- 3.4% pure premium workers comp rate proposed for California
California’s Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau on Wednesday proposed a 3.4% increase in advisory pure premium workers compensation rates for 2014.
- Pain medication monitoring firm Ameritox acquires Prium
Ameritox Ltd., a Baltimore-based pain medication monitoring company, has acquired Prium, a leading provider of medical cost management services serving the worker’s compensation market.
- Employers concerned about aging workforce: Study
Employers are concerned about health and wellness issues connected with an aging workforce, but most haven’t implemented strategies to manage safety and leave for an older population.
- Meadowbrook to issue policies under State National after rating downgrade
Meadowbrook Insurance Group Inc. said it will replace some of its insurance policies with paper provided by State National Insurance Co. after A.M. Best Co. downgraded Meadowbrook’s rating to B++ (stable) on Friday.
- OFF BEAT: Man injured while drunk not entitled to workers comp benefits
An Oregon longshoreman who drunkenly took a six-foot tumble while urinating from one of his employer’s docks cannot receive workers compensation benefits for his fall, a federal court has ruled.
- Ill. employer lacking workers comp cover convicted of felony
Illinois said it has won its first felony conviction of an employer for failing to obtain workers compensation insurance as mandated by state law.
- Minn. employers must pay comp benefits to surviving same-sex spouses
While gay couples rushed to wed in Minnesota, the state’s Department of Labor and Industry said Thursday that employers are now responsible for paying workers compensation benefits to legally married, surviving same-sex spouses.
- Insurers file lawsuit over N.Y. workers comp law amendment
An amendment to New York’s workers compensation law generated by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2013-2014 budget plan will cost insurers and self-insured employers up to $1.6 billion in unfunded liability, a lawsuit claims.
- Iowa workers comp head sues governor for discrimination, partisanship
Iowa’s workers compensation commissioner is suing Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and other defendants alleging they reduced his salary because he is gay and because of political partisanship.
- One Call Care Management buys language services provider 3iCorp.com
One Call Care Management L.L.C., a provider of specialized cost containment services to the worker’s compensation industry, has completed its acquisition of San Diego-based 3iCorp.com, a language services company.
- Ore. workers comp self-insurance trust must increase security deposit
Oregon’s largest workers compensation self-insurance trust, with about 200 employer members, must increase its security deposit by Aug. 7 or face decertification, potentially leaving its members liable for existing claims.
- School risk manager who blew whistle on funds use can amend lawsuit
A Texas school district risk manager who alleged that he was terminated for complaining about his employer’s plan to raid its self-insured workers compensation and health insurance funds to build a football stadium press box can pursue his case on a…
- Ohio employers battle court-set workers compensation rates
Imagine a trial court lacking actuarial sophistication supplanting an underwriter’s expertise in setting workers compensation insurance rates.
- COMMENTARY: Growth of pain medication abuse requires diverse solutions
Much more needs to be done about pain medication misuse and addiction.
- Deaths of temporary workers prompt OSHA to ramp up safety procedure campaign
With employers hiring more temporary workers, safety needs to be improved to prevent injuries and deaths among contract employees, experts say.
- Humana sues Farmers over Medicare secondary payer practices
Humana Inc. has filed four federal lawsuits against Farmers Insurance Group of Cos. arguing that it is entitled to reimbursement from Farmers for benefits that Humana paid for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans.
- Cop seeks workers comp benefits over video gone viral
A former cop for the University of California, Davis is seeking workers compensation benefits for a psychiatric injury after a video that showed him dousing seated, unarmed student protesters with pepper spray went viral.
- Suit over pornographic emails not barred by workers comp exclusive remedy
Workers compensation’s exclusive remedy does not bar a legal secretary’s claim stemming from sexually explicit emails sent by an attorney at the law firm that employed her, a California appeals court ruled.
- City worker can sue employer in co-worker rape case: Ohio Supreme Court
A city worker can sue her employer for intentional tort after a co-worker with a criminal record raped her while working a night shift, a divided Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
- N.J. governor vetoes workers comp bill for public safety employees
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed legislation that would have guaranteed workers compensation benefits for public safety workers by presuming that several illnesses were linked to their jobs.
- Man acquitted of workers comp fraud cannot sue insurer for bad faith
A construction worker who was found not guilty of workers compensation fraud cannot sue his employer’s workers comp insurer for bad faith based on his acquittal, the Montana Supreme Court has ruled.
- Killing of woman in employer's parking lot not compensable: Court
The death of a woman, who was shot and killed by her estranged husband in an HSBC Card Services Inc. parking, lot did not “arise out of” her employment, South Dakota’s Supreme Court has ruled unanimously.
- Number of black lung cases rising again
Early-stage pneumoconiosis, commonly called black lung disease, can be asymptomatic, but advanced cases often lead to disability and premature death, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
- Court rulings on black lung favor miners
Two appeals court rulings that upheld eased eligibility for federal black lung benefits for coal miners and their surviving families are likely to increase the number of claims paid by employers.
- Employers cut workers compensation costs by getting data from insurers
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 Solutions executive said.
- Fla. law that limits doctor dispensing cuts comp opioid usage: WCRI
A law that restricts Florida physicians from dispensing opioid prescriptions from their offices reduced narcotic use in workers compensation cases, but increased prescribing of other painkillers, according to the Workers Compensation Research Institute.
- Zurich settles workers comp arbitration dispute with California
Zurich American Insurance Co. will stop requiring California workers compensation policyholders to arbitrate disputes in Illinois as part of a settlement reached with the California Department of Insurance.
- NFL, former players ordered to mediation in concussion lawsuit
(Reuters) — The National Football League and thousands of former football players who have sued the league for allegedly hiding the dangers of brain injury while profiting from the sport’s violence have been ordered to try to resolve the case in…
- Settlements reached in NFL workers comp claims in California
A settlement has been reached in three cases involving former National Football League players who sought to file workers compensation claims in California, according to court filings posted online Monday.
- NCCI names new chief actuary
The National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. has appointed Katherine Antonello as its chief actuary to succeed Dennis Mealy, who is retiring.
- OFF BEAT: Sandy leaves moldy mess for lottery workers
Some New Jersey Lottery employees reportedly are seeking workers compensation benefits after they say they were sickened by lottery tickets that turned moldy after Superstorm Sandy.
- 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.