This Week in Comp, March 13, 2015


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

Wellness specialist joins Higginbotham Insurance

Claire Florsheim specializes in nutrition, physical activity and stress management.

Claire Florsheim specializes in nutrition, physical activity and stress management.

Claire Florsheim heads up a unit that helps employers identify the health risks prevalent in their workforce, explore opportunities to improve employees’ wellbeing, and design compliant wellness and incentive programs…MORE

Independent insurance agents doing just fine, defying doomsayers
Independent agents still control a majority of the P/C market, writing nearly 57 percent of all premiums, according to the agency profitability report…MORE

OSHA releases 2015 list of inspection-exempt industries
About 600 industry groups are exempt from programmed safety inspections in 2015 if they meet certain criteria…MORE

Employee wellness and safety: a symbiotic relationship
Humans have dogs, and bees have flowers. They’re called symbiotic relationships, and they blossom when both parties benefit from the arrangement. Nature isn’t the only place where the “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” principle thrives. Businesses can leverage symbiosis to improve their employee wellness and safety programs…MORE

DOT ad campaign encourages parents to “Never give up until they buckle up”

Over the past 5 years, 1,552 kids between the ages of 8 and 14 died in car, SUV and van crashes. Of those who died, almost half were unbelted. The DOT campaign’s core message to parents: “Never get up until they buckle up.” Campaign resources are available in English and Spanish…MORE

NSC poll finds 70 percent of prescription painkiller users don’t know sharing is a felony
A National Safety Council white paper explains the potential hidden, deadly side effects of prescription painkillers. In fact, 44 people die every day from overdoses. Still, nearly 70 percent of users do not know that most states consider sharing narcotic opioid painkillers, such as hydrocodone or oxycodone, to be the legal equivalent of selling heroin…MORE

West Virginia passes bill to reform joint and several liability laws
The bill eradicates joint liability and instead imposes comparative fault…MORE

distracted-drivingIllinois lawmaker wants prison time for distracted drivers in fatal crashes
The bill would make distracted driving a Class 2 felony and put offenders behind bars for approximately 20 months…MORE

Anti-texting-while-driving measure clears Oklahoma Senate
The law would be enforced as a secondary offense, meaning an individual would have to be detained for another suspected violation of another traffic law in able to be cited for texted and driving. Those convicted of breaking the law could be fined up to $100 per violation…MORE

Workers’ compensation fee schedules:  price impacts & perverse effects
In many states, the workers’ compensation reimbursement rates are significantly higher than under group health. Thus, even if a payer has a discount arrangement with a workers’ compensation physician network to get pricing below the fee schedule, they are still paying higher than group health would pay for the same service…MORE

Regulatory roundup
Texas Mutual’s weekly compilation of health and safety news…MORE

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