This Week in Comp, April 28 – May 1

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

Oil field deaths rose sharply from 2008 to 2012
Oil field deaths reached 545 during America’s drilling and fracking frenzy from 2008 to 2012, with Texas’ 216 reported fatalities leading the nation…MORE

OSHA signs two alliances in North Texas
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration signed two alliance agreements with the Regional Hispanic Contractors Association and the Workers Defense Project in Dallas. The purpose of each alliance is to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities…MORE

Fed to require speed limiters on trucks 
Large trucks traveling on roads with speed limits of 55 mph or higher are involved in 73 percent of traffic fatalities. To improve safety, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is set to mandate the use of speed limiters – also known as Electronic Control Modules (ECM)…MORE

Affordable Care Act

Dispensing with the politics: ACA’s impact on workers’ comp
Provider shortages, access to care limitations and cost shifting are potential impacts of the ACA on workers’ compensation, according to Jeanette Ward, senior vice president of claims at Texas Mutual…MORE

Opioid epidemic

An opioid call to arms
The debate over Zohydro ER, an opioid medication recently approved by the FDA, wages on. Zogenix, which manufactures Zohydro, filed a lawsuit arguing that Massachusetts restrictions on its medication are “draconian” and “unjustified”…MORE

Study shows lab-based urine drug monitoring, interventions improve outcomes
The study showed a decrease in all measures of utilization, driven primarily by opioids (a 32 percent decrease) and benzodiazepines (a 51 percent decrease), as well as a 26 percent reduction in total utilization of all medications, regardless of drug class…MORE

Cost control

Abusive practices in drug testing
One machine, one cup, three billing opportunities. Joe Paduda reviews common drug-testing scams executed by physicians and drug-testing companies…MORE

How to turn workers’ comp into an advantage
What an employer does before an injury happens, when an injury happens and after an injury happens can affect the cost of the claim…MORE

Workplace wellness programs greatly decrease risk factors
Wellness programs can decrease health risks of workers by 25 percent or more, according to a new study to be presented Wednesday by Colorado’s largest workers’ compensation insurer…MORE

Obesity and claims costs
The workers’ compensation session agenda at this week’s RIMS 2014 reminded Bob Wilson that obesity is a weighty problem in our industry. Obese workers file twice the number of workers’ comp claims as their non-obese counterparts, and their medical costs average 7 times higher. Their missed days from work injury are 13 times higher, so indemnity costs are also significantly affected…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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