- Former insurance broker sentenced for trying to bribe N.J. school superintendent
A federal judge has sentenced a former insurance broker to 135 months behind bars for scheming to bribe a New Jersey school superintendent in order to obtain workers compensation insurance business, prosecutors announced November 16.
- Coventry to pay $3 million to settle Medicare set-aside investigation
Coventry Health Care Inc. has agreed to pay a $3 million settlement as part of a federal investigation into its handling of Medicare set-aside agreements, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
- RGA Global Disability Insurance Survey finds insurers fail to sell the benefits of rehabilitation
Read the results of the RGA Reinsurance Company survey “Rehabilitation Services and Disability Insurance: A Global Analysis of Utilization and Value.”
- Exclusive remedy bars family’s bad-faith claim against son’s workers comp insurer
An Indiana man cannot sue an insurer for the emotional distress that he believes caused his wife’s death while the couple handled their son’s workers compensation case, an Indiana appellate court has ruled.
- Widow of workers comp claimant entitled to survivor benefits: Appeals court
The widow of a workers compensation claimant who died after ingesting multiple prescription pain medications and alcohol is entitled to survivor benefits, the Court of Appeals of the State of Washington ruled.
- Worker’s inability to speak English appropriately considered in disability ruling: Court
Consideration of an injured worker’s inability to speak English was “entirely appropriate” in finding he suffered a 100% earning capacity loss after falling at work, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled.
- New York workers comp board considers changes to medical treatment guidelines
New York’s Workers’ Compensation Board is considering changes to its workers comp medical treatment guidelines that would aim to reduce administrative costs and delays for claims.
- Rise in comorbidities contributes to increasing medical costs: Study
The share of workers compensation claimants suffering from comorbidities is on the upswing, nearly tripling in recent years and driving up medical costs, according to a study released Wednesday.
- California Department of Industrial Relations provides information on workers compensation reform
To help employers understand the wide-ranging changes created by California’s new workers compensation reform laws, the California Department of Industrial Relations has posted a new information Web page on its site.
- Wal-Mart, claims manager settle workers comp class action in Colorado
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Concentra Claims Management Inc. will pay $8 million and retrain claims adjusters and other employees to settle a class action lawsuit tied to their handling of workers compensation claims in Colorado.
- Workers compensation rates in Colorado to rise 5.2% in 2013
Increasing workers compensation claim frequency and rising comp costs have led to a 5.2% increase in Colorado workers comp rates for 2013, according to the Colorado Division of Insurance.
- OFF BEAT: San Diego County billboards warn would-be workers comp fraudsters
“Commit workers compensation fraud, get a new outfit” warns a new San Diego County District Attorney billboard campaign, with the new outfit being a prison jumpsuit.
- Workers compensation line of business sees 10% growth in premium volume
The workers compensation line of business stabilized, along with U.S. employment and payrolls, during 2011, showing 10% growth in premium volume during the year, Oldwick, N.J.-based A.M. Best Co. reported Monday.
- Employee cannot receive disability benefits for injury in off-duty boxing match
A New York porter who moonlighted as a featherweight boxer cannot receive workers compensation disability benefits for an arm injury that apparently happened during a boxing match, a New York appellate court ruled.
- Aetna says DOJ asked for more information on Coventry buy
(Reuters) — Aetna Inc., which in August agreed to buy smaller Coventry Health Care Inc. for $5.6 billion, on Friday said antitrust regulators have asked the companies for more information related to their review of the deal.
- Court rules employer cannot change injured worker’s doctors
A Florida appeals court on Wednesday sided with a narcotics officer who was injured in a flash-grenade accident and then suffered a second injury three months later during a 1993 shooting.
- Exclusive remedy does not apply in death of worker during robbery: Appeals court
Exclusive remedy provisions do not apply in the death of a Georgia man who was killed during a robbery at a convenience store that was affiliated with his employer, the Georgia Court of Appeals said last week.
- Aging workforce not as costly as some think: NCCI report
An aging workforce has far less negative impact on workers compensation claims costs than observers may think, concludes a report released Monday by NCCI Holdings Inc.
- Workers compensation prices will continue to rise in 2013
An “enormous amount” of insurable workers compensation payroll exposure will be unlocked as the economy creates more jobs, said Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute Inc.
- Unifying benefits programs can prevent employers from wasting resources
Employers must take charge to realize an optimal return on investment from the wide array of employee health, absence management and disability programs they fund, according to a prominent benefits manager.
- The pros and cons of predictive modeling
The challenges and benefits of predictive modeling were the focus of one presentation during Business Insurance’s 2012 Worker’s Compensation Virtual Conference on Oct. 25.
- Aetna collaboration prompted by growing employer demand for data integration
A growing demand among employers for integrated disability and absence management is one of the driving forces in a new collaboration between Aetna Inc. and three workers compensation third-party administrators.
- Integrate Mental Health Counseling with Welllness, Workers’ Comp
Coordinating employee assistance program counseling with workers compensation benefits can help employees address issues that accompany job-related injuries such as depression and pain medication abuse.
- Florida set to approve 6.1% workers compensation rate hike
Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty announced Friday that he intends to approve a 6.1% workers compensation rate increase effective Jan. 1, 2013.
- Health, safety lapses in lab tied to fungal meningitis outbreak
Investigators found “serious health and safety deficiencies” at the compound pharmaceutical lab tied to the fungal meningitis outbreak, according to a preliminary report released Monday.
- GALLERY: Top 10 highest workers comp premium rates
This gallery looks at the states with the highest workers compensation premium rate rankings according to the newly released Oregon Workers’ Compensation Premium Rate Ranking Summary.
- GALLERY: Top 10 lowest workers compensation premium rates
This gallery looks at the states with the lowest workers compensation premium rate rankings according to the newly released Oregon Workers’ Compensation Premium Rate Ranking Summary.
- Delaware sets hearings on proposed 38% workers compensation rate hike
The Delaware Department of Insurance is set to hold a series of public hearings in the next few weeks to discuss a proposed 38.27% hike in the state’s workers compensation rates.
- California workers comp reform measures have yet to hold down rates
Workers compensation insurers are handing significant price increases to renewing California policyholders, while confusion reigns over whether new reforms will hold down rates, observers said.
- Meningitis outbreak brings more scrutiny of drug compounding
The deadly meningitis outbreak in the United States is drawing greater scrutiny of drug compounding, which already is a concern in the workers compensation industry for certain pricing practices.
- COMMENTARY: Workers comp claim data is a good economic indicator
Presidential candidates and their detractors have argued over what recent job numbers say about the U.S. economy’s health.
- Internal surveillance cameras can reduce workers compensation fraud
Security cameras can help employers stave off fraudulent workers compensation claims, but experts say companies should consider the risks of conducting internal surveillance throughout their facilities.
- Court rules employer does not need to pay for employee’s gastric bypass
A woman’s gastric bypass surgery and subsequent weight loss did not constitute a change in condition that would have allowed her workers compensation claim to be reopened, and her employer shouldn’t have to pay for the procedure, the Iowa Court of…
- GALLERY: Deadly jobs
Business Insurance’s latest gallery shows the preliminary figures for fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers by industry sector in 2011, starting with the industries with the fewest fatalities.
- OFF BEAT: Postal worker likely to get workout from court over disability claims
A former postal worker has likely concluded that demonstrating the use of fitness equipment while collecting disability payments is probably not a wise move.
- Ethnic disparities found in compensation for injured construction workers
White, non-Hispanic construction workers receive larger workers compensation settlements despite sustaining equivalent or lower disabilities than their black or Hispanic counterparts, new research concludes.
- NCCI requests 7.1% increase in Connecticut’s advisory workers compensation rates
NCCI Holdings Inc. has requested a 7.1% increase in Connecticut’s advisory workers compensation rates for 2013, due largely to indemnity and medical costs that are “increasing faster than wages” in the state.
- Helping employees stay at work or return to work following an illness or injury can prevent avoidable disability absences
This guidance paper from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine provides observations and recommendations on measures employers can undertake when developing a disability prevention model that emphasizes helping ill or injured…
- More information emerges on meningitis outbreak
Workers compensation adjusters and case managers are helping provide claimants with information on the meningitis outbreak.
- OFF BEAT: Hot line snafu has callers chatting about sex, not meningitis
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has either been convinced of the therapeutic properties of phone sex, or his communications office could do with a good copy editor.
- Supreme Court to review case involving reports from doctors outside of workers comp medical network
The California Supreme Court is set to review an appellate court ruling in Elayne Valdez v.
- Alaska tops rankings of state workers compensation rates: Study
Employers in Alaska, California and Connecticut faced the highest workers compensation rates for 2012, according to a biennial study produced by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.
- Commercial property/casualty prices expected to increase: KBW
Commercial property/casualty prices will continue to increase, according to a third-quarter insurer earnings preview issued Wednesday by Keefe Bruyette & Woods Inc.
- Lawmakers seek more oversight of compound drugs after meningitis outbreak
A couple of U.S. lawmakers say they will introduce legislation aimed at increasing the oversight of compound pharmaceuticals, which have been linked to the deadly meningitis outbreak.
- N.Y. workers comp reforms result in increased benefits, lower drug costs: WCRI
Workers compensation reforms passed by New York in 2007 have increased benefits for injured workers while lowering prescription drug costs by up to 20%, according to the Workers Compensation Research Institute.