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Workers’ Compensation

Comp impact of AMA updates on mental injuries ‘uncertain’: NCCI

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Several changes made in 2021 to the American Medical Association’s guide on disability ratings, which affect workers compensation claims, will have an “uncertain” effect on the diagnosis and disability determination for mental injury claims, according to an analysis released Monday by the National Council on Compensation Insurance. The Boca Raton, Florida-based ratings agency examined the AMA Guides, 6th Edition 2021,…

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Defending psych comp claims a trending topic

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Employers who have yet to see a psych claim in their workers compensation programs are on notice, as experts say mental-only claims and physical injury claims with alleged mental components are on the rise — and many of them warrant defense. A trending topic in workers compensation, at least two sessions a day at the four-day Workers’ Compensation & Risk…

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Social factors weigh heavily among comp claimants

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Societal factors such as poverty, housing insecurity and lack of education can significantly affect the outcome of a workers compensation claim, as such factors — known as the “social determinants of health” — are often barriers to recovery. As much as 80% of the outcome of an individual’s health is connected to factors connected to an unhealthy environment, and a…

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Illinois Contractor Faces $303,000 in Fines for Deadly Workplace Exposures

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A Roselle, Illinois contractor with a long history of federal workplace safety violations who currently owes more than $390,000 in penalties, added an additional $303,105 in proposed fines for once again exposing workers to potential deadly fall hazards at a North Barrington job site. Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration observed the safety violations…

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Report shows rise in expensive topical medications in comp

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The number of injured workers using topical medications rose 4.7% in 2021, according to a report released Tuesday by Enlyte Group LLC subsidiary Mitchell International Inc. The latest report follows one in July that showed the number of injured workers using opioids has continued to decline, from 33.3% of all injured workers in 2020 to 30.3% in 2021. The new…

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Preventable falls frustrate safety officials

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Falls from heights are the No. 1 cause of death for workers, but the hazard remains the most-cited workplace safety violation year after year despite being relatively easy to prevent. Federal regulators and workplace safety advocates say preventing falls is a priority, as several organizations have recently announced efforts aimed at demystifying the root causes. Meanwhile, citations — in many…

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COA: Insurance company cannot swerve around state’s UIM Statute

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A worker injured in a car accident while on the job will receive payment from his insurance company after the Court of Appeals of Indiana found the policy provision which reduced coverage by the amount paid on a workers’ compensation claim payment did not comport with the state’s underinsured motorist statute. Donald Kearschner was in an automobile collision while working…

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5 Illinois Workers Hospitalized After Gutter, Power Line Accident

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Three workers were hospitalized in critical condition and two others in serious condition Tuesday after an aluminum gutter came into contact with a power line while working on a northern Illinois home, fire officials said. The five workers were erecting an aluminum gutter when it came into contact with a power line in Grand Ridge, about 75 miles (120.7 kilometers)…

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Opioids continue to decline in comp

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The number of injured workers using opioids has continued to decline, from 33.3% of all injured workers in 2020 to 30.3% in 2021, according to a report released Monday by Enlyte Group LLC subsidiary Mitchell International Inc. In studying client data, Mitchell, which provides pharmacy benefits management and other services for employers and their injured workers, also found that claims…

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COVID-19 presumptions lose steam among lawmakers

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Despite the strong push for COVID-19 workers compensation presumptions in the early stages of the pandemic, fewer than half of the 18 states that enacted legislation or saw executive orders still have the provisions in place, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Council on Compensation Insurance. Seven states still had a COVID-19 or infectious disease presumption in…

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