This week in comp, October 7, 2016

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

Safety

Don’t delay – Get your flu shot before flu season strikes

Each flu season, Americans miss nearly 111 million workdays. That equals approximately $7 billion per year in sick days and lost productivity.

Each flu season, Americans miss nearly 111 million workdays. That equals to approximately $7 billion per year in sick days and lost productivity.

With flu season ramping up this month, health officials urge everyone over the age of 6 to get a flu shot. Flu vaccination is particularly important for pregnant women, young children, older adults and people with chronic health conditions…MORE

DSHS issues Zika alert to South Texas
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) considers South Texas to be at greater risk of supporting local mosquito transmission of Zika virus. This week, DSHS recommended health care providers test pregnant women residing in Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, Webb, Willacy or Zapata counties who are experiencing two or more of the major signs and symptoms of Zika disease and have no travel history or sexual exposure…MORE

Dear drivers: Please use caution this fall
Collisions between drivers and animals increase 67 percent in the fall, according to a study. We should all follow a few simple tips to share the road safely with our fellow four-legged travelers…MORE

What’s your most important in-vehicle safety feature?
Traffic accidents are consistently the leading causes of workplace fatalities. Many fatalities could be avoided by following basic safe driving principles. During Drive Safely Work Week, safety experts urged employers to remind their employees that they are the most important safety feature when they get behind the wheel…MORE

Fraud

Contractor convicted in $5.4 million fraud scheme

Employers who commit premium fraud get an unfair advantage over honest competitors.

Employers who commit premium fraud get an unfair advantage over honest competitors.

A California contractor under-reported payroll and cheated his workers’ comp carrier out of $5.4 million in premiums. The contractor’s sentence includes 270 days in jail, five years’ probation, 1,500 hours of community service and restitution exceeding $5.4 million…MORE

Claims

2016 report card shows networks working as expected
When the Texas Legislature introduced health care networks into the workers’ compensation system in 2005, one of its goals was to improve injured worker outcomes. TDI’s 2016 report card shows networks are working as expected. Network claims produce higher return-to-work rates, fewer weeks off work and better physical functioning scores than non-network claims…MORE

Is grammar still important?
Remember the basics of grammar and punctuation you learned in school? Many of those rules are obsolete, thanks to the emergence of Twitter, text messaging and other digital communication. And that’s okay; communication evolves, and its governing principles must also evolve. But sometimes, poor grammar results in litigated or overpaid claims…MORE

Cybersecurity

Hackers target small businesses

Approximately 64 percent of businesses have experience more than six hacking incidents in the past year.

Approximately 64 percent of businesses have experienced more than six hacking incidents in the past year.

Approximately 90 percent of businesses reported at least one data breach during the past year. Because many big businesses have beefed up their cyber defenses, small businesses make attractive targets for hackers. Risk managers should identify data that hackers might find valuable, prioritize what data to protect and decide how to maximize their resources…MORE

Opioid epidemic

New workers’ comp opioid prescribing rule takes effect in Ohio
Under a new Ohio law, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) only reimburses for opioid prescriptions when the physician followed best prescribing practices. The BWC also provides treatment for dependence that arises from the use of opioid medications covered by BWC…MORE

The best of the rest

TDI tops list of 20 most helpful state insurance websites
Update-to-date rate comparisons, comprehensive complaint information and prompt customer service propelled the Texas Department of Insurance website to the top in a recent evaluation of state insurance websites…MORE

AIA responds to DOL workers’ comp system report
The nation’s state-based workers’ compensation system is grounded in the economies of the individual states. The system is, therefore, sensitive to those changing economies, as well as to system imbalances. That was the American Insurance Association’s response to the Department of Labor’s State Workers’ Compensation Report…MORE

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