This Week in Comp, April 24, 2015

This Week in Comp is a weekly mash-up of workers’ comp news from around the country.

Don’t get tackled by MRSA

Children in day care may be exposed to community-associated MRSA.

Children in day care may be exposed to community-associated MRSA.

A decade ago, a MRSA outbreak touched down in the NFL and left players, coaches and front-office personnel scrambling for safety. Weak immune systems make hospital patients susceptible to MRSA, but the virus also thrives in our communities…MORE

Bird flu ‘catastrophe’ growing in Midwest
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed that avian influenza was found in 13 turkey flocks in Minnesota with at least 430,300 birds. Since late 2014, the virus has been detected in commercial and backyard flocks with a combined estimate of at least 8 million birds, USDA data show…MORE

Vermont lawmakers weigh roadside spit test to detect drugged driving
The bill would allow police to use newly developed machines that can test saliva for marijuana and six other drug classes, including opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, methadone and benzodiazepines…MORE

Workplace death rate for 2013 lowest on record
DecreaseThe fatal occupational injury rate for 2013 maintains a nearly decade-long decline, according to the BLS. Roadway incident deaths declined 5 percent from 2012, but they still accounted for nearly one-quarter of workplace deaths in 2013…MORE

New study identifies cost drivers in 17 states and monitors impact of reforms
The cost of Texas claims grew more slowly than the typical state, according to a recent Workers Compensation Research Institute study. Texas, California and the other 14 states represented in the study account for 60 percent of the nation’s workers’ compensation benefit payments…MORE

WCRI offers webinar on regulating medical costs & care
During the free webinar, attendees will learn how changes in reimbursement policies can have unintended consequences. The webinar will take place on May 7 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST…MORE

Diagnosing chronic pain using evidence-based medicine could improve outcomes, reduce costs
When it comes to workers’ compensation claims, low-back injuries are the most costly musculoskeletal condition, representing 20-25 percent of all loss dollars.  Medical imaging drives up the cost of claims, yet outcomes for injured workers have not improved. Diagnosing patients’ complaints based more on evidence-based medicine and less on imaging studies, where not recommended, will make a substantial impact on the cost of claims, according to a new white paper…MORE

Painkiller deaths increased in New York State between 2003 and 2012
Pills White BackgroundHealth officials responded to the increase by implementing I-STOP, a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), in August 2013. PDMPs enable providers to check whether patients obtain prescriptions from other prescribers or take drugs that might interact dangerously with those being prescribed…MORE

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

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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