- Calif. Senate committee votes to remove Calderon from insurance role
The California Senate’s Rules Committee unanimously voted Tuesday to remove Sen. Ron Calderon as head of the Senate Insurance Committee pending the outcome of a federal investigation into bribery allegations.
- Children to receive survivor benefits after father’s drug overdose
The children of an injured worker who died from an illegal drug overdose should receive lifetime workers compensation survivor benefits, even though their father’s death was not work-related, a Missouri appellate court has ruled.
- OFF BEAT: Ashley Madison employee says typing fake profiles led to injury
A website for married people seeking adulterous affairs could use a workers compensation exclusive remedy defense.
- Insurer subrogation must start while work comp claim is pending: Court
Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., as the underwriter of an automobile policy, failed to properly establish its subrogation interests regarding a workers compensation claim, a Pennsylvania appellate court ruled.
- OFF BEAT: Slip catches man in 20-year fraud scheme
A Cincinnati man pleaded guilty last week to scamming the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation for more than $100,000 in ill-gotten benefits.
- Trooper who killed woman in car accident due workers comp: Court
A Pennsylvania state trooper who accidentally hit and killed a woman with his patrol car should receive workers compensation benefits for psychological injuries that he suffered from the tragic event, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said in a split ruling…
- Pinnacol Assurance names new president, CEO
Pinnacol Assurance’s board of directors named Philip B. Kalin as the Denver-based workers comp insurer’s president and CEO, the company announced Thursday.
- OSHA proposes mandatory electronic reporting of injuries, illnesses
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed requiring employers to file their injury and illness reports electronically, a change that also would make those records publicly accessible.
- Broadspire TPA unit bolsters Crawford & Co.’s third-quarter results
Revenues and profits fell in the third quarter for Crawford & Co., though the claims management provider’s results were bolstered by its third-party administration unit, Broadspire Services Inc.
- Tests for use of illicit drugs paid via workers compensation
With increased urine drug screening to monitor patients taking opioid painkillers, doctors also are ordering tests to reveal use of drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines.
- States turn to medical treatment guidelines for injured workers
Washington state’s “Interagency Guideline on Opioid Dosing for Chronic Non-cancer Pain” is among the respected medical guidelines doctors look to for determining appropriate treatment for injured workers.
- Workers comp predictive modeling presents challenges to self-insured groups
CHICAGO — Predictive modeling among workers compensation insurers is presenting a challenge to self-insured groups, who are facing off with insurers that are offering increasingly competitive pricing.
- COMMENTARY: Employers must shoulder burden of proof in AIG workers comp suit
American International Group Inc. underreported its workers compensation premiums years longer than previously reported, if new allegations filed by attorneys seeking to represent employers in several new lawsuits are true.
- Calif. lawmaker allegedly took bribe related to workers comp legislation
California state Sen. Ronald Calderon allegedly accepted bribe money to support legislation that would affect California workers compensation law, according to Al-Jazeera America L.L.C.
- Judicial system causing high workers comp costs in Illinois: Report
A report the Illinois Chamber of Commerce released Tuesday blames the state’s judiciary for “high workers compensation costs” and calls for lawmakers to correct the problem.
- OFF BEAT: Amorous workers comp claimant gets no love from court
The Australia High Court has come down against an amorous worker seeking workers compensation.
- Check Medicare beneficiary status early in claims, expert recommends
Insurers and self-insured employers looking to settle workers compensation or liability claims should check a claimant’s Medicare beneficiary status early in the settlement process to determine if Medicare should be reimbursed for medical payments, an…
- Court seeks review of comp attorneys' fees of $165 for 107 hours of work
After hearing a case involving attorneys who earned only $165 for working 107 hours, an appellate court asked Florida’s Supreme Court to review the state’s cap on fees for attorneys who represent workers compensation claimants.
- FDA seeks tighter control of prescription opioid combination drugs
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will seek to reclassify hydrocodone combination drugs, placing tighter controls on distribution of the narcotic painkillers.
- Streamlined N.Y. workers comp assessments to save state’s employers 25%
New York employers will pay 25%, or $300 million, less in annual workers compensation assessments in 2014, according to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board.
- UC Davis cop who pepper-sprayed protesters gets $38,000 comp settlement
The University of California, Davis on Thursday said it will pay a $38,000 workers compensation settlement to a former campus police officer who received national attention for pepper-spraying protesters.
- Several states seek workers comp rate hikes for 2014
As states across the country analyze workers compensation costs, officials in several states are reviewing requests for rate hikes.
- Predictive modeling pits work comp insurers against self-insured groups: Panel
CHICAGO — Predictive modeling among workers compensation insurers is presenting a challenge to self-insured groups, who are facing off with insurers that are offering increasingly competitive pricing, according to panelists who spoke Tuesday at the…
- California rating bureau may recommend 8.6% workers comp rate increase
California’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau is expected to propose an 8.6% pure premium rate increase effective Jan. 1, 2014, subject to the approval of its governing committee, which meets on Wednesday.
- Illinois guaranty fund must pay claim after work comp insurer liquidated
The Illinois Insurance Guaranty Fund is on the hook for a costly claim after the liquidation of a self-insured employer’s excess workers compensation insurer, a divided Illinois’ Supreme Court ruled Friday.
- AIG faces workers comp litigation from employers
American International Group Inc. could face numerous lawsuits from employers who say the insurer caused them to pay inflated workers compensation-related costs by underreporting its comp premiums, according to attorneys in two such cases against AIG.
- Risk managers strive to teach actuaries about workers comp claims management
DANA POINT, Calif. — Risk managers can influence the actuarial reports that affect their company’s bottom line by educating their actuaries and implementing favorable claims management practices, risk managers said.
- Curtailing prescription opioids puts doctors at risk from violent patients
As doctors treating workers compensation claimants curtail prescribing opioid pain medications, some physicians are facing more threats from patients addicted to or illegally selling the drugs.
- American obesity rates unchanged from last year at 35%
Almost 35% of American adults are obese, a statistic that remains unchanged from a year earlier, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data updated on Thursday.
- Workers comp insurer must pay prescription drug repackager: La. high court
A workers compensation insurer must pay a prescription drug repackaging company for physician-dispensed medications because Louisiana law allows claims to be assigned to a third party for payment, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled this week.
- 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.