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Workers’ Compensation

WCRI Studies Show COVID-19 Orders Apply to Small Segment of Workforce

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While at least 17 states have passed laws or issued orders that expanded access to workers’ compensation benefits for employees who contract COVID-19, many of those directives are creating new exposure for only a sliver of the workforce, new research by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute shows. WRCI studied policies adopted by Alaska, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota and Missouri in…

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Employees covered by comp for COVID-19 varies by state

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The number of employees who may be covered by the various state laws and executive orders providing some level of compensability for workers who acquire COVID-19 on the job varies substantially based on workforce and the nature of the order, researchers from the Workers Compensation Research Institute found in a study released Tuesday. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based WCRI used data from…

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Injuries requiring days away from work rose in 2019: BLS

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Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses result in days away from work increased among private industry workers in 2019, compared with the prior year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday. In 2019, the private sector reported 888,220 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work. Last year, the BLS did not report this figure. According to…

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Illinois Fines Continental Indemnity, Applied Underwriters $250K for Unapproved Sales

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Two former Berkshire Hathaway companies have been hit with a $250,000 fine by Illinois regulators for selling unapproved workers’ compensation policies to small businesses. The Illinois Department of Insurance says Continental Indemnity Company and Applied Underwriters Inc. also overcharged some Illinois small businesses for workers’ comp insurance. The fine is the result of a market conduct examination conducted by the…

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Failure to train workers on COVID-19 could lead to fines, lawsuits

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As the pandemic rages on, more states are creating their own standards requiring employers to provide workers with proper COVID-19 training to prevent transmission of the virus, and failure to comply with these measures in some jurisdictions can lead to substantial fines, experts say. Sixteen states — either by way of passage of an emergency temporary standard or a gubernatorial…

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Former cleaning company employee alleges wrongful termination after suffering respiratory issues

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A cleaning company employee claims she was fired in retaliation for receiving workers’ compensation after being hospitalized with respiratory issues due to exposure to cleaning chemicals. Brandy Clark filed a complaint Oct. 12 in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against Clements Cleaning Inc., alleging violation of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. According to Clark’s complaint, she was employed by…

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Lumbar surgery readmission rates higher in comp than group health

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Workers compensation patients who undergo lumbar surgeries have higher percentages of reoperation and readmission compared to those undergoing similar surgeries in group health, the Workers Compensation Research Institute reported in a study released Thursday. Cambridge, Massachusetts-based WCRI researchers examined 30- and 90-day reoperation and readmission rates for injured workers who underwent lumbar spine surgeries in 18 states from October 2015…

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Construction firm penalized additional 5% for worker’s injuries

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A construction company that appealed the Indiana Workers Compensation Board’s award of medical and disability to a worker who fell through the roof not only lost its appeal, but saw the worker’s award increased by 5% by the court. In KNK Group v. Sarver, the Indiana Court of Appeals on Monday affirmed the board’s ruling that the company did not…

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Emergency room costs in comp on rise: Report

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The increase in facility costs for hospital emergency room visits has “significantly” outpaced medical inflation, with facility costs growing approximately three times faster than the hospital outpatient producer price index, according to an analysis of workers compensation emergency room costs released Friday by the National Council on Compensation Insurance. The Boca Raton, Florida-based ratings agency said in its report that…

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