- N.Y. comp death benefits can't discount factors not related to work
An employer cannot apportion a workers compensation death benefit by discounting for a non-work-related illness that contributed to the death, New York’s highest level court ruled Tuesday.
- Indiana OKs 7.7% decrease in workers compensation loss cost rates
The Indiana Department of Insurance has approved a 7.7% decrease in workers compensation loss cost rates for 2014, according to a filing posted Friday by the Indiana Compensation Rating Bureau.
- W.Va. workers comp auditor sentenced for allowing payroll underreporting
A West Virginia workers compensation auditor reportedly was sentenced to six years in prison for allowing clients to underreport payroll to Charleston, W.Va.-based insurer BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Co.
- Employers file lawsuits against AIG over workers comp premiums
Employers have filed three federal class action lawsuits against American International Group Inc. and its subsidiaries, seeking restitution for the insurer’s alleged underreporting of workers compensation premiums.
- Calif. limits workers comp claims by out-of-state professional athletes
California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that will limit workers compensation claims in California filed by out-of-state professional athletes.
- Average weekly wages can include corporate profits for comp calculation
Corporate profits due to an injured worker as a shareholder in his company can be used to calculate his average weekly wages for workers compensation benefits, a Florida appellate court has ruled.
- Why Does Chronic Pain Hurt Some People More?
Researchers are studying the human brain, trying to discover why some people will suffer from chronic pain while others suffering similar injuries won’t, according to this Wall Street Journal article.
- Supreme Court will not hear Hutterite workers comp case
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a religious colony’s argument that Montana is forcing it to participate in the state’s workers compensation system despite religious objections to doing so.
- Medicare Secondary Payer compliance affected by government shutdown
The federal government shutdown has blocked some portions of Medicare Secondary Payer compliance from being conducted, according to Roy Franco, principal of Medicare compliance firm Franco Signor L.L.C.
- SMART Act interim rules spark criticism
As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services prepares rules on Medicare Secondary Payer compliance, sources say CMS isn’t working quickly enough to implement changes to ease workers compensation and liability claim settlements.
- Texas cuts prescribing of drugs with closed formulary mandate
The success in Texas of mandating a closed formulary that has sharply reduced prescribing drugs considered inappropriate to treat workers compensation claimants is attracting the attention of other states.
- Effect of Calif. workers comp reform on rates remains unclear
DANA POINT, Calif.
- Health care reform law may be boosting Calif. workers comp claims
DANA POINT, Calif. — The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act may be pushing up claims frequency by driving increased part-time employee hiring, speakers said during a California workers compensation conference.
- Texas workers comp physician networks see declining medical costs
Average medical costs for injured Texas workers treated in the state’s workers compensation physician networks fell 6% in the past three years, while average costs for comp claimants treated outside of networks climbed 19% in that time, according…
- Texas worker for Kroger can pursue liability suit for work-related injury
An employee of The Kroger Co. in Texas should be allowed to proceed with a liability lawsuit against the company for a work-related injury, even though he was aware that a spilled substance at work could cause him to fall, an appeals court has ruled.
- Company's post-accident investigation report protected from discovery
Because an employer reasonably anticipated a lawsuit might result from a workplace injury, the company’s post-accident investigation report is protected from discovery, Alabama’s Supreme Court ruled Friday.
- Md. guaranteed comp fund renaming as Chesapeake Employers' Insurance
Maryland’s Injured Workers’ Insurance Fund on Thursday said it is reminding the public that it will convert to Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Co. on Oct. 1 as part of its move to become a private insurer.
- Number, cost of workers comp narcotics prescriptions rising: NCCI
The number of narcotics prescriptions in workers compensation claims continues to grow as do costs for such medications, the National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. said.
- Calif. workers compensation rates up 10% in first half of 2013
California workers compensation insurers increased rates about 10% on average during the first six months of 2013 compared with the second six months of 2012.
- Number of 'questionable' workers compensation claims up 28%
The number of “questionable” workers compensation claims is increasing despite falling claim frequency, according to a report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
- RICO lawsuit against Sedgwick, Coca-Cola dismissed
A federal appeals court dismissed a lawsuit alleging Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. and Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in settling workers compensation claims.
- ProAssurance to acquire workers comp firm Eastern Insurance
Professional and products liability insurer ProAssurance Corp. announced Tuesday that it is expanding into the workers compensation insurance market by acquiring Lancaster, Pa.-based Eastern Insurance Holdings Inc.
- 104-week limit on workers comp TTD benefits constitutional: Court
A 104-week time limit on workers compensation temporary total disability benefits is not unconstitutional because claimants are eligible for permanent total disability payments once their TTD runs out, the Florida 1st District Court of Appeals said in a…
- Severance pay cannot be used to waive workers comp claim: Court
A severance payment issued to an injured worker who was terminated from his job cannot be used to waive his workers compensation claim, the Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled.
- Q&A: Frank X. Altiere III, PMA Management Corp.
Frank X. Altiere III is president of PMA Management Corp., a Blue Bell, Pa.-based third-party administrator and unit of PMA Cos. He assumed his position in 1999. Mr.
- Building design focused on safety can help mitigate injuries and comp claims
With slips, trips and falls remaining one of the top causes of workers compensation claims, safety experts say more emphasis must be placed on the ergonomic design of workplaces if companies hope to reduce the prevalence of such injuries.
- Health reform will aggravate doctor shortage and delay workers comp care
Millions of additional U.S. residents seeking medical attention under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are likely to delay treatment for workers compensation and disability insurance claimants by aggravating a nationwide doctor shortage.
- OFF BEAT: Staffing firm offers rewards for workers comp fraud reporting
A temporary staffing firm says it will pay up to $10,000 in reward money to employees reporting co-workers they suspect of committing workers compensation fraud.
- 2.7% workers compensation rate hike proposed for Washington
Washington’s State Department of Labor & Industries on Monday proposed a 2.7% average workers compensation rate increase for 2014.
- Procura to launch workers compensation PPO in Illinois
Procura Management Inc. is set to launch a workers compensation preferred provider program in Illinois, the Norristown, Pa.-based medical cost management firm said last week.
- Oregon workers compensation rates expected to decline 7.6% next year
Oregon workers compensation rates will decline 7.6% on average next year due to lower medical and indemnity costs, the state Department of Consumer and Business Services says.
- Whatever Happened to the Carpal Tunnel Epidemic?
Some workers compensation managers may beg to differ, based on their experience handling certain worker claims, but this recent Freakonomics post “Whatever Happened to the Carpal Tunnel Epidemic?” says the epidemic is now behind us.
- Workers compensation claim frequency continues to decline: NCCI
Workers compensation claim frequency continued declining during 2012, after the Great Recession, which may have driven a 2010 frequency spike, according to a National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. research brief released Thursday.
- WCIRB to propose 6.9% advisory pure premium rate increase for 2014
The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California announced Wednesday that it will propose a 6.9% advisory pure premium rate increase for Jan. 1, 2014.
- FDA requires new label warnings for opioid pain relievers
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is requiring new product label warnings for long-acting opioid pain relievers to combat prescription narcotic misuse, addiction and overdose deaths.
- Supreme Court asked to review case seeking double damages under MSP
The U.S. Supreme Court has been petitioned to review the case of a Texas man who sued under Medicare Secondary Payer law to recover double damages from his workers compensation insurer for two back surgeries.
- Workers comp PBMs PMSI, Progressive Medical to merge
Workers compensation pharmacy benefit managers PMSI Inc. and Progressive Medical Inc., announced Friday that they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge.
- Industrial accident group proposes ways to reduce misuse of opioids
The International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions has released a policy recommendation guide to reduce the inappropriate use of opioid pain medications.
- Oklahoma OKs 14.6% workers comp loss cost rate cut for 2014
Oklahoma businesses will see a 14.6% cut in workers compensation loss cost rates for 2014 after state lawmakers passed legislation to create an alternative workers comp system, the Oklahoma Insurance Department says.
- Former Select Staffing risk manager accused of embezzlement
Former Select Staffing Inc. Vice President of Risk Management Fred O. Pachón was jailed Friday on a charge of felony grand theft for allegedly embezzling about $700,000 in workers compensation payments.
- Studies link higher cost of prescription drugs to doctor dispensing
Two studies released Wednesday by the Cambridge, Mass.-based Workers Compensation Research Institute document the high cost of physician-dispensed prescriptions.
- Lifetime income benefits case can't be reopened: Texas high court
Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. and the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation cannot reopen a case in which an injured employee awarded lifetime income benefits, Texas’ Supreme Court has ruled.
- Workers comp death benefit lump-sum payout based on family total: Court
A lump-sum payment of workers compensation death benefits awarded to a construction worker’s widow should be based on the total weekly comp benefits paid to the woman and her dependants, and not just the portion allocated to the worker’s wife, the…
- NFL to pay $765M to retired players alleging concussion-related injuries
The National Football League said Thursday that it will pay a $765 million settlement to more than 4,500 retired players who say they’ve suffered concussion-related brain injuries connected with their careers.
- Duration of temporary total disability comp benefits declines: NCCI
The average duration of workers compensation temporary total disability benefits has decreased in step with the declining national unemployment rate.
- Police officer’s widow to receive workers comp death benefits
The widow of a New Mexico police officer who died while saving a child from drowning should receive workers compensation death benefits, the New Mexico Court of Appeals said this month, overturning a decision that said the woman’s filing was too…
- Calif. workers comp medical payments up 60% between 2005, 2011
Average medical payments for California workers compensation claims increased sharply between 2005 and 2011, although medical cost containment has shifted some medical payment expenditures, the California Workers’ Compensation Institute said Monday.
- Fla. weighs tightening rules on prescription drug monitoring data
The Florida Department of Health is weighing whether to tighten controls on the release of information through its prescription drug monitoring program after data for more than 3,000 Floridians reportedly was provided to third parties without the…
- Safety National ordered to pay defense costs in 'groundless' lawsuit
Excess insurer Safety National Casualty Corp. must pay an employer’s defense and settlement costs even though an underlying negligence lawsuit against the policyholder was “groundless,” a federal appeals court has ruled.
- Early mental health interventions can reduce long-term workers comp costs
ATLANTA — Early intervention for employees suffering from mental health issues can reduce worker disability durations and costs by preventing illnesses from advancing to more serious conditions, experts say.
- Congress considers national standard for safe lifting and moving of patients
Federal legislation introduced this summer seeks to reduce worker musculoskeletal injuries by creating a national standard for the safe lifting and moving of patients in health care facilities.
- Business Insurance conference explores ways to optimize workers comp management
Unnecessary medical expenditures and how they affect workers compensation were a key focus of Business Insurance’s fourth annual Worker’s Compensation Virtual Conference.
- High rate of health care worker injuries worries employers and insurers
Health care facilities are increasingly drawing attention for their unique exposures, which drive more worker injuries than occur in either manufacturing or construction operations.
- OSHA proposes regulations for airborne silica dust
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Friday that it is proposing to create a rule for preventing silicosis by lowering workplace exposure to crystalline silica particles.
- PPACA's effect on disability durations discussed at DMEC meeting
ATLANTA — Could the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act drive higher employee disability durations and costs by delaying access to doctors? That was the topic of a presentation at the Disability Management Employer Coalition’s 18th annual…
- OFF BEAT: Who needs a fraud investigator when you've got Facebook?
The apparently irresistible urge to share personal information on Facebook has once again gotten a worker into trouble.
- Workers comp benefit costs rise on improving economy: Report
Workers compensation benefit costs rose 3.5% nationwide in 2011 compared with 2010 as the economy improved, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Academy of Social Insurance.
- Business Insurance Workers Compensation Virtual Conference
There is still time to register for Business Insurance’s 4th Annual Workers Compensation Virtual Conference.
- Removing stigma of mental health treatment could boost worker productivity
ATLANTA — Employers could boost worker productivity and reduce absenteeism by helping remove the stigma associated with seeking treatment for mental health issues.
- OFF BEAT: San Francisco official famous for mocking workers comp files for it
A former San Francisco city official famously skeptical of workers compensation claims is now asking for the city cover a claim contending that he was injured by stress on the job.
- UC Davis cop fired over pepper spray expected to get comp benefits
The University of California, Davis expects to provide workers compensation benefits for a former police officer who drew national attention for pepper-spraying seated demonstrators, a university spokeswoman confirmed Friday.
- Florida to evaluate 1% workers comp rate increase
Florida employers would see a 1% workers compensation rate increase beginning Jan. 1 under a new rate filing from the National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc.
- Home Depot loses bid to move workers comp suit to federal court
A worker prevailed over Home Depot U.S.A. Inc.’s attempt to move her lawsuit from state court to federal court in a ruling regarding employers opting out of Texas’ workers comp system.
- SOLUTION ARC: Managing the pharmaceutical portion of workers compensation programs
Business Insurance’s latest Solution Arc explores pharmaceutical cost drivers, strategies for mitigating drug usage and costs, and things that cut pharmacy expenses.
- OFF BEAT: Broken toe leads to medical complaints, fraud conviction
A San Diego woman who was caught carrying heavy boxes around while claiming that she was wheelchair-bound reportedly was sentenced to a year in jail and ordered to pay restitution this month for workers compensation fraud and other charges.
- COMMENTARY: Fishermen need a better workers compensation system
While sitting back comfortably in my La-Z-Boy recliner watching recorded episodes of “Deadliest Catch,” I often wondered whether there’s not a bit of hyperbole in this reality TV show’s portrayal of the perils of crab fishing.
- Workers comp virtual conference focuses on how to reduce injury exposures
Experts will advise employers how to reduce their workplace injury exposures by improving their workers compensation programs during an upcoming free virtual conference presented by Business Insurance.
- Meadowbrook downgrade prompts excess workers comp clients to assess options
Companies that buy monoline excess workers compensation policies are considering alternatives, after one of the few national underwriters of the coverage was dealt a recent financial warning.
- Government loses appeal seeking Medicare payment
The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled against the federal government after Medicare sought reimbursement from a massive class- action litigation settlement based on the Medicare Secondary Payer Act.
- Excess workers compensation insurance is tough for buyers, insurers
Excess workers comp insurance is a challenging line to underwrite because it guarantees the payment of catastrophic worker claims that can remain open for decades.
- States take steps to restrict dispensing of drugs by physicians
States are taking steps to rein in the repackaging of drugs by doctors who are dispensing them to injured workers at higher costs than pharmacies charge.
- Humana seeks reimbursement from Farmers under Medicare Secondary Payer rules
A series of federal lawsuits filed by Humana Inc. against Farmers Insurance Group of Cos.