This Week in Comp, June 5, 2015

Regulatory roundup
Texas Mutual’s weekly digest of safety-related regulatory news…MORE

Senate Bill 901 amends “26-week rule” for TIBs from $8.50 to $10
legislationThe bill stipulates that injured workers in Texas receive 75 percent (versus 70 percent) of the difference between their post-injury earnings and their average weekly wage if they make less than $10 per hour…MORE

Autonomous vehicles come with risks
We’re not that far off from fully autonomous cars that allow humans to simply relax and enjoy the ride. In the interim, manufacturers have already released vehicles that take some safety-critical decisions out of drivers’ hands. As our driving landscape begins to look increasingly like something out of “The Jetsons,” let’s remember that autonomous vehicles also present safety risks…MORE

There’s nothing wrong with a 1.00
iStock_000002585243SmallEffective July 1, Texas will transition to the National Council on Compensation Insurance experience modification plan. The calculation of experience modifiers will undergo several changes that could have a material impact – up or down – on a policyholder’s experience modifier…MORE

New whitepaper examines workers’ comp data breach risk
Because workers’ comp data includes Social Security numbers, demographic and personal health information, a data breach could expose employers and carriers to “millions of dollars in litigation, damage control and repair costs,” write the authors of a new GENEX whitepaper…MORE 

Worried about dying from surgery, hurricane, plane crash? Check out the odds
odds of dyingIf you’re afraid to fly, consider this: 865 times more people are killed in motor vehicle crashes, according to an annual report released by the National Safety Council as part of National Safety Month…MORE 

Marsh acquires Texas-based MHBT
Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), a subsidiary of Marsh LLC, has acquired Dallas, Texas-based MHBT Inc., one of the nation’s largest independent insurance brokers. All MHBT employees will join MMA and operate under the name MHBT, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company…MORE

Best’s special report sees continuing reinsurance industry challenges
Publicly traded reinsurance company stock prices increased by an average of 8.3 percent during the first quarter, versus the market total return of 0.4 percent for the same time period. The dismal return for the market has been marked by increased volatility and constant speculation of when the Federal Reserve will start increasing interest rates, according to an A.M. Best report…MORE

Pill mill doctor, clinic owners charged with racketeering, manslaughter
A Florida doctor issued prescriptions of alprazolam, methadone and oxycodone without medical necessity, causing overdose deaths of at least eight patients, according to a joint investigation dubbed Operation Pill Nation…MORE

Oklahoma governor signs bill preventing local fracking bans
Senate Bill 809 specifically prohibits cities or towns from banning operations such as drilling, fracking, water disposal, recovery operations or pipeline infrastructure. A similar ban was signed into law in Texas…MORE

Now is the time to prepare for a hurricane
Hurricane season typically runs from June through the end of November. With parts of the Lone Star State still recovering from this spring’s flooding, it may be difficult to turn our attention to another potential disaster. But now is the time to prepare your business and your employees to weather a hurricane…MORE

Texas insurance commissioner appoints 4 to workers’ compensation appeals panel
The appeals panel helps interpret and apply National Council on Compensation Insurance rules to disputes brought by policyholders…MORE

Colorado’s largest worker comp provider eyes expansion
Pinnacol Assurance is looking at providing coverage in other states and creating a separate business focused on employee wellness. Pinnacol’s CEO told legislators the focus would be on collaborating with private health insurers rather than competing with them. The proposal comes on the heels of a Pinnacol study showing small businesses benefit from health and wellness programs…MORE

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