Three Troubling Trends Affecting Workers’ Comp

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

While U.S. employers are seeing fewer industrial accidents thanks to more employers putting a premium on workplace safety, some emerging trends threaten to seriously affect this trend and usher in higher workers’ comp premiums. Today, it’s not enough to just keep a safe workplace. You should have policies in place to avoid these emerging threats – and also instill them in management. Three particularly troubling trends are as follows: More workers injured in traffic accidents This is a biggie and one that’s harder for employers to manage. There has been a significant uptick in motor vehicle accidents in the last…
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The Opioid Crisis’ Effect on Your Business

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that opioid prescriptions nearly quadrupled between 1999 and 2013. Prescription opioids include medicines such as Vicodin, morphine and methadone. Opioid addiction is a tragedy for individuals and their families, but it is also having a profound impact on businesses and organizations. Consider: An economist at Goldman Sachs reported in July 2017 that addiction to opioids is partly responsible for the failure of many prime working-age men to rejoin the workforce since the end of the Great Recession. The National Safety Council has reported that 39% of employers have experienced absenteeism…
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Measure Aims to Reduce Unnecessary Opioid Prescriptions

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Employers and insurers in California are enthusiastic about the prospects of legislation that aims to reduce the chances of injured workers getting hooked on opioids when they are recovering from workplace injuries. Senate Bill 482, which is sailing the through the Legislature, would require doctors to first check the state’s prescription drug monitoring system before writing a prescription for opioids. The bill is moving through the state Legislature after a new study found that doctors have been seriously curtailing the amount of opioid prescriptions they write to injured workers. The study found that stronger laws on prescription drug monitoring were…
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Drug Testing in Workers’ Comp Skyrockets

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Drug testing of injured workers by treating doctors has skyrocketed over the past seven years as painkiller abuse continues and physicians want to monitor their patients for staying with their prescribed drug regimen. The use of urine drug testing on injured workers in California increased 2,431% between 2007 and 2014, according to the California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI). During that period, urine drug tests grew from 10% to 59% of all California workers’ compensation laboratory services, while drug testing reimbursements increased from 23% to 77% of all lab payments in the system. The rapid increase reflects the growing concern among…
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Court Lets Injured Workers Sue for Their Opioid Addictions

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A new state supreme court decision allowing patients to sue doctors and pharmacies for contributing to their opioids addiction could spill over to the workers’ comp arena, legal experts say. Workers’ comp experts told the trade publication Business Insurance that insurers and employers should put measures in place to reduce the chances of overprescribing of the highly addictive and potent painkillers to injured workers. In the case at hand, 28 people filed eight lawsuits in West Virginia, alleging that medical centers and doctors had prescribed and dispensed drugs that led them to abuse and become addicted to opioids, according to…
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