This Week in Comp, April 21 – 25

By David Wylie, Editorial Coordinator

By David Wylie, Editorial Coordinator

This Week in Comp provides an overview of workers’ compensation news from across the country.

Safety

Molding teens into safe workers for life
Remember your first job? Were you nervous? Intimidated? Eager to make a good impression? Probably the last thing you wanted to do was ask your supervisor a “stupid” question. Unfortunately, millions of young workers may not always ask the questions they should about workplace safety.Texas Mutual’s Angela Gardner gives her tips for instilling good habits that will last teens a lifetime…MORE

Take advantage of free distracted driving resources
Before we close the books on Distracted Driving Awareness Month, take advantage of these free resources from the National Safety Council…MORE

As part of its Distracted Driving Awareness Month activities, the National Safety Council called on teens to produce videos that highlighted the dangers of dividing our attention behind the wheel. This 55-second video explains why we cannot safely talk on a cell phone and drive at the same time.

TRIA extension

TRIA: A real need, and the time Is now!
The bombings at last year’s Boston Marathon highlight that the U.S. still faces a very real threat of terrorist attacks. Workers’ compensation coverage is statutory and cannot exclude terrorism as a cause, so carriers in this market are responding to TRIA’s pending expiration by declining coverage to employers in certain geographic areas beyond the end of 2014…MORE

Legislative issues

TDI-DWC: Positive trends in TX workers’ comp system include lower costs for employers
A 27 percent decrease in workplace injuries since 2004, along with a 22 percent decrease in claims, is contributing to lower costs for employers, Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation Rod Bordelon said during recent invited testimony before the House Business & Industry Committee…MORE

OOOOOOOOklahoma, where reforms are causing so much pain
Oklahoma’s landmark bill SB1062 converts the state’s judicial comp system to an administrative one. But the Supreme Court has issued an opinion that the state must continue to operate the Workers’ Compensation Court until all open claims are settled. With more than 100,000 cases in the queue, that likely means operations will continue there for many years. Bob Wilson of WorkCompCentral.com speculates this is going to be a minor nightmare for people managing comp claims in Oklahoma…MORE

Workers’ comp reform bill passes first test
Colorado lawmakers are considering a bill that would expand from two to four the number of doctors that employers must let workers choose from for treatment of on-the-job injuries…MORE

Return-to-work

How do you value a return-to-work program?
The return on investment of brining an injured worker back to the team, even at 50 percent, far outweighs the benefits of letting them sit at home…MORE

Opioid epidemic

Reviewing California’s draft opioid guidelines
Joe Paduda of Managed Care Matters summarizes California’s new 320-page opioid guidelines. Joe notes that the guidelines discourage the use of opioids in minor injuries and encourage alternative therapy. He adds, however, that guidelines as to when to discontinue opioids are absolute in some places, but very flexible in others…MORE

Medical costs

Drugs, testing, and incentives
The California Workers’ Compensation Institute is preparing to release a report documenting that drug testing is one of the top cost drivers in the state’s workers’ compensation system. Treatment guidelines include drug testing as part and parcel of opioid prescription to monitor use. David DePaolo notes that the sad part of the story is that much of this testing is likely unnecessary if physicians followed guidelines…MORE

Fraud

Long way down
David DePaolo highlights workers’ comp fraud cases from the week. One case involved a police officer who claimed a work-related injury when he was, in fact, injured while trying out for another police department…MORE

About the author
David Wylie is the editorial coordinator at Texas Mutual Insurance Company. He works closely with Texas Mutual’s safety professionals to teach employers and their employees how to prevent workplace accidents and their associated costs. David holds the OSHA 10-hour general safety certification and a degree in journalism from Southwest Texas State University.

Links to and from this blog do not reflect any affiliation between Texas Mutual Insurance Company and third parties, and are not an endorsement by Texas Mutual Insurance Company of the linked sites (or their owners or operators) or of any content located there. Texas Mutual Insurance Company does not vouch for the availability or accuracy of any information contained on linked sites.

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