- Wrong review standard applied in workers comp ruling: Utah high court
A Utah appellate court incorrectly applied an “abuse of discretion” standard of review in a workers compensation case, even through it rightly denied benefits to the claimant in that decision, the Utah Supreme Court has ruled.
- Missouri governor nixes bill creating workers comp claimant database
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have created an online database that employers could scour to learn whether a prospective job applicant has ever filed a workers compensation claim.
- Miner's surviving spouse eligible for black lung benefits under PPACA
A deceased miner’s spouse is not required to establish cause of death to receive benefits for black lung disease under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a U.S. appeals court ruled Thursday.
- Workers comp insurers selectively choose accounts during midyear renewals
Insurers are being pickier than they have been in recent years in selecting accounts they’ll underwrite for workers compensation coverage, while risky accounts are seeing midyear pricing increases of up to 10%, experts say.
- COMMENTARY: Positive mindset can help injured workers rebound
If we could transfer Aron Ralston’s outlook to everyone recovering from a workplace injury, we could eliminate several billion dollars from the nation’s workers compensation bill.
- Workers comp road map, communication can cut claims costs
CHICAGO — Human resource managers need to communicate their expectations for workers compensation procedures before employees get hurt to reduce comp claims costs.
- Coal miner due black-lung benefits under health care reform law change
A coal miner is entitled to black lung benefits under a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.
- Insurer data can help with workers comp claims management: ASSE speaker
LAS VEGAS — Employers can help keep their workers compensation claim costs down by partnering with their insurers to receive data and services that aid in safety and claim management, an Aon Risk Services executive said.
- Integrate Mental Health Counseling with Wellness, Workers' Comp
This Society For Human Resource Management paper advises employers to consider coordinating employee assistance program counseling with workers compensation claims management.
- OSHA pushes temporary employee safety to reduce fatalities
LAS VEGAS — The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is pushing companies to educate temporary employees about proper safety procedures due to a number of temporary worker fatalities in recent months, a senior OSHA official said.
- Workers comp pricing to improve throughout 2013: Fitch
With little sign that rising workers compensation pricing trends will reverse in the near term, insurer results will continue to improve during the remainder of 2013, according to Fitch Ratings Inc.
- Del. bill requires listing job options for hurt workers
Workers compensation reform legislation headed for Delaware Gov. Jack Markell’s office would impose more responsibility on insurers to ensure employers provide doctors with lists of jobs available for injured employees.
- Workers comp-related medical payments higher than others: WCRI
Medical payments made in relation to workers compensation-related treatments are typically higher than group health medical payments in a majority of states, according to a study released Friday by the Workers Compensation Research Institute.
- SOLUTION ARC: Employers can use a managed care approach to reduce workers compensation costs
Business Insurance’s latest Solution Arc explores managed care pitfalls and the cost drivers, and details how to manage and properly implement managed care programs to achieve desired outcomes.
- Former NFL Saints, Bengals player cannot collect workers comp in Calif.
A California workers compensation judge erred in awarding benefits to a former National Football League player who was covered under his team’s Ohio workers comp policy, the California Workers Compensation Appeals Board has ruled.
- Detailed protocols can help reduce workers comp costs: SHRM speaker
CHICAGO — Human resource managers can help reduce workers compensation costs by devising written plans that document each step of the comp process and effectively communicating expectations to injured employees, a consultant said Wednesday.
- Social Security disability applications fall, but payments rise: Survey
While the number of long-term disability claimants fell slightly in 2012, total claim payments among member disability insurers grew for a fifth straight year to $9.4 billion, the Council for Disability Awareness said Tuesday.
- Third-party administrators taking managed care in-house
Workers compensation third-party administrators are building their own managed care operations, a trend that may or may not benefit claims payers.
- Comp exclusive remedy, Human Rights Act bar gay man's harassment suit
A man allegedly subjected to harassment at work about his sexual orientation cannot sue his former employer for negligence because workers compensation exclusive remedy provisions and the Human Rights Act bar his lawsuit, an Illinois appellate court has…
- 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.