider RICO claims against Sedgwick, Coca-Cola
A federal appeals court is scheduled to reconsider allegations that Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. and Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in settling workers compensation claims.
- OFF BEAT: Comedian Jim Carrey takes workers comp seriously
It turns out that actor and funnyman Jim Carrey did indeed pay for workers comp insurance.
- NIOSH establishes Center for Workers’ Compensation Studies
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has launched a new Center for Workers’ Compensation Studies to analyze trends in work-related injuries and illnesses.
- PTSD must arise from physical injury to qualify for Ohio comp benefits
A mental condition such as post-traumatic stress disorder is compensable under Ohio workers compensation law only when it is caused by a physical injury, the state’s Supreme Court has ruled.
- Okla. law could create template for deregulating workers comp nationwide
Oklahoma’s new law allowing employers to exit the state’s statutory workers compensation system could create a template for deregulating workers comp nationwide, concludes a white paper released Tuesday.
- OFF BEAT: Price is all wrong for workers comp fraudster
A spin on “The Price is Right” resulted in a workers compensation fraud conviction this week for a former mail carrier who reportedly was caught spinning the show’s “Big Wheel” in spite of her work injury.
- Worker safety can improve with behavior-based programs
Behavior-based safety programs can help companies encourage safe behaviors among their employees and reduce workers compensation claim frequency and severity, a behavior expert said Tuesday at a meeting of risk management and safety professionals.
- Employer opt-out provision part of Oklahoma work comp reform bill
Oklahoma lawmakers on Monday unveiled a widely anticipated bill that would allow employers to opt out of the state’s workers compensation system, among other sweeping reforms.
- Employers can have ‘dual persona’ that trumps exclusive remedy: Court
South Carolina employers that acquire other companies could be sued for tort claims under the state’s workers compensation law if they assume third-party liabilities in a merger, the South Carolina Supreme Court said Wednesday.
- California’s state workers comp fund names COO
California’s State Compensation Insurance Fund announced the appointment of Beatriz Sanchez as the insurer’s chief operating officer.
- Workers compensation auditor accused of defrauding employer
A West Virginia workers compensation auditor is accused of defrauding his employer, BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Co., after he allegedly allowed clients to underreport payroll to the Charleston, W.Va.-based insurer.
- Healthcare Solutions names COO Joe Boures as president
Healthcare Solutions Inc. has named Joe Boures as president, expanding on his current role as chief operating officer, the parent company of Cypress Care, ScripNet Inc. and Procura Management Inc. said in a statement Tuesday.
- Previous go-cart rulings a no-go in work comp case: Kansas high court
Kansas’ Supreme Court has reversed previous legal rulings that found in favor of a worker seeking workers compensation benefits for injuries sustained while driving a go-cart during a company-sponsored event.
- Yoga may become an alternative to pain meds in workers comp claims
Yoga is flexing its way into the workers compensation world.
- UP CLOSE: Chris Mandel
NASHVILLE, TENN.-BASED SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF STRATEGIC SOLUTIONS
- Privileged information
In In Re: XL Specialty Insurance Co. and Cambridge Integrated Services Group Inc., an outside counsel for XL shared information about a workers comp claim with Cambridge, which was XL’s adjuster, and the employer.
- Montana, Texas employers seek to overturn attorney-client privilege rulings
Employers in Texas and Montana are expected to seek a legislative fix for state Supreme Court rulings that have restricted employers’ access to legal information in some workers compensation cases.
- N.C. work comp law protects Wal-Mart in wrongful death suit
The estate of a Wal-Mart store greeter who died after a loss-control employee and an alleged shoplifter collided with her cannot sue the giant retailer for wrongful death, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
- Pennsylvania workers comp fund could see $6.5M reduction
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett aims to reduce funding for the state’s Workmen’s Compensation Administration Fund by $6.5 million during the 2013-2014 budget year, according to a proposed budget posted online.
- Texas Mutual president and CEO to retire, successor named
Texas Mutual Insurance Co. has announced the retirement of its president and CEO, Ron Wright.
- Despite law to control costs, Calif.’s compound drug payments rose 68%
Compound drug dispensing in California’s workers compensation system fell by 35%, but the average per-prescription payment rose 68.2%, from $460 to $774, after implementation of a 2012 law aimed at controlling pharmaceutical compounding.
- Obesity, diabetes not pre-existing conditions that allow for benefits
An injured worker’s diabetes and obesity do not qualify as pre-existing conditions that would allow the New York Special Disability Fund to reimburse her employer for workers compensation benefits, a New York appellate court ruled last week.
- 62% of older workers plan to delay retirement: Analysis
The percentage of older workers planning to hold off on retiring has increased 20 points within the past two years, according to a business research association analysis released Friday.
- Workers compensation reform a top priority for Tennessee governor
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s 2013 legislative priorities include reforming the state’s workers compensation system.
- Oregon workers comp bill proposes alternative claims backstop
Self-insured employers in Oregon could use an alternative security deposit system to guarantee payment of workers compensation claims under legislation requested by the Oregon Self-Insurers Association.
- Sedgwick Claims Management Services names chief operating officer
Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. has named Steven E. Penman as its chief operating officer.
- Kansas undocumented workers can receive workers comp benefits: Court
Kansas workers compensation law allows undocumented workers to receive benefits if they were injured prior to state comp reforms enacted in 2011, the Kansas Supreme Court has ruled.
- Florida’s workers comp medical reimbursement disputes up fourfold
Florida saw a nearly fourfold increase in medical reimbursement disputes for workers compensation cases in its most recent fiscal year, driven largely by reimbursement petitions for physician-dispensed prescription medications, according to the Florida…
- SOLUTION ARC: How employers can manage difficult claims-adjusting challenges
Business Insurance’s latest Solution Arc details how to manage the workers compensation claims adjuster’s evolving role, and how to improve claims management performance.
- SMART Act could speed settlement of workers comp claims in 2013
The recently passed Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers Act could help speed the settlement of workers compensation claims in 2013, industry observers say.
- UP CLOSE: Tom Phelan
- Stand-alone, excess workers comp market presents challenges for buyers
The stand-alone, excess workers compensation market is presenting significant challenges for some buyers, as insurers demand higher attachment points and higher prices.
- Sandy Hook shooting may spur workers comp reforms in Connecticut
After last month’s Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., the state is expected to weigh whether to expand the presumption of workers compensation coverage to first responders who suffer psychological trauma.
- Missouri legislators consider reforms to Second Injury Fund
Missouri legislators are considering reforms to the state’s Second Injury Fund after a recent audit showed the fund as having a $25 million deficit.
- N.Y. governor’s budget includes workers compensation system reforms
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo presented his 2013-2014 budget and legislative agenda on Tuesday, that include a call to increase workers compensation benefits and implement system reforms.
- Temporary employee entitled to maximum workers comp benefit: Court
An injured worker’s temporary employment status should not prevent him from receiving the maximum workers compensation benefit multiplier allowed under Tennessee law, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
- OFF BEAT: DA’s investigator nailed in workers comp fraud scheme
The potential wrongdoers that the Fresno County District Attorney’s Workers’ Compensation Fraud Division pursues includes doctors, lawyers, employers, insurance company employees and claimants, according to the California county’s website.
- IAIABC Survey: Medical Marijuana and Workers’ Compensation January 2013 Jurisdiction
The International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions has compiled survey results on state medical marijuana regulations that apply to workers compensation cases.
- Late-term workers comp claim costs expected to grow: NCCI
More than 10% of the workers compensation medical benefit costs for injuries occurring this year will be paid for services provided more than two decades from now, according to NCCI Holdings Inc.
- Okla. lawmakers consider switch to administrative workers comp system
Oklahoma legislators are set to consider a bill that would create an administrative authority over the state’s workers compensation system.
- Anesthesiologist wins disability benefits for opioid addiction
A group insurer must provide long-term disability benefits for a hospital staff anesthesiologist addicted to an opioid pain medication commonly used in her anesthesia practice, a federal court ruled on Thursday.
- Future medical payments not subject to employer’s subrogation claim
Third-party liability settlements can be used to reimburse employers for a claimant’s workers compensation benefits, but companies cannot collect payments for future medical expenses as part of their subrogation claim, the Tennessee Supreme Court said…
- CDC: Stress in Today’s Workplace
Job stress increasingly poses a threat to worker health, raising the risk of illness and injury. This National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health publication examines workplace stress and what can be done about it.
- Pinnacol Assurance CEO Ken Ross resigns
Ken Ross has resigned as CEO of Pinnacol Assurance, Colorado’s workers compensation insurer of last resort, the company said Monday.
- OFF BEAT: Man blows workers comp scam by showing off at the gym
A 90-pound weakling might have gotten away with workers compensation fraud requiring him to fake that he couldn’t lift even 10 pounds, but an Ohio man caught repeatedly bench-pressing 500 pounds couldn’t pull off the scam.
- $25M mesothelioma judgment against Exxon Mobil overturned
Exxon Mobil Corp. escaped paying a nearly $25 million judgment to a ship worker who contracted mesothelioma because crucial evidence was excluded from trial, according to the Virginia Supreme Court.
- OFF BEAT: Gardener digs himself into a hole over workers comp claims
A California gardener found himself in deep dirt last week after being charged with workers compensation fraud for allegedly lying about his recovery from a work injury.
- COMMENTARY: Gamification aims to make workplace safety engaging
Gamification is gaining increasing attention as an employee management tool.
- Large employers show interest in ERISA-governed worker benefit plans
Some large employers want to establish injured worker benefit plans that are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act as an alternative to state workers compensation systems.
- Demand for dedicated workers comp claims adjusters is growing
Companies with large workforces or specialized return-to-work programs are asking their third-party administrators to provide dedicated claims adjusters who work exclusively on the company’s workers compensation accounts.
- ERISA compliance may not ensure appropriate care for injured workers
Employee Retirement In-come Security Act compliance would ensure appropriate care for injured workers if employers could opt out of more state workers compensation systems and establish alternative benefit plans, proponents say.