Workers Comp News in Review April 1, 2012

 
LexisNexis Work Comp Community This Week In Review
 
The Workers Compensation Law Community Powered by Larsons on LexisNexis offers several great pieces this week:
 
 
First is this article by Roger Levy titled, “U.S. Supreme Court Issues Much Anticipated Decision in Roberts v. Sea-Land Services, Inc.” Levy explains the March U.S. Supreme Court decision answering the question of the meaning of LHWCA Sec. 6(c)'s "newly awarded compensation" clause in its decision in Roberts vs. Sea-Land Services, Inc. “Faced with two choices as to the meaning of the clause, the Court chose the one most favorable to employer/carriers and supported by the Director, Office of Workers Compensation Programs,” Levy writes.[WCx]
 
 
In “Work Loss Data Institute Warns of Fox Guarding the Hen House in State Treatment Guidelines,” by John Stahl, found here, Stahl explains that Phil LeFevre, a senior account executive at the Work Loss Data Institute, recently compared official disability guidelines (ODG) with other workers’ compensation treatment guidelines. “The overall theme was that the ODG provides more objective guidance than individual state systems that often reflect the self-interests of medical providers in that jurisdiction,” he writes.
 
 
Larson’s Spotlight this week narrows in on a recent case in which an injured worker is entitled to additional TTD benefits despite derogatory conduct. The Supreme Court of Arkansas decided in a case where a worker sustained a work-related injury, was placed on light duty for a period of time, and then fired for calling his supervisor an "insulting, derogatory, and vulgar name." Read more about this case and others in the spotlight here.
 
 
WCRI to Host Webinar April 10
The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is hosting “Hospital outpatient Costs and the Impact of Fee Schedules” for those looking to control medical care costs for injured workers. The webinar will examine the WCRI study to help attendees make comparisons between “hospital outpatient costs across states, identify key cost drivers, and measure the impact of reforms over time.” The webinar will be from 1 to 2 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, April 10, 2012.
 
 
To learn more about the webinar or to register, go here.
 
 
Managed Care Advisors Asks if FECA Regulations Will Change
In the recent issue of The Advisor, MCA notes that two proposed pieces of legislation would alter the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA). “The less controversial of the two, the Federal Workers Compensation Modernization and Improvement Act (HR. 2465), was introduced in the House of Representatives in July of 2011 and is currently pending in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. It includes measures to allow the Department of Labor to cross-match claimants' reported income to Social Security data. It also includes provisions to authorize physician assistants and nurse practitioners to certify traumatic injury and related disability,” the article says.
 
 
Read more here.
 
Study Shows Workers’ Compensation Medical Prices Were Higher without Fee Schedules
A Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) study shows that WC med prices were higher and grew more rapidly in states without medical fee schedules.
 
 
The study, found here, shows prices paid for medical professional services for injured workers were higher and rising faster in states without fee schedules compared with states that have them in place. The information was “designed to help public policymakers and system stakeholders understand how prices paid for medical professional services for injured workers in their states compare with other states and know if prices in their state are rising rapidly or relatively slowly,” according to WCRI.[WCx]
 
 
Dr. Richard Victor, WCRI executive director, said, “In documenting the growing prices paid for the medical care received by injured workers, this unique study also shows the effectiveness of medical fee schedules in controlling those costs.”
 
 

Note: If your company has any developments you'd like to share, please send them to us at: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 


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