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Tennessee opt-out route for workers compensation hits roadblock

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published March 25, 2015 - 2:34pm CST

The Tennessee Advisory Council on Workers' Compensation has unanimously decided not to recommend a bill that would allow employers to opt out of the state's workers compensation system.

Settled workers comp claim doesn't bar survivor death benefits

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published March 25, 2015 - 11:13am CST

A Kentucky man's settlement of his workers compensation claim prior to his death doesn't bar his wife from seeking death benefits, the state Court of Appeals has ruled.

Worker who fell asleep at the wheel due comp for lost leg

By: Bill Kenealy

Published March 24, 2015 - 12:13pm CST

The Supreme Court of New Hampshire last week overruled a decision by the state’s Compensation Appeals Board to deny benefits to a driver who was injured after he fell asleep behind the wheel of a company truck and struck a utility pole.

Employers should lead scrutiny on compounded drugs, physician dispensing

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published March 23, 2015 - 12:36pm CST

Employers should work with brokers, claims administrators and pharmacy benefit managers to control workers compensation medical costs related to compounded drugs and physician dispensing.

Do higher doctor fees pay off over time?

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published March 22, 2015 - 6:00am CST

Some state workers compensation systems and payers are increasing provider payments to ensure that injured workers are treated quickly and effectively.

Return-to-work programs expand beyond workers comp

By: Sheena Harrison

Published March 22, 2015 - 6:00am CST

Return-to-work programs are getting greater consideration among employers for workers who are on leave because of disabilities that are not related to their job.

Comp insurer loses in blaming competitors for hurt business

By: Sheena Harrison

Published March 20, 2015 - 1:54pm CST

A Montana workers compensation insurer can't sue its competitors for unfair trade practices after it claimed other insurers spread “falsehoods” about the company to potential workers comp insurance buyers.

Martial arts fighting fireman charged with stealing disability pension

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published March 20, 2015 - 11:47am CST

A former New Jersey firefighter has been charged with fraudulently collecting more than $82,000 through a disability pension while teaching jiujitsu and participating in a mixed martial arts competition, the state Attorney General’s Office said.

Large insurers more likely to embrace predictive modeling

By: Matthew Lerner

Published March 19, 2015 - 2:38pm CST

Roughly half of commercial insurers say predictive modeling is “essential” for risk selection and rating, according to a new survey from professional services firm Towers Watson & Co., released Thursday.

Exotic dancer shot by stray bullet eligible for workers comp

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published March 19, 2015 - 12:41pm CST

A South Carolina woman who was shot while working as an exotic dancer is an employee, not an independent contractor, and is therefore entitled to workers compensation, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

McDonald's worker safety complaints challenge franchise protections

By: Sheena Harrison and Bill Kenealy

Published March 19, 2015 - 10:31am CST

Health and safety complaints lodged against McDonald's Corp.-owned and franchised restaurants are the latest challenges to the longstanding business model employed by restaurant chains, experts say.

Company that disregarded safety not covered under CGL policy

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published March 18, 2015 - 2:30pm CST

An insurer that covered employers under a commercial general liability policy isn't obligated to indemnify the employers if they're found liable in an injured worker's intentional tort claim, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

California workers comp claims administrators get high performance ratings

By: Sheena Harrison

Published March 18, 2015 - 2:22pm CST

California workers compensation claims administrators who conduct utilization reviews received a 97% performance rating for 2013, surpassing the 85% benchmark that state insurance regulators consider a passing grade for such reviews, the California Workers' Compensation Institute said.

Electronic prescribing requirement delayed until 2016

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published March 17, 2015 - 1:02pm CST

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill into law pushing back a deadline by one year to implement mandatory electronic prescribing in the state.

Worker wins comp benefits despite underlying knee injury

By: Sheena Harrison

Published March 17, 2015 - 12:42pm CST

A Tennessee worker should receive workers compensation for a knee injury he suffered while at work, even though his injury was caused by an underlying knee condition that was unrelated to his job, a panel of the Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled.

Goodwill worker, comp insurer dispute equal protection

By: Sheena Harrison

Published March 16, 2015 - 1:23pm CST

A workers compensation insurer did not violate a Colorado man’s right to equal protection under the law when it declined to comply with a request for evidence of any financial contributions between the insurer and Colorado workers comp administrators, an appeals court has ruled.

Florida comp reforms struggle to balance worker and employer needs

By: Bill Kenealy

Published March 15, 2015 - 6:00am CST

How the workers comp system balances the rights of injured workers and employers will be a central theme during oral arguments in The State of Florida vs. Florida Workers' Advocates et al.

Health care reform may drive workers comp costs higher

By: Sheena Harrison

Published March 15, 2015 - 6:00am CST

BOSTON — Federal health care reform is expected to encourage the development of flat-fee, or capitated, health plans, which could shift medical costs for workplace injuries from group health plans to workers compensation, according to preliminary research from the Workers Compensation Research Institute.

Legal marijuana blurs workplace drug policies

By: Matt Dunning

Published March 15, 2015 - 6:00am CST

NEW YORK — Expansion of legalized marijuana use for medicinal and/or recreational purposes figures to compound an already complicated web of management and workers compensation liability issues for employers.

Q&A: Elizabeth Haar, Accident Fund Holdings Inc.

By: Sheena Harrison

Published March 15, 2015 - 6:00am CST

Elizabeth Haar is president and CEO of Lansing, Michigan-based workers compensation insurer Accident Fund Holdings Inc. and chairwoman of the National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc., a Boca Raton, Florida-based workers comp ratemaking agency. She recently spoke with Business Insurance Associate Editor Sheena Harrison about projections for the workers comp sector and developments in comp...

Injured man’s treatments by subsequent doctors ruled uncompensable

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published March 12, 2015 - 12:41pm CST

Certain medical treatments provided by doctors other than an injured worker’s original treating physician weren’t “reasonable and necessary” for a man who was struck in the head nearly 18 years ago, the Connecticut Appellate Court ruled Tuesday.

Specialty, compounded drugs driving up costs

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published March 12, 2015 - 10:29am CST

Specialty and compounded drugs, which a study says have driven a major increase in overall U.S. prescription drug spending, also are increasing workers compensation costs.

Employers urged to educate workers about dangers of opioid use

By: Bill Kenealy

Published March 11, 2015 - 4:00pm CST

People underestimate the dangers related to the use of opioid painkillers, a National Safety Council study released Wednesday finds, and the council's medical adviser urged employers to fill in the knowledge gap.

Illinois' 2011 workers comp reforms result in 'incremental savings'

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published March 11, 2015 - 3:29pm CST

Illinois’ 2011 workers compensation reforms have led to “incremental savings” of medical costs, one employer said during a state House Labor and Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday.

Ohio considers loosening PTSD-related comp rules for first responders

By: Sheena Harrison

Published March 10, 2015 - 10:44am CST

Ohio lawmakers are considering legislation that would provide workers compensation to first responders in the state for post-traumatic stress disorder claims without requiring an accompanying physical injury to receive benefits.

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