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Company kickball-game injury qualifies for comp: S.C. Supreme Court

By: Sheena Harrison

Published August 28, 2014 - 3:22pm CST

A South Carolina worker who was injured in a kickball game he organized for his employer should receive workers compensation benefits because he was expected by his employer to attend the game, the South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled.

Growing earnings, workforce pushed comp costs up 6.9% in 2012: Report

By: Sheena Harrison

Published August 26, 2014 - 12:37pm CST

Workers compensation costs paid by employers rose 6.9% to $83.2 billion year-over-year in 2012, driven largely by an increase in worker numbers and earnings.

NCCI proposes 2.5% workers comp rate decrease for Florida in 2015

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 26, 2014 - 12:25pm CST

The National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. has proposed a statewide workers compensation rate decrease in Florida for the first time in four years, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation said.

CMS to launch Medicare set-aside calculator for prescription drug costs

By: Sheena Harrison

Published August 25, 2014 - 12:43pm CST

Online tool would allow workers compensation claim payers to determine how much money should be allocated for prescription drugs in Medicare set-aside accounts.

Court upholds judgment against Union Pacific in railroad worker's death

By: Sheena Harrison

Published August 22, 2014 - 12:09pm CST

The Texas Court of Appeals has affirmed a $1.2 million judgment awarded to the family of a railroad employee who died from complications after being injured on the job.

U.S. to tighten restrictions on common opioid painkillers

Published August 22, 2014 - 8:46am CST

(Reuters) — The U.S. government is tightening restrictions on hydrocodone, an opioid painkiller contained in Vicodin and other addictive drugs.

California comp rating bureau recommends 6.7% rate hike

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 20, 2014 - 12:05pm CST

The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California is recommending that the California Department of Insurance adopt a 6.7% increase in the state's pure premium workers compensation rate.

IN FOCUS Video: Hot Weather Worker Safety

Published August 19, 2014 - 4:45pm CST

A look into heat-related worker safety issues and precautions companies can take to reduce the risk of illnesses and fatalities associated with working outside during hot summer months.

DEA reclassifies painkiller tramadol as a controlled substance

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 18, 2014 - 3:49pm CST

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration began labeling tramadol, an opioid pain medication, as a Schedule IV controlled substance on Monday, according to a final rule published in the Federal Register.

Oklahoma firms consider private coverage in wake of landmark workers comp law

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 17, 2014 - 6:00am CST

At least seven Oklahoma employers have opted out of the state's workers comp system since a new law went into effect, and more are considering the move to private coverage allowed under the landmark legislation.

Easing concerns about returning to work gets employees back on the job sooner

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 17, 2014 - 6:00am CST

LAS VEGAS — Employees' expectations and fears about returning to work better predict how long they'll be out of work than other factors, including a clinical diagnosis.

NFL concussion settlement funds will come from insurers and higher ticket prices

By: Sheena Harrison

Published August 17, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The National Football League's financial settlement of former players' concussion-related litigation likely will be paid with a combination of insurer funds and higher prices for game tickets and media rights.

Oklahoma’s new administrative system cuts number of disputed workers comp cases

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 17, 2014 - 6:00am CST

As part of a new law that allows certain Oklahoma employers to opt out of the state's workers compensation system, a three-member Workers' Compensation Commission has been established as has an administrative dispute resolution process.

Return-to-work policies for workers with mental illness require sensitivity

By: Sheena Harrison

Published August 17, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Return-to-work policies for employees with mental illness such as depression or anxiety should include flexible scheduling and communication with employees to understand accommodations they need while recovering from such conditions.

Compliance needs drive employer interest in integration of benefits programs

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 17, 2014 - 6:00am CST

To ensure compliance with federal and state laws and company policies, employers of all sizes are becoming more interested in integrating their leave, disability and workers compensation programs.

Pacific Gas & Electric aims for total absence management approach

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 17, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. plans to implement a program to coordinate all of its time-off policies, including vacation, sick leave, workers compensation and short- and long-term disability, said Bryon Bass, its San Francisco-based director of integrated disability management in workforce health.

State judge rules Florida Workers' Compensation Act unconstitutional

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 15, 2014 - 3:20pm CST

The Florida Workers' Compensation Act no longer provides adequate benefits to injured workers and is therefore unconstitutional, a Miami-Dade County, Florida, judge has ruled.

Health reform law effects will trickle down to workers comp: Doctor

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 15, 2014 - 1:16pm CST

LAS VEGAS — The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act makes little mention of workers compensation, but the law will indirectly affect workers comp systems nationwide in both negative and positive ways.

California workers comp premium rate expected to jump 6.7% in 2015

By: Sheena Harrison

Published August 14, 2014 - 4:24pm CST

The California Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau is set to recommend a 6.7% increase in the state’s pure premium workers compensation rate next year, the bureau said Wednesday.

'Doing more with less' leads to disability management outsourcing: Broadspire CEO

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 13, 2014 - 2:27pm CST

LAS VEGAS — Outsourcing disability and absence management to third parties will become more popular as employers continue feeling pressure to “do more with less,” Broadspire Services Inc. CEO Danielle Lisenbey said Wednesday.

Ohio workers comp bureau plans $1B rebate to policyholders

By: Sheena Harrison

Published August 13, 2014 - 1:38pm CST

The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation plans to distribute a $1 billion rebate to public- and private-sector workers comp policyholders, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Wednesday.

Measuring opioid effectiveness requires more than scale of 1 to 10: Doctor

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 13, 2014 - 9:51am CST

LAS VEGAS — The impact of opioids should be measured regularly, but it's not sufficient to ask injured workers to subjectively evaluate their pain and functional improvement.

Broadspire offers employers leave-management outsourcing

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 12, 2014 - 2:48pm CST

Third-party administrator Broadspire Services Inc. is launching a suite of integrated disability and absence management services this fall for employers looking to outsource their leave management.

Injured worker who had just quit wins appeal for workers comp

By: Sheena Harrison

Published August 12, 2014 - 2:24pm CST

A Pennsylvania health care firm must pay workers compensation benefits to a former employee who was injured shortly after resigning from his job, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled Monday.

Departmental competition challenges absence and disability management: Speakers

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 11, 2014 - 3:28pm CST

LAS VEGAS — The biggest obstacle to holistically managing absence and disability for many employers is getting different departments to coordinate with each other, speakers said Monday at the Disability Management Employer Coalition's 19th annual conference in Las Vegas.

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