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VIAW Newswire 03.05.14

Posted on 05 March 2014 by admin

Report: California’s cost for state workers’ pay to increase $500 million next year

In a far-ranging assessment of how much California pays its help, a nonpartisan report on Tuesday said the state government will spend a half-billion dollars more on employee compensation next year, but most workers’ take-home wages will continue to lag behind inflation.

http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/04/6207965/report-california-state-workers.html#storylink=cpy

 

CA DWC Posts Adjustment OMFS Inpatient Hospital Section to Conform to Medicare Changes

he Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) has posted an adjustment to the inpatient hospital section of the official medical fee schedule (OMFS) to conform to changes in the Medicare payment system DRG relative weights, as required by Labor Code section 5307.1. The effective date of the changes is March 15, 2014.

http://www.workerscompensation.com/compnewsnetwork/news/18425-ca-dwc-posts-adjustment-omfs-inpatient-hospital-section-to-conform-to-medicare-changes.html

 

Little Used Federal Laws Give Employer Disability Management Control

Employers interact with employee disability through a number of laws. Until now, there has been little attention focused on how to coordinate statutory compliance to achieve better overall results. Workers compensation, in particular, has operated with little or no coordination with other laws.

http://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/2014/03/little-used-federal-laws-give-employer-disability-management-control/

 

Michael Weinper: The Goldilocks Syndrome: How Much PT is Just Right for an Injured Worker?

If Goldilocks were to go in search of the “just right” fit for managing a workers’ compensation claim, one of the first options she would try on for size would be physical therapy. With most injuries involving musculoskeletal problems, and back pain being one of the most common claims, PT is often used as part of the care plan for recovery.

http://www.workcompwire.com/2014/03/michael-weinper-the-goldilocks-syndrome-how-much-pt-is-just-right-for-an-injured-worker/

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VIAW Newswire 03.03.14

Posted on 05 March 2014 by admin

Facebook Pictures’ Use Evolving in Workers’ Compensation Cases

Today’s post comes from guest author Brody Ockander, from Rehm, Bennett & Moore. We routinely advise our clients to be aware of the possible discovery of Facebook and other social media sites. First step – check your privacy settings. If you do not control your privacy settings, your employer or the insurance carrier may easily access your posts. Also, do not post comments about your case, your employer, or your injury online.

http://workersadvisor.com/2014/03/03/facebook-pictures-use-evolving-in-workers-compensation-cases/

 

New York City Council Expands Paid Sick Days to More Than 350,000 Workers

The New York City Council overwheelmingly voted to expand a law requiring employers to provide workers with paid sick days, giving more than 350,000 new workers the power to stay home when they are sick and not endanger themselves or customers who patronize the businesses they work for. The legislation, which passed on a 46–5 vote, is expected to be signed by new Mayor Bill de Blasio. Current law requires paid sick days to be offered to workers at businesses with 15 workers or more.

http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/In-The-States/New-York-City-Council-Expands-Paid-Sick-Days-to-More-Than-350-000-Workers

 

Cal/OSHA investigating chlorine gas leak at K2 Pure Solutions that sent worker to hospital

State officials are investigating an industrial accident at K2 Pure Solutions involving the release of a small amount of chlorine gas that sent a worker from another company to the hospital a few weeks ago. It’s the second time in three months there has been a release of chlorine gas at the site.

http://www.contracostatimes.com/contra-costa-times/ci_25243145/cal-osha-investigating-chlorine-gas-leak-at-k2

Cal/OSHA Opens Investigation Into Menzies Ramp Agent’s Death

State workplace safety inspectors have opened an investigation into the death of a baggage worker at Los Angeles International Airport despite an initial report indicating he had a heart attack. Based on that report, Erika Monterroza, spokeswoman the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, said an inspection was not initially planned into the death Friday of Cesar Valenzuela, 51.

http://www.aviationpros.com/news/11319534/cal-osha-opens-investigation-into-menzies-ramp-agents-death

 

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VIAW Newswire 02.28.14

Posted on 05 March 2014 by admin

Owner of former Pacific Hospital pleads guilty to workers’ compensation fraud charges

The former owner of a Long Beach hospital, whom prosecutors allege paid bribes to state Sen. Ron Calderon, pleaded guilty Friday to charges connected to a massive workers’ compensation scheme that cheated taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of dollars.

http://www.presstelegram.com/general-news/20140221/owner-of-former-pacific-hospital-pleads-guilty-to-workers-compensation-fraud-charges

Thoughts and impressions regarding the workers’ compensation industry throughout the United States including all state systems.

There’s good news coming out of the Drobot/Pacific Hospital/Calderon drama – the possibility that the doctors who were on the dole will also face prosecution. Michael D. Drobot’s plea agreement requires him to cooperate fully with federal, state and local prosecutors by testifying at trials and grand jury proceedings and providing documents, records and other evidence requested by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

http://daviddepaolo.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-grand-opporunity.html

 

Worker injured while performing work in manhole on South Side

A man was taken to a hospital in serious-to-critical condition after he became unconscious while working on electrical cables underground at at a construction site this afternoon in the South Shore neighborhood.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-worker-injured-while-performing-work-in-manhole-on-south-side-20140227,0,2143777.story

 

Settlement Remorse After Worker’s Compensation Loss

South Carolinians allegedly exposed to asbestos say in court that they cannot collect worker’s compensation because of the Motley Rice law firm’s mishandling of their third-party claims. Odell Parker leads the county court class action on behalf of South Carolina residents who have suffered physical injuries as a result of exposure to materials containing asbestos during the course of their employment.

http://www.wci360.com/news/article/settlement-remorse-after-workers-compensation-loss#When:15:18:54Z

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VIAW Newswire 02.26.14

Posted on 05 March 2014 by admin

California Senator Pleads Not Guilty In Workers’ Comp Fraud Case

State Sen. Ron Calderon pleaded not guilty Monday to federal charges that he accepted $100,000 in bribes in return for pushing legislation, charges that could send him to federal prison for years. Calderon, a member of a powerful Democratic political dynasty, stood before U.S. District Judge Suzanne Segal with his handcuffed hands clasped in front of him and entered pleas to 24 counts involving various forms of fraud along with conspiracy, money laundering and aiding the filing of false tax returns.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2014/02/25/321468.htm

 

How optimism may positively impact health

Sometimes, attitude is everything. According to The Atlantic, researchers have found having a positive outlook may be enough to help workers reach their personal and professional goals, as well as improve their health. Dr. Dennis Charney, dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, examined 750 Vietnam war veterans who had been prisoners of war for many years. He found those who were optimistic about their lives were least likely to develop depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, The Atlantic reported.

http://www.pinpointnews.net/wordpress/how-optimism-may-positively-impact-health/

 

Why did D.C. let a disbarred lawyer serve as a workers’ comp judge?

More than seven years after she slipped and fell at work, Pattie Crawford and National Rehabilitation Hospital were still embroiled in a dispute over her injury claim. Crawford had injured her wrist and thumb in her February 2006 tumble, and according to Anand K. Verma, an administrative law judge with the D.C. Department of Employment Services, she was entitled to surgery on both, at the hospital’s expense. Appeals ensued. Overruled, repeatedly, and instructed to re-hear the case, Verma each time would issue a decision similar to his last one, sometimes injecting his opinions on medical issues.

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/45482/judge-not/#.Uw4gSmGZrzk.twitter

 

Ohio Man Ordered to Repay Nearly $60K in Workers’ Comp Death Benefits

A Monroe (Butler County) man was ordered to repay nearly $60,000 in workers’ compensation death benefits. Adam Osterman pleaded guilty Feb. 13 in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas to one count of workers’ compensation fraud, a fifth-degree felony.

http://www.workcompwire.com/2014/02/ohio-man-ordered-to-repay-nearly-60k-in-workers-comp-death-benefits/

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VIAW Newswire 02.24.14

Posted on 24 February 2014 by admin

California Legislator Indicted for Taking Bribes in Workers’ Comp Scheme

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that state Sen. Ron Calderon has been indicted in a corruption case and accused of taking about $100,000 in bribes from a hospital executive in Southern California who ran an alleged workers’ compensation scheme.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2014/02/21/321274.htm

CA DOI: $500 Million Medical and Workers’ Comp Fraud Conspiracy Uncovered

A multi-year investigation into a sophisticated criminal fraud ring has uncovered the largest case of insurance fraud in department history and led to Michael Drobot, 69, of Corona Del Mar who built a complex conspiracy billing approximately 150 insurance companies more than $500 million for medical procedures over five years.

http://www.workcompwire.com/2014/02/ca-doi-500-million-medical-and-workers-comp-fraud-conspiracy-uncovered/

CHSWC Releases 2013 Annual Report on CA Health and Safety and Workers’ Comp Systems

The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation (CHSWC) has released its nineteenth Annual Report for 2013. The 2013 Annual Report presents information about the health and safety and workers’ compensation systems in California and makes recommendations to improve their operations

http://www.workerscompensation.com/compnewsnetwork/news/18367-chswc-releases-2013-annual-report-on-ca-health-and-safety-and-workers-comp-systems.html

Specialty Pharmacy Invades Workers’ Comp

Frequently, trends seen in the group health insurance market eventually trickle their way into the workers’ compensation industry. In most situations, whether these trends involve new treatments, new guidelines or new medications they likely will have an effect on a patient’s overall treatment regimen.

http://www.workcompwire.com/2014/02/partner-post-specialty-pharmacy-invades-workers-comp/

 

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VIAW Newswire 02.21.14

Posted on 22 February 2014 by admin

Tesoro bars federal safety agency from East Bay refinery

In an unprecedented challenge, Tesoro Corp. has barred federal authorities from going inside its refinery near Martinez to investigate an incident in which two workers were burned by acid spewing from a broken pipe, The Chronicle has learned. State officials ordered a partial shutdown of the Golden Eagle Refinery following the Feb. 12 incident after inspectors with California’s workplace safety agency found numerous suspected safety violations, state officials said.

http://m.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Tesoro-bars-federal-safety-agency-from-East-Bay-5254436.php

DWC Posts Adjustments to Physician Services and Non-Physician Practitioner Services Section of Official Medical Fee Schedule

The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) has posted an order adjusting the Physician Services and Non-Physician Practitioner Services section of the Official Medical Fee Schedule to conform to changes made to the Medi-Cal Rates database effective for services on or after February 15, 2014.

http://www.dir.ca.gov/DIRNews/2014/2014-13.pdf

Man in vegetative state not due workers comp for vision, hearing loss

A man in a persistent vegetative state cannot receive workers compensation benefits for vision and hearing loss, partly because his condition doesn’t allow him to be accurately tested for such injuries, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in a split decision.

http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20140220/NEWS08/140229982

Union Pickets Santa Monica Hotel over Alleged Labor Abuses

Workers from the Doubletree Suites Hotel in Santa Monica picketed Tuesday, claiming that management denied them legally-mandated breaks. The workers, who belong to the regional hospitality workers’ union, UNITE HERE Local 11, were joined by a handful of community members, including several City Council members and two Planning Commissioners.

http://www.surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site/the_lookout/news/News-2014/February-2014/02_19_2014_Union_Pickets_Santa_Monica_Hotel_over_Alleged_Labor_Abuses.html

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VIAW Newswire 02.19.14

Posted on 22 February 2014 by admin

VW workers may block southern U.S. deals if no unions: labor chief

Volkswagen’s top labor representative threatened on Wednesday to try to block further investments by the German carmaker in the southern United States if its workers there are not unionized.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/19/vw-workers-may-block-southern-u-s-deals-if-no-unions-labor-chief/

DWC Posts Proposed Copy Service Fee Schedule Regulations to Online Forum for Public Comment

The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) has posted proposed Copy Service Fee Schedule regulations to the online forum where members of the public may review and comment on the proposals.

http://www.dir.ca.gov/DIRNews/2014/2014-11.pdf

Aerospace worker killed in El Cajon industrial accident

An employee of an aerospace firm was killed Monday night in an industrial accident in El Cajon. A security guard discovered the victim at GKN Aerospace on West Bradley Avenue near North Marshall Avenue about 7:15 p.m., El Cajon police Lt. Walt Miller said.

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/18/worker-killed-industrial-accident-el-cajon/

New bill would change how workers’ compensation claims work in Arizona

House Bill 2455′s title indicates it’s designed to change how workers process their compensation claims, keeping the insurance companies honest and keeping workers from going after money they don’t deserve. But opponents to the bill said it takes all the rights away from the workers and gives insurance companies even more power.

http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/central-phoenix/new-bill-would-change-how-workers-compensation-claims-work-in-arizona

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VIAW Newswire 02.17.14

Posted on 17 February 2014 by admin

Painful Lessons

In Maryland, workers are eligible for weekly compensation based on which body part was injured and the severity of the injury. Minor injuries (MIN) are bumps and bruises that do not require surgery.

http://data.baltimoresun.com/workers-comp/

Labor Department Sues Ohio Bell for Suspending Injured Workers

AT&T workers who allegedly were suspended without pay for reporting workplace injuries will have their day in court. U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit –against the Ohio Bell Telephone Co., which operates as AT&T, on behalf of 13 employees who received unpaid suspensions after reporting work place injuries from 2011 to 2013.

http://ehstoday.com/osha/labor-department-sues-ohio-bell-suspending-injured-workers

The ACA’s Anticipated Effect on P/C and Workers’ Comp Lines

Though parts of the Affordable Care Act have been in place since 2010, key reforms began on January 1, 2014. According to industry experts, the ACA won’t affect the medical bill payment process; however, insurers will likely see an increase in the cost of medical care for auto accident patients, more subrogation liens from health insurers and the potential for delayed treatment in workers’ compensation claims.

http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2014/02/10/244246.htm

Firm involved in West Virginia Cell Tower Collapse Fined in ’09

The company that employed two of the three people killed in the collapse of a pair of cellphone towers in Clarksburg, W.Va., was sanctioned after a fatal accident in 2009 in Missouri, according to Occupational Health and Safety Administration records.

http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/southeast/2014/02/10/244226.htm

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VIAW Newswire 02.14.14

Posted on 17 February 2014 by admin

The Office of Administrative Law Has Approved DWC’s Final Versions of the Independent Medical Review and Independent Bill Review Regulations

The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the Independent Medical Review

(IMR) and Independent Bill Review (IBR) regulations. Both sets of regulations were filed

with the Secretary of State on February 12, 2014 and are effective immediately

http://www.dir.ca.gov/DIRNews/2014/2014-09.pdf

 

$74k Fine For Oregon Company’s Lack Of Fall Protection

An Oregon construction company has been fined nearly $73,000 for repeatedly not protecting its employees from falls. The fine comes after the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Division cited Woodburn-based Bravo’s Construction Services for the seventh time for lack of fall protection.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2014/02/13/320438.htm

 

Two workers hurt at Tesoro California refinery; unit shut

Tesoro Corp said two workers were injured following a chemical release at its 166,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Golden Eagle refinery in Martinez, California, on Wednesday. The company said it has shut a gasoline production unit at the refinery following the incident.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-refinery-operations-tesoro-martinez-20140212,0,7950638.story

 

Worker remains missing as Chevron well continues to burn

State environmental officials and expert firefighters brought in by Chevron have been continuing to monitor a burning Marcellus Shale natural gas well in southwestern Pennsylvania.

http://fuelfix.com/blog/2014/02/12/chevron-says-one-missing-after-gas-well-fire/

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VIAW Newswire 02.12.14

Posted on 12 February 2014 by admin

Is It Really WorkMAN’s Compensation or Workers’ Compensation?

Today’s post comes from guest author Brody Ockander, from Rehm, Bennett & Moore.

I often hear my clients refer to their work-injury claim by the antiquated term, “workman’s compensation.” This was formerly the common vernacular when referring to a work-injury claim.

http://workersadvisor.com/2014/02/10/is-it-really-workmans-compensation-or-workers-compensation/

Texas Court Holds Employer Not Liable for Drunk Employee’s Death

A state appellate court in Houston, Texas recently held that an employer had no duty to prevent an employee from injuring himself as a result of his own intoxication. Robbie Lynn Clark, an employee of Vaquero, a contractor for EOG Resources, Inc., died after wrecking a company truck while intoxicated.

http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/texas-court-holds-employer-not-liable-fo-24133/

OSHA Warns Companies After Rise in Cellphone Tower Deaths

Cellphone tower contractors and the companies that hire them need to strictly comply with safety standards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday, citing “an alarming increase” in preventable injuries and deaths.

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/osha-warns-companies-after-rise-in-cellphone-tower-deaths-20140211-01456#ixzz2t86H6vZi

Doctors propose limiting charges on workers’ compensation pills

Facing criticism from Baltimore and nearby counties over high drug bills, doctors who prescribe marked-up medication under Maryland’s workers’ compensation system have proposed capping their prescription fees.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-repackaging-bill-20140211,0,5373994.story#ixzz2t8A2jJu5

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