New NCCI Inspections in Texas

NCCI_LogoTexas’ workers’ compensation system has undergone several changes in the last year as it continues to take steps toward fully becoming an NCCI state. The latest in those changes is the implementation of Classification Quality Assurance inspections.

Classification Quality Assurance inspections

As of June 1, 2015, NCCI now performs CQA inspections throughout Texas as a service to our marketplace to ensure that businesses are classified correctly, and therefore priced correctly.

These inspections are on site and are not safety related. Their only purpose is to evaluate whether or not the business’ classification is accurate. NCCI will choose businesses to inspect by using statistically-credible, non-random criteria. In other words, companies aren’t chosen at random and the inspections will most likely target classifications that have been known to have frequent misapplications.

For Texas Mutual policyholders, these inspections should not be a source of worry or concern. We expect that the overwhelming majority of CQA inspections will reaffirm the classification of our policyholders’ businesses. If an NCCI inspection results in a request to change a classification, we will evaluate their findings and discuss with our policyholders and agents prior to making any changes.

These inspections are a welcome addition to Texas’ workers’ compensation system as they will likely help ensure fair pricing and aid in monitoring for abuse that sometimes occurs.

Special inspections

NCCI has been offering Special inspections for Texas businesses since June 1, 2014. These inspections are available at a cost to the requestor to provide third party analysis of a policy classification.

Texas Mutual conducts its own classification inspections and therefore does not request NCCI inspections. We are confident in our understanding of the classification system and work hard to ensure that businesses are placed correctly. However, policyholders and their agents may request an NCCI Special Inspection if they believe that they are misclassified and haven’t been able to reach a resolution with their carrier. At Texas Mutual, classification disputes can be made by contacting your agent or underwriter.

What these inspections mean for businesses

If your business is chosen for a CQA inspection, there is nothing to be concerned about. As mentioned above, inspectors are not there to evaluate workplace safety or OSHA compliance. They are simply there to ensure that the business’ classification is accurate. According to NCCI, an inspector visits the policyholder’s business and documents the type of work being conducted (e.g., process, materials, equipment, final product) and the employees performing the work. From that documentation, the inspector develops a detailed classification inspection report.

These inspections should bring minimal interruption to businesses and in most cases reaffirm Texas Mutual’s classification. If you have any questions about NCCI inspections, contact your agent or underwriter or call Texas Mutual at (800) 859-5995. If you’d like information about other NCCI changes taking place this year, visit texasmutual.com/NCCI.

This Week in Comp, October 27-31

This Week in Comp provides an overview of workers’ compensation news from across the country.

TRIA expiration fast approaching
With TRIA set to expire at the end of the year, its renewal remains in limbo…MORE

Wellness as an injury prevention tool
The proportion of older workers (55 years and older) in the U.S. climbed from 16% in 2004 to 22% in 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The aging workforce presents new opportunities for safety professionals to implement wellness as an injury prevention tool…MORE

NNT in pain management: You’ve been right all along
The National Safety Council’s Dr. Don Teater, M.D. has penned a white paper that contains powerful data and interesting insights regarding the use of opioids for chronic non-cancer pain. Essentially, Dr. Teater’s research indicates that for most patients, ibuprofen and acetaminophen are safer and more effective than opioids…MORE

Distracted driving: The self-correcting nature of science
A majority of research on driver distractions has focused on cell phones. More recent studies remind us that other distractions, such as daydreaming, talking to passengers or correcting children also take our focus off the task at hand…MORE

CDC tightens PPE guidelines for health care workers
The new guidelines focus on three areas: 1. Training, including how to put on and remove PPE. 2. No skin exposure when PPE is worn. 3. Supervision by a trained monitor while putting on and removing PPE…MORE

No chief’s disease here
David DePaolo recounts a workers’ comp success story from the California Highway Patrol…MORE

Regulatory roundup
Texas Mutual’s weekly mash-up of health and safety-related regulatory news…MORE

Workers’ comp study looks at California’s reforms
Large increases in office visit fee schedule rates under SB 863 will likely lead to substantial increases in prices paid in California, as the reforms intended.  However, the reimbursement rule change regarding reports, record review, and consultation codes may moderate the potential increase in payments, according to a recent study released by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute…MORE

Consequences of failing to report & respond to work injuries
Even for the best employers following workplace safety guidelines, accidents happen. When they do, it is important to follow recognized procedures when responding to work injuries. Failure to properly report and respond to the injury can have significant adverse consequences…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. Read more of this post

This Week in Comp, October 13 – 17

This Week in Comp provides an overview of workers’ compensation news from across the country.

Ohio man fakes workplace injury, employer discovers it on security video
The employer’s security video revealed that the employee  stomped a hole in a wooden floor the night before he said he was injured and on the following day, lowered his foot into the floor and laid down on the platform…MORE

Click the image above for a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention podcast on driving safety.

Click the image above for a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention podcast on driving safety.

Ebola: Call for preparedness
At this time, Ebola is not a major workplace health hazard for most workplaces in the United States. Nevertheless, being prepared for any infectious disease event should be a priority for every employer…MORE

Test your driving IQ in the Oct. edition of TDI’s newsletter
The Oct. edition of “Safety and Health Update” includes a short quiz on driving laws, eye safety tips and the benefits of return-to-work…MORE 

Study compares medical costs across 16 states, including Texas 
The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute study provides a baseline of current medical costs and trends for policymakers and other stakeholders by documenting how medical payments per claim and their cost components compare over time with other states….MORE

OSHA releases Oct. 15 edition of QuickTakes
The edition features OSHA alliances with the Association of Energy Service Companies and the Federal Communications Commission. The alliances’ goal is to reduce workplace injuries among cell phone tower and oil field workers, respectively…MORE

Regulatory roundup
Texas Mutual’s weekly mash-up of health and safety-related regulatory news…MORE

OSHA: proposed fines up, inspections down for FY 2014
OSHA initiated 30,679 inspections and cited 55,163 alleged violations during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, compared to 39,228 inspections and 78,196 alleged violations in FY 2013…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. Read more of this post

This Week in Comp, October 6 – 10

This Week in Comp provides an overview of workers’ compensation news from across the country.

NETS encourages Americans to observe Drive Safely Work Week

Click the image above for a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention podcast on driving safety.

Click the image above for a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention podcast on driving safety.

Nearly two-thirds of all people killed on U.S. roadways were members of the nation’s workforce, according to the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS). During Drive Safely Work Week, NETS offers free resources to help employers promote safe driving among their workforce..MORE

Heroin death rates doubled in 28 states, 2010-2012
Despite the spike in heroin-related deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted more than twice as many people died from prescription opioid overdoses in those states…MORE

Regulatory spotlight
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has revised its hazard communication standard (HCS), which helps employees understand the hazards associated with chemicals they use in the workplace. This brief post explains employers’ obligations under the revised HCS..MORE

NSC study: Over-the-counter pain medications more effective for acute pain than prescribed painkillers
Pills White BackgroundThe combination of over-the-counter pain medications ibuprofen and acetaminophen is more effective at treating acute pain than opioid painkillers, according to a white paper released by the National Safety Council. The white paper comes on the heels of a new law that makes it more difficult for doctors to prescribe hydrocodone combination products…MORE

What insurers can learn from states’ workers’ compensation reforms
Reforms that include employer-directed care, limitations on prescription drugs and objective standards of medical care have produced some of the most meaningful cost savings in the 20 largest workers’ compensation markets, according to a study by Conning…MORE

OR DCBS releases national study on workers’ compensation costs
The study ranked workers’ compensation costs in all 50 states. California’s rates were the highest, and North Dakota’s were the lowest…MORE

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????OSHA resources help protect workers from Ebola
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers free resources on recognizing and controlling the risks associated with Ebola…MORE

Regulatory roundup
Texas Mutual’s weekly mash-up of health and safety-related regulatory news…MORE

Study: Formulary could save California workers’ comp $124M-$420M
If California adopted a prescription drug formulary similar to the one Texas adopted, it could save up to $420 million a year in workers’ compensation costs, according to a study by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute…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. Read more of this post

This Week in Comp, September 29 – October 3

This Week in Comp provides an overview of workers’ compensation news from across the country.

OSHA releases October edition of QuickTakes
The October edition of OSHA’s newsletter features the agency’s new home page, the revised injury reporting rule and a message from Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels…MORE

Safety never sleeps
If we want to protect employees from the hazards of their jobs, we cannot afford to focus on safety only when it’s convenient. Safety has to be a constant presence that continuously evolves to meet our changing needs. It has to be a value that never gets compromised, even when we have to drag ourselves out of bed before the sun comes up. For safety to thrive, it can never sleep…MORE

IAIABC: Making Return-to-Work Easy Peasy Committee Style
The Disability Management and Return to Work Committee met in Austin this week to continue work on its RTW policy paper. Bob Wilson reports that although the members bring varying opinions and priorities to the conversation, they agree on one thing: We have a disability problem in this nation, and the status quo is no longer acceptable…MORE

Study shows driving while texting with Google Glass as distracting phone
This year, eight states have considered laws to ban drivers from using Google Glass and other head-mounted computers or displays…MORE

Regulatory Roundup
Texas Mutual’s weekly mash-up of health and safety-related regulatory news…MORE

The Health and Safety at Work Act turns forty
The Act sets out guidelines and rules for employees to follow to protect not only their employees, but also members of the public, as well as guidelines for employees to follow to avoid injuries in the workplace. Since its introduction, there has been a staggering 80% decrease in fatal accidents in the workplace…MORE

TX court orders employer to pay $35K to Texas Mutual
Everest Contract Services, LLC of Irving, Texas, pled guilty to workers’ compensation fraud-related charges. The company misrepresented numbers of employees and payroll associated with a related company, Premrock Commercial Drywall Ltd…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. Read more of this post

This Week in Comp, September 22 – 26

This Week in Comp provides an overview of workers’ compensation news from across the country.

Texas Mutual’s Al Capps explains 6 things you need to know about OSHA’s new reporting rule

By Al Capps, Safety Services Consultant

By Al Capps, Safety Services Consultant

The revised rule expands the list of injuries employers must report to OSHA. The rule applies to all employers under OSHA jurisdiction, even employers who are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA records due to company size or industry…MORE

OSHA says priority of I2P2 has been bumped down
OSHA Director David Michaels says the organization has shifted its focus to silica exposure and modernizing the recordkeeping process…MORE

OSHA offers fatality summaries in a single, downloadable report
The public can now download year-to-date fatality summaries for 2014 in multiple formats. OSHA also offers an aggregate report of fatalities from 2009-2013…MORE

More workers testing positive for drugs
For the first time in more than a decade, the percentage of positive drug tests among U.S. workers has increased, according to a recent report…MORE

Regulatory Roundup
Texas Mutual’s weekly mash-up of health and safety-related regulatory news…MORE

NIOSH celebrates National Farm Safety and Health Week
NIOSH Farm Safety WeekThe National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health marked this year’s theme, Safety Counts: Protecting What Matters, by announcing the new Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing directory page…MORE

Law that made terrorism coverage available expiring at year end

The recent intensification of threats to American interests around the world from new terrorist organizations demonstrates the need for TRIA’s extension,  according to the Insurance Information Institute. With Congress in recess until after the November mid-term elections, the opportunity to reauthorize TRIA before year-end is rapidly narrowing…MORE

Tech, underwriting and claims departments best for job opportunities
Fifth-eight percent of insurance companies that participated in a recent study by Jacobson Group and Ward Group plan to increase staff during the next 12 months. Those looking for jobs within the insurance industry should focus on employment opportunities within technology, underwriting and claims departments…MORE

Houston nurse ordered to pay back $39,800 to Texas Mutual
auto-insurance-fraudA Travis County district court sentenced Raj Dhingra of Houston for workers’ compensation fraud-related charges. Dhingra was sentenced to deferred adjudication and ordered to pay $39,800 in restitution to Texas Mutual….MORE

Texas construction firm owners sentenced for premium fraud
A Travis County district court sentenced Anthony Stokes and Mario Williams of Little Elm, Texas for workers’ compensation fraud-related charges. Stokes and Williams were sentenced to one year deferred adjudication and ordered to pay $41,844 in restitution to Texas Mutual…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. Read more of this post

This Week in Comp, September 15 – 19

This Week in Comp provides an overview of workers’ compensation news from across the country.

Safety

OSHA launches young worker safety website
OSHA designed its new site to raise awareness of safety among teens, employers and parents…MORE

Regulatory roundup
Texas Mutual’s weekly mash up of EHS-related regulatory news…MORE

OSHA releases preliminary list of top 10 violations
Falls top the list of most violations, followed by hazard communication and scaffolding…MORE

BLS announces 2013 preliminary fatal occupational injury counts
A preliminary total of 4,405 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2013, lower than the revised count of 4,628 fatal work injuries in 2012. Fatal transportation incidents were lower by 10 percent in 2013, but still accounted for about 2 out of every 5 fatal work injuries…MORE

NSC congress & expo keynote focuses on staying safe at work for your family
In his keynote address, Dale Lesinski challenged the audience to think about how their families would be affected if they took a shortcut and got injured on the job…MORE

Claims

Bob Cogburn, case manager at Texas Mutual

Bob Cogburn, case manager at Texas Mutual

Taking the stress out of claim management
In this week’s Texas Mutual blog post, vocational rehabilitation specialist Bob Cogburn explains that simple accommodations for injured workers can facilitate the return-to-work process and take the stress out of claim management…MORE

Texas sets workers’ comp weekly benefit rates for coming year
The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation announced that the workers’ compensation state average weekly wage for dates of injury from Oct. 1, 2014, through Sept. 30, 2015, has been set at $860.52…MORE

Fraud

Texas man sentenced for workers’ comp fraud
A Travis County district court sentenced Rodney Williams of Seabrook, Texas, for workers’ compensation fraud-related charges. The court sentenced Williams to deferred adjudication and ordered him to pay $6,156 in restitution to Texas Mutual…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. Read more of this post

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