Things you should know

Tennessee Opt-Out Bill is dead for 2016

Tennessee House Consumer Affairs Committee cancelled a hearing related to proposed workers’ compensation Opt Out legislation, and took the bill off “notice”. That means it has been removed from the legislative calendar for this year and likely will not come up for a vote.

Labor Department signals more businesses liable as joint employers

A recent Labor Department guidance means that more companies could be classified as “joint employers.” Joint employment is a major issue in franchising, contracting, temporary staffing and other arrangements where companies use workers but do not directly employ them. The guidance explains how to analyze joint employment in “vertical” arrangements, when one company contracts with another company, and “horizontal” arrangements, when two related companies employ one worker.

New to NTSB ‘most wanted’ list for 2016: reduce fatigue-related crashes

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a wake-up call regarding the need to reduce fatigue-related crashes by including the issue in its list of “Most Wanted” safety improvements for 2016.NTSB highlighted fatigue-related crashes along with nine other pressing issues for transportation safety in its annual list.

Two drugs to be added to disability guidelines’ preauthorization list in Texas

Two powerful drugs used to treat injured workers will be reclassified as nonformulary drugs by the Work Loss Data Institute, according to the Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers’ Compensation. In addition to all long-acting opioids such as Duragesic and MS Contin, Embeda and Levo-Dromoran will require preauthorization as of Feb. 1.

California has highest claim frequency in nation

In the latest update to the Analysis of Changes in Indemnity Claim Frequency report, WCIRB researchers find that indemnity claim frequency increased in California by 3% from 2010 to 2014, while frequency for National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) states declined by 11% over the same period. The report shows a rise in cumulative injury claims, which are almost four times as likely to be reported late as non-cumulative injury claims and involve more serious injuries and multiple injured body parts. The proportion of injured workers with less than two years of experience at their current job has grown by almost 10 percent from 2010 to 2015, suggesting the economic recovery is likely one of the drivers of recent claim frequency increases.

Tennessee Treatment Guidelines and Drug Formulary update

Recently, the Tennessee Legislature Joint Government Operations Committee held a rule review hearing and unanimously voted a “positive recommendation” for the Drug Formulary and Treatment Guidelines rule submitted by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The positive recommendation confirms that the rule will be effective on February 28, 2016.

North Carolina cracks down on uninsured employers

The state Industrial Commission has collected nearly $1 million in civil fines from uninsured companies and charged 100 employers with misdemeanors for willingly going without coverage. State law requires any employer with three or more employees to provide workers’ compensation insurance at no cost to the workers.

FDA committee approves Probuphine rod for fighting opioid abuse

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) committee’s vote in favor of approving a long-acting, rod-shaped drug implant to combat opioid addiction could mean added costs for workers’ compensation payers. The implant, which is surgically inserted under the skin of the arm, can help reduce opioid dependence by delivering a daily dose of buprenorphine for up to six months.

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Author | Speaker | Certified Risk Manager | Certified Work Comp Advisor

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