This week in comp, September 23, 2016

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

Texas Mutual news

richard-gergasko-9908_750xx3000-1691-0-263

Rich Gergasko has served as Texas Mutual president and CEO since 2013.

2016 Best CEOs: Rich Gergasko, Texas Mutual
Texas Mutual President and CEO Rich Gergasko was named among the best CEOs of 2016 by the Austin Business Journal…MORE

10 tips for surviving an OSHA inspection
OSHA increased its fee structure by 80 percent in August. This week’s blog post featured 10 tips employers can follow to stay off OSHA’s radar and survive an audit if an inspector comes knocking…MORE

VR safety tool earns innovation award

Texas Muutal's Jeremiah Bentley accepts an innovation award for the company's virtual reality safety training tool, Safety in a Box.

Texas Muutal’s Jeremiah Bentley accepts an innovation award for the company’s virtual reality safety training tool, Safety in a Box.

Texas Mutual earned an SMA Innovation in Action Award for its Safety in a Box virtual reality training tool. The award spotlights insurers and solution providers who completed transformational projects or initiatives in the past year…MORE
Safety

Zika update
As of Friday, September 23, Texas has recorded 201 cases of Zika virus, with Harris County accounting for 56 of those cases. All cases were associated with travel to an area where Zika is being spread…MORE

Top 5 ergonomic trends redefining the workplace
Everyone wants to be Google. The trendy tech company is redefining corporate culture with its free gourmet meals, massages and nap pods. It’s also redefining workspaces by making them fit their employees’ bodies…MORE

Opioid epidemic

Opioid epidemic costs U.S. $78.5 billion annually: CDC
Abuse of powerful prescription painkillers called opioids costs the U.S. economy $78.5 billion a year in lost productivity, direct health care costs and costs to the criminal justice system, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Medicaid, Medicare and other public programs shoulder nearly 25 percent of the costs…MORE

Jury convicts pill mill doctor

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.

A California doctor faces 13 years in prison for unlawfully prescribing controlled substances without a legitimate medical need to undercover operatives working with the Drug Enforcement Administration…MORE

Technology

Why insurers must pick up their technology pace
Nowadays, insureds are just as likely to compare a carrier’s service responsiveness to that of companies such as Amazon as they are to compare them to another carrier’s responsiveness. That means insurers must adopt technology to streamline their operations…MORE

Claims

Pilates Ball

Workplace wellness programs can help reduce operating costs and improve productivity.

Overweight and obesity linked to high workers’ comp costs for major injuries
In a new study of major-injury claims, costs for obese workers averaged about $470,000, and costs for overweight workers averaged $270,000. That compares with average costs of $180,000 for normal-weight workers. The study underscores the importance of workplace wellness programsMORE

State fund news

Beacon Mutual automates medical-only claim process
Information technology and claims professionals at Beacon Mutual put their heads together to streamline the medical-only claims process. The organization’s new medical-only auto-adjudication tool files medical-only claims and issues payments without human intervention…MORE

New Mexico Mutual empowers underwriters with predictive technology
New Mexico Mutual has partnered with Valen Analytics to give underwriters increased visibility into risks and set consistent prices with a new predictive analytics tool…

MORE

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