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Workers’ Compensation

Firefighter cancer presumption a hot issue for workers comp in 2017

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Ohio in January became the 36th state to allow firefighters who are diagnosed with certain cancers to file for workers compensation, and so far two more states are seeing proposals for certain cancers suffered by firefighters to be compensable. With presumption laws in place, firefighters who suffer from certain cancers can claim workers comp if they meet certain requirements, which…

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Justices to weigh limits on worker rights to sue employers

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The U.S. Supreme Court said Friday it will decide whether employers can require workers to sign arbitration agreements that prevent them from pursuing group claims in court. The justices agreed to consider an issue affecting millions of workers who have signed forms waiving rights to bring class-action lawsuits over unpaid overtime, wage disputes and other workplace clashes. Businesses have increasingly…

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Study: Opioid prescriptions greatly extend workers’ comp duration

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A study on painkillers and how they affect a workers’ compensation claim found that an injured worker who’s prescribed opioids often stays that on disability much longer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical providers wrote nearly a quarter of a billion opioid prescriptions in 2013, enough for every American adult to have their own bottle of…

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Cost-shifting between workers comp and Social Security disability disputed

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The idea that the costs for caring for injured workers have shifted to Social Security Disability Insurance is being disputed by a recent study conducted by the National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. The study, released March 26, is focused on the interaction between SSDI and workers compensation benefits and explores cost-shifting that may occur between the two programs. “There…

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Board Unveils New Case Manager Guidelines, 3.1 Reporting Standards

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The Workers' Compensation Board of Indiana has released new guidelines for nurse case managers and will soon unveil new protocols for disputed claim settlement documents. With fewer hearings and more settlements, "the legal environment surrounding Indiana workers' compensation cases is changing," the board announced this week. Documents submitted for approval in disputed claims, also known as "C" claims, will need to go the…

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As OSHA Rules Change, Employers Must Plan Ahead

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When it comes to workplace injury claims filed, “overall it’s gotten better,” but preventable illnesses and injuries are still costing employers billions of dollars, and employees their lives. So said Lisa Weis, compliance assistance specialist with the Cleveland office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. Weis addressed 230 members of the Mahoning Valley Safety Council at its…

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Illinois Senate Again Passes Workers’ Comp Reform Measure

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The Illinois Senate has approved restrictions on insurance companies writing workers’ compensation policies. The plan that passed 34-21 on April 17 is identical to one Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed last year. The Republican has complained for years that workers’ compensation costs prevent economic growth. Democrats point out they restricted payouts and rules on worker injuries in 2011 but insurance companies…

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Majority of mining injuries, illnesses in Illinois not reported to MSHA: study

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Nearly two-thirds of the injuries and illnesses that occurred among Illinois miners from 2001 to 2013 were not reported to the Mine Safety and Health Administration, a recent study shows. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago cross-referenced MSHA Part 50 reports of injuries and illnesses to corresponding cases with the state’s Workers’ Compensation Commission. The WCC database showed…

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Niles police officer awarded nearly $32,000 in worker’s comp claim

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An arbitrator has ordered the village of Niles to pay over $30,000 to settle a worker’s compensation claim for a police officer whose patrol car was rear-ended in 2016. Niles police Officer Rodney Whiteman sustained injuries when his squad car was struck, said Daniel Egan, an attorney with the Chicago-based law firm Nyhan, Bambrick, Kinzie and Lowry, which represented the…

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Commentary: Workers’ Comp Can Benefit From Drug Formularies

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With issues like the opioid crisis and inflating drug costs at the forefront of discussion in workers’ compensation, several states, including Indiana and Pennsylvania, are currently considering legislation to establish workers’ compensation drug formularies. Some debate has arisen as to whether these drug formularies are effective and appropriate in the care of injured workers. To address these questions, let’s take…

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