This week in comp, August 8, 2016

This week in comp is a weekly digest of workers’ compensation news from around the country.

Safety

Texas on alert for local Zika, urges precautions

mosquito

Zika virus symptoms are typically mild and include fever, rash, joint pain, muscle pain, red eyes and headaches.

With local Zika cases detected in Florida and increased travel to Brazil for the Summer Olympics, Texas is on high alert for local Zika transmission during the height of mosquito season. As part of the state’s Zika response plan, Texas Medicaid will cover the cost of mosquito repellent for eligible women who are between the ages of 10 and 45 or pregnant…MORE

OSHA not the only agency increasing penalties
Effective Aug. 1, 2016, OSHA increased its maximum penalties 80 percent. The Environmental Protection Agency is one of many agencies following suit under a recent law that requires federal agencies to evaluate their penalty structures and adjust for inflation…MORE

FAA rejected advice for hot air balloon safety rules 2 years ago
Last weekend, a Texas hot air balloon crash claimed 16 lives. In the wake of the accident, the National Transportation Safety Board says the FAA rejected its cautions to increase oversight of the industry two years ago…MORE

The opioid epidemic claims 78 American lives every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The opioid epidemic claims 78 American lives every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Opioid epidemic

Coventry drug trend analysis shows falling opioid costs
Last year, overall cost per claim rose at half the pace seen in prior years, and opioid cost per claim fell from 2014, according to a Coventry drug trend analysis. The analysis offers an examination of reduced morphine equivalent dosing levels over the last three years as a meaningful sign of change…MORE

DEA report: Counterfeit pills fueling
U.S. fentanyl and opioid crisis

U.S. law enforcement agencies have been seizing a new form of fentanyl—counterfeit prescription opioid pills containing fentanyl or fentanyl-related compounds. The trend contributed to a 79 percent increase in deaths from synthetic opioids between 2013 and 2014…MORE

Claims

News from Texas: Know what you did last summit
Benefit adequacy, regulatory complexity and delayed treatment are the three most-pressing issues facing the workers’ comp system, according to the final 2016 Workers’ Compensation Summit report…MORE

Fraud

Social media exposes comp claimant’s faked injury

One in five employers feel unsure how to identify workers' compensation fraud scams, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.

One in five employers feel unsure how to identify workers’ compensation fraud scams, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.

A New York woman falsified injuries and feigned the use of a cane to fraudulently obtain more than $27,000 in workers’ compensation benefits to which she was not entitled. An investigation, which included a review of the woman’s social media activity, found she used a cane only when attending medical exams or a hearing before the State Worker’s Compensation Board…MORE

Underwriting

NCCI issues special economics brief on Brexit implications for workers’ comp
Economists agree that Briton’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) will result in a negligible 0.1 percent reduction in the U.S. gross domestic product over the next year. Brexit’s impact on the workers’ comp industry should also be minor. But a drop in U.S. exports to Briton could affect payrolls in manufacturing, technology, financial services and other select industries…MORE

Getting started: What new insurance brokers need to know
The insurance world is ever-changing, and there is more room than ever for new brokers to be successful. If you focus on your prospect, engage in a business relationship, and keep a big picture perspective of your middle-market prospects, you will gain traction much faster…MORE

 

 

 

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