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Workers’ Compensation

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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Payments for dermatologicals in comp continue to increase

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Payments for dermatological agents continue to increase while payments for opioids continue to decline, according to a report released Thursday by the Workers Compensation Research Institute. WCRI said the increase in payments for such drugs applied to skin, usually for pain, is driven by the dispensing of higher-priced products from doctors’ offices and mail-order pharmacies. The report examined state trends…

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Staph infection presumption a growing trend

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A push to make staph infections a compensable, occupational illness is underway, with Illinois lawmakers passing legislation in 2021 and New York considering similar measures this year. Caused by the bacteria methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, staph infections are common in health care settings, where they are compensable under workers compensation law in many states. The latest trend, however, is…

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Causation questions limit COVID comp claims

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Many COVID-19-related workers compensation claims are denied, according to recent data that shows a third to half are deemed to not involve workplace contraction of the virus. Often workers don’t press the claims after the initial denial and experts say questions over compensability have kept claim counts and costs low. “The trend is that most employers are denying claims because…

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Belleville nursing home employee alleges retaliation over work comp claim

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A former Belleville nursing home employee claims she was wrongfully terminated after filing a worker’s compensation claim. Kelnesha Nelson filed a complaint in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against St Paul’s Senior Community LLC, doing business as St. Paul’s Senior Community. According to Nelson’s complaint, she was an employee at St. Paul’s Senior Community in Belleville on Oct. 16,…

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Chiropractic care can lead to lower comp costs: WCRI

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States that give injured workers control over selecting their medical providers are among those with the highest prevalence of chiropractic care, which data shows can lead to lower workers compensation costs, according to a report released Tuesday by the Workers Compensation Research Institute. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based organization, as part of a long-term project studying physical medicine as an alternative to…

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