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Workers’ Compensation

Federal marijuana legislation prompts safety concerns

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A group of industry associations, medical groups and safety organizations are urging the U.S. House of Representatives to hold hearings about potential workplace safety impacts if marijuana is federally decriminalized. The National Safety Council and 21 other groups sent a letter to the House on Wednesday over concerns that the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019, also known…

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Liability threat could prompt self-insured to OK COVID-19 comp claims

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Self-insured employers facing the threat of COVID-19 workplace safety litigation could opt to accept infection workers compensation claims, as exclusive remedy clauses could provide better protection from expensive lawsuits later on, according to legal experts. “Liability is scary because there are no caps,” said Mike Fish, Birmingham, Alabama-based founding member of the comp defense firm Fish Nelson & Holden LLC…

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Lower medical cost, shorter disability with early PT

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More workers with lower back pain are receiving physical therapy to treat their workplace injuries, and that therapy is leading to shorter durations of disability and lower medical costs, according to a study released Tuesday by the Workers Compensation Research Institute. Researchers at Cambridge, Massachusetts-based WCRI examined 26,000 low-back workers comp claims with more than seven days of lost time…

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Mega workers comp claims continue to grow at faster pace

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The surge in workers compensation “mega claims” of at least $3 million continues as medical treatments and technologies advance, according to research by ratings bureaus around the country. While mega claims comprise a statistically small percentage of all workers comp claims, claims are reaching the mega threshold more quickly, primarily because of the associated costs of technological advances in medicine….

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Construction sector fuels $3M-plus comp claims: Analysis

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“Mega” workers compensation claims from the construction sector comprised approximately 40% of large claims from 2001 to 2017, yet made up 20% of indemnity claims, according to research released Tuesday by six ratings agencies including the National Council on Compensation Insurance and the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California. Researchers analyzed comp claims that surpass $3 million in costs,…

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Outpatient services driving up comp costs: Report

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Payments for outpatient facility services in workers compensation drove up the cost of medical payments per claim by 6.6% from 2014 through 2018, according to a report issued Thursday by the National Council for Compensation Insurance. Overall, the cost of medical payments per claim rose 7.5% during that period, NCCI reported. Comprising approximately one-fifth of medical costs, hospital outpatient payments…

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COVID-19 legislative, regulatory changes affecting comp: report

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More than one-third of states have accepted COVID-19 as an occupational illness for certain professionals, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Council on Compensation Insurance. Overall, 19 states have made changes to workers compensation compensability amid the pandemic, according to the Boca Raton, Florida-based ratings agency. Eleven states have issued executive orders, directives or emergency rules on…

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U.S. insurers’ coronavirus costs are less than feared so far

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The coronavirus pandemic dealt a relatively modest $2.5 billion blow to five insurers with large U.S. operations in the second quarter – a cost that was far less than feared and which the industry has absorbed without touching capital, analysts said. American International Group Inc. and Chubb Ltd. said payouts on claims related to the disease accounted for most of…

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Health care workers have filed most COVID-19 comp claims: Study

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Health care industry employees have filed the majority of workers compensation claims related to COVID-19, according to a study released Wednesday by Mitchell International Inc. The San Diego-based claims management company analyzed coronavirus-related workers compensation claims through the end of June, finding that 66% of those claims came from health care and social assistance workers, with 7% coming from public…

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