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Workers’ Compensation

Illinois Women Plead Guilty in $1.7M Workers’ Comp Fraud Scheme

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Two Chicago, Illinois, women have pleaded guilty for their roles in a scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) of $1.7 million by falsely billing for services on a 24-hour, seven-day-per-week basis for more than seven years, the U.S. Department of Justice reported. Ella Garner, 62, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy…

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New workers’ comp law creates ‘unprecedented new rights,’ defense attorney says

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A new Illinois law signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker does not repeal or extend the limitation on when an employee can file a claim under the workers’ compensation system, it creates “unprecedented new rights,” a Chicago-based defense lawyer said. Senate Bill 1596, the Workers’ Compensation Repose Act, will allow those barred from making a claim under a 25-year statute of…

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Why Your Illinois Work Injury Isn’t Going To Trial Next Week

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In what may ironically be good news, if you were hoping to go to Arbitration in the next week or two at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, you might not be. That’s because Governor Pritzker has essentially fired six Arbitrators who were appointed but not confirmed by previous Governor Rauner. Elections have consequences and the reality is that Republican Governors…

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Research Finds No Improvement in Worker Outcomes When Medical Prices Increase

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When the price of physician services increases relative to group health rates, injured workers report fewer problems getting the care they want but no significant improvement in physical function or speedier return to work, according to a study released Thursday by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute. WCRI used data taken from interviews with injured workers in 14 states and claims…

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Workers’ comp studies show Illinois remains a high-price state

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Illinois remains a high-price state when it comes to workers’ compensation, with costs driven by substantial attorney involvement in cases and medical-legal bills, according to a recently published study by an independent research institute. Massachusetts-based Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), which studied Illinois and 17 other states including neighbors Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin, found that Illinois had one of the…

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WCRI: States Without Work Comp Fee Schedules Paying the Price

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The dwindling number of states that have no fee schedule, or that set fees according to a percentage of billed charges, are paying far more for outpatient surgery than states that have adopted some version of Medicare’s payment system, according to a report released Thursday by the Workers’ Compensation Institute. WCRI compared payments to hospitals for outpatient surgery in 36…

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Pritzker signs bill to help workers exposed to toxic substances

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Illinois workers exposed to diseases from toxic substances while employed can now take matters to court. Gov. JB Pritzker signed SB 1596​ into action Friday, lifting a 25-year statute of limitation on such claims. It intends to help people diagnosed with latent diseases after exposure to toxic substances in the workplace, which could include asbestos and radiation. In some cases,…

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Audit: Burke did little to detect bogus injury claims

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City Hall could save millions of dollars by tightening up workers’ compensation rules and regulations, audit says While Ald. Edward M. Burke ran City Hall’s program to compensate injured workers, there was little, if any, effort to “detect potential fraud, waste and abuse,” according to an audit issued Friday — months after Burke lost control of the program following his…

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Illinois manufacturers fear measure on Pritzker’s desk will drive up insurance costs

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The clock is ticking for Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker to sign legislation that some business owners said could open up companies in Illinois to worker injury lawsuits that are decades old and not covered by liability insurance. Senate Bill 1596 was pushed through the General Assembly in less than a month and is now nearing its 60-day mark, where Pritzker…

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Many construction workers in nonstandard arrangements

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Nearly a third of all construction workers are employed in nonstandard work arrangements, according to a study recently released by the Center for Construction Research and Training. The report, Nonstandard Work Arrangements in the Construction Industry, found that a quarter of construction workers were classified as independent contractors and about 8% were classified as temporary workers, day laborers, on-call workers…

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