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Oregon workers comp assessment rate steady at 6.2% for 2015

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published October 24, 2014 - 12:24pm CST

The Oregon Workers' Compensation Division said Wednesday that insurers will see no change to the current workers compensation assessment rate of 6.2% in 2015.

California workers comp reform moderates office visit costs despite rising fees

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 23, 2014 - 11:58am CST

California medical office visit fees have increased significantly after the state passed a workers comp reform bill in 2012, but changes in how medical providers are reimbursed for some billings may help moderate increases in total payments, according to the Workers Compensation Research Institute.

Humana looks to sell urgent care subsidiary Concentra: Sources

Published October 22, 2014 - 1:56pm CST

(Reuters) — Health insurer Humana Inc. is exploring a sale of its urgent care subsidiary Concentra in a deal that could value it at around $1 billion, according to three people familiar with the matter.

No change in Colorado comp loss rates for 2015

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published October 20, 2014 - 2:39pm CST

Colorado employers will see no change to workers compensation loss cost rates for next year, the state Department of Regulatory Agencies said Thursday.

Late-term medical costs lower for older workers comp claimants: NCCI

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 20, 2014 - 12:05pm CST

Workers compensation claimants younger than 60 have higher medical claim costs for medical payments made 20 and 30 years after their initial injury compared with claimants who are age 60 or older..

Doctors prescribe more Schedule II painkillers for injuries in four states

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published October 16, 2014 - 2:42pm CST

Physicians in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey prescribed Schedule II narcotics to injured workers more frequently than physicians in other states.

OSHA fines Dollar Tree $262,500 for safety violations at Texas store

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 16, 2014 - 11:57am CST

Chesapeake, Virginia-based Dollar Tree Inc. is facing $262,500 in fines from the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration because of alleged safety violations at a Texas Dollar Tree store.

Insurance-linked securities could break annual record despite weak 3rd quarter

By: Matthew Lerner

Published October 16, 2014 - 10:35am CST

Despite a slow third quarter for insurance-linked securities, 2014 will still likely surpass 2007’s record year for these non-life securities, according to a report issued by Willis Group Holdings P.L.C.’s Willis Capital Markets & Advisory.

Workers' compensation rates drop again in Michigan

By: Chris Gautz, Crain's Detroit Business

Published October 15, 2014 - 10:22am CST

Businesses in Michigan are continuing to see savings in their workers compensation rates and have saved more than $277 million since 2011, a fact the state now touts to companies interested in coming to Michigan.

Adding urine testing reduces opioid use and costs for comp patients

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published October 14, 2014 - 4:02pm CST

In coordination with clinical monitoring and oversight, urine drug testing reduces the use of and amount paid for high-risk medications, including opioids, among injured workers, according to new studies by Helios.

Private equity firm acquires York Risk Services for $1.325B

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 13, 2014 - 12:18pm CST

Toronto-based private equity firm Onex Corp. has closed on a deal to acquire third-party administrator York Risk Services Group Inc. for $1.325 billion, York said in a statement.

Workers comp reform hasn't helped Illinois' construction industry

By: Meribah Knight, Crain's Chicago Business

Published October 13, 2014 - 10:11am CST

It's been three years since sweeping reforms to Illinois workers compensation laws reduced the costs for treating injured employees. But those in the construction industry say they have yet to see meaningful reductions in premium costs.

Trend of cutting benefits for part-time workers may add to workers comp costs

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 12, 2014 - 6:00am CST

With employers reducing their costs by cutting health insurance for part-time workers, workers compensation and safety experts worry that uninsured part-time workers may drive a spike in the frequency of comp claims.

Business Insurance online event addresses workers compensation concerns

Published October 12, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Experts provided strategies to control workers compensation costs related to managing opioids and the aging workforce during Business Insurance's fifth annual Workers Comp & Safety Virtual Conference.

Workers compensation ruling highlights exposure to commuter risks

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published October 12, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Workers in all states who are injured while commuting to or from their jobs typically are not entitled to workers compensation under the “going and coming” rule, but employers would be wise to defend themselves against exceptions.

Texas comp claim costs close gap between in-, out-of-network care

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 10, 2014 - 12:48pm CST

Medical costs for injured workers treated by Texas workers compensation health care networks have declined 7% over the last five years while costs for workers treated by non-network providers have increased 21% in that time, according to the Texas Department of Insurance.

Business Insurance comp event addresses opioids and aging workers

By: Stephanie Goldberg and Sheena Harrison

Published October 09, 2014 - 12:47pm CST

Workers compensation experts explained how to control workers comp costs related to opioid management and the aging workforce during Business Insurance's fifth annual Workers Comp & Safety Virtual Conference on Wednesday.

Injured Florida worker granted $2,000 advance on comp benefits

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 08, 2014 - 2:41pm CST

A Florida injured worker was due an advance payment of workers compensation benefits because she proved that she faced financial hardship from her workplace injury, Florida's 1st District Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday.

Medical services utilization review invalid only if untimely: California WCAB

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published October 07, 2014 - 3:02pm CST

A medical services utilization review decision is invalid only if it's untimely, and all other disputes regarding utilization review decisions should be resolved by California's independent medical review process, the California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board said in an en banc ruling.

California firms could save $124M-$420M a year with closed comp drug formulary

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 07, 2014 - 11:07am CST

California's workers compensation system could see pharmaceutical costs cut by $124 million to $420 million a year if the state adopted a closed prescription drug formulary like ones used in Texas and Washington state.

Injured Illinois worker later fired for stealing still eligible for comp

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published October 06, 2014 - 2:36pm CST

An injured Illinois worker whose employment was terminated for stealing before he reached maximum medical improvement is entitled to temporary total disability benefits, an Illinois appeals has ruled.

NCCI proposes 3.3% Florida comp rate decrease based on fee changes

By: Sheena Harrison

Published October 06, 2014 - 1:27pm CST

The National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. has asked Florida regulators to consider a 3.3% decrease in state workers compensation rates for 2015 after it originally proposed a 2.5% rate cut in August.

Mississippi worker driving without headlights, seat belt entitled to comp

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published October 03, 2014 - 12:57pm CST

A Mississippi worker who was in an auto accident while driving a company-owned vehicle with the headlights off and no seat belt on should receive workers compensation benefits, a divided Mississippi Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

Calif. law makes companies share wage, comp liability with labor contractors

By: Judy Greenwald

Published October 01, 2014 - 2:14pm CST

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill that imposes liability on companies when labor contractors fail to pay wages or provide workers compensation premium.

National Council proposes workers comp rate hike for Hawaii in 2015

By: Bill Kenealy

Published October 01, 2014 - 12:26pm CST

The National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. has proposed a 3.2% rate increase in Hawaii workers compensation advisory rates for 2015.

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