IL - Four Law Firms Hired to Defend Claims in Chicago's Troubled Comp System
| 40 min read
In the eight months since Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot appointed a risk manager and hired a claims administration firm to wade into the city's troubled workers' compensation program, little has been said about any progress that has been made.
This week, though, there are signs that the city is beginning to tackle the hundreds of pending claims, some of which have been called questionable and have been linked to political patronage.
The city, together with its administrator Gallagher Bassett, announced that four prominent Chicago law firms have won bids to handle the defense of many o...
MN - State Supreme Court Upholds Comp Exemption Law for North Dakota Businesses
| 50 min read
The Minnesota Supreme Court has found that a law that gives a special workers' compensation exemption to North Dakota employers is not unconstitutional.
In John Devos vs. Rhino Contracting, the court this month issued an order, but not a full opinion, upholding a Minnesota Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals decision.
“After carefully considering the arguments of the parties, we conclude that relator has not carried his burden to demonstrate that the statute is unconstitutional,” Justice David Lillehaug wrote for the Supreme Court.
The justices also agreed with t...
NY - Stenographer Charged With Larceny for Allegedly Inflating Bills
| 17 min read
A New York state stenographer was arrested on a single felony larceny charge for allegedly adding zeros to invoices sent to workers’ compensation carriers.
The state Inspector General’s Offices said Laura Hayes, 47, regularly submitted bills to carriers with rates inflated by a factor of 10 by simply adding a zero at the end of the invoice — for example, charging $1,500 rather than $150. The state says that in total, Hayes overbilled four carriers by $187,700.
“This alleged scheme to steal from the workers’ compensation system was brazen in its simplicity &...
CA - Trial Lawyers' Lawsuit Accuses Lara of Withholding Records
| 26 min read
A trial lawyer group is suing California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and the Department of Insurance for allegedly failing to comply with a public record request.
Consumer Watchdog claims in the nearly 600-page complaint filed Tuesday that Lara didn’t hand over records relating to meetings he had with insurers that have business before the department. The nonprofit group said in a statement that it has been informed by whistleblowers “that the Department of Insurance created a new version of the original calendar entries to avoid disclosing certain meetings and meeting...
Press - Carisk Partners Unveils New Website Emphasizing Patient-Centered Care and Innovative Technology Solutions
MIAMI - February 10, 2020 - Carisk Partners (Carisk), a specialty risk transfer and
care coordination company, is excited to announce the launch of its newly redesigned website at www.cariskpartners.com. This website launch represents a paradigm shift in the way Carisk communicates with patients, plan members, clients, and healthcare provider partners. It re ects the Company's mission to provide access to quali...
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CA - Young: Rampant Fraud?
The arrest of California law enforcement workers on charges of workers’ comp fraud makes a splashy news item in the media.
In recent days there has been the report that a former Santa Clara police officer, Kenneth Henderson, was arrested for fraudulently misrepresenting his claimed disability. His wife, Mandy Henderson, formerly of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, was arrested in 2018 and later convicted of workers’ comp fraud. Videos of them in the gym apparently yielded a striking contrast to their disability contentions.
Stories like these lead to cynic...
NJ - Committee Passes Bill to Require Coverage for Medical Marijuana Use
| 58 min read
A bill making progress in New Jersey’s state Assembly would require workers’ compensation and personal injury protection coverage for those seeking medical marijuana as treatment.
With some exceptions, that is.
Assembly Bill 1708, by Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli, D-West Deptford, recently made its way through the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.
The bill states that workers’ compensation insurance and automobile insurance must cover costs associated with “the medical use of cannabis.” The insured policyholder or employee, howev...
IL - Pritzker Appoints Five to Comp Advisory Boards
| 19 min read
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has appointed three to the Medical Fee Advisory Board and two others to the state Workers' Compensation Advisory Board.
The appointments are subject to approval by the state Senate. Both boards advise the state Workers' Compensation Commission on comp issues.
The medical fee advisory group includes three members representing employer interests, three from the labor side and three from the medical community.
Pritzker's recent appointments to the fee board, announced in several bulletins, are:
David Fletcher, who served on the fee advisory board unde...
CA - Bill Would Expand CIGA Coverage for Comp Claims
| 33 min read
The California Insurance Guarantee Association would cover benefits provided under the workers’ compensation laws of another state, under recently introduced legislation.
Assembly Bill 2398, by the Assembly Insurance Committee, would expand the definition of comp claims covered by CIGA to include benefits authorized under the laws of another jurisdiction when the injured worker is a California resident and not entitled to coverage from an organization similar to CIGA.
The bill would also add language to the Insurance Code authorizing CIGA to make payments for medical services directly ...
SC - Commission Temporarily Suspending Work on E-File System
| 8 min read
The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission announced it will temporarily suspend work on its information technology modernization project due to unforeseen circumstances.
For carriers, trading partners and vendors, the implementation of the electronic data interchange standard 3.1 scheduled for March 15 will be postponed until further notice, the commission said in a statement released Tuesday.
For attorneys, all claims-related transactions will continue to be submitted under current business practices using eCase, by emailing documents or sending them through the mail.
Press - Nurse Triage Delivers Reduced Lag Time and Substantial Savings Case Study
Coventry, a leading provider of care and cost management solutions for workers' compensation, has released a new case study entitled "Nurse Triage Delivers Reduced Lag Time and Substantial Savings".
When an on-the-job injury occurs, the initial response can be critical in aiding an employee in making the right decisions about what type of care they need. Coventry Nurse Triage arms injured workers and their employers with a resource to assess the situation and help determine the appropriate course of action. Whether it be self-care or medical treatment, having a nu...
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AK - Committee Schedules Hearing on Presumption Bill Carried Over From 2019
| 73 min read
The Labor and Commerce Committee in the Alaska House of Representatives scheduled a Monday hearing on a bill carried over from last year that would add breast cancer to the state’s list of conditions presumed to arise out of employment as a firefighter.
House Bill 84, by Rep. Andy Josephson, D-Anchorage, would apply the same presumption to peace officers, emergency medical technicians and paramedics.
Alaska’s presumption currently covers firefighters who develop respiratory disease; cardiovascular events within 72 hours of exposure to smoke, fumes or toxic substances; and eight t...
FL - Senate Committee Won't Confirm Chief Judge Nominee
| 48 min read
The chairman of a Florida Senate committee said he will not hold a confirmation hearing for John MacIver, who was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis as chief judge of the Division of Administrative Hearings last fall.
The Senate needs to confirm MacIver, but its Ethics and Elections and Governmental Oversight and Accountability committees have to approve the nomination before the full chamber can vote on it.
Sen. Ed Hooper, chairman of the Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee, said on Monday that his panel will not vote on the nomination during the session scheduled to ad...
OH - Court Rejects Worker's Challenge to Doctor's Report, Upholds PPD Award
| 22 min read
An Ohio appellate court ruled that the Industrial Commission did not abuse its discretion in awarding an injured worker a percentage of permanent partial disability that fell between the ratings provided by two physicians who examined her.
Case: State ex rel. Wolosyn v. Industrial Commission, No. 18AP-595, 02/11/2020, published.
Facts and procedural history: Angela M. Wolosyn worked for the Samaritan Care Center. She reported back pain while at work on Nov. 29, 2016.
At an emergency room that evening, Wolosyn indicated she had "no pain radiating down her leg," and while she h...
NY - Court Upholds Verdict for Worker on Labor Law Claim
| 7 min read
A New York appellate court ruled that an injured worker was entitled to a favorable verdict on his Labor Law claim and that he was entitled to post-judgment relief.
Case: Natoli v. City of New York, No. 10991 154612/12, 02/11/2020, published.
Facts: Nicholas Natoli was injured while working on a construction project for the City of New York. He and a coworker were attempting to move a wooden skid onto a dolly when the coworker apparently lost his grip, and the skid fell on Natoli.
Procedural history: Natoli filed suit against the city, asserting a claim for a violation of Labor Law Sec...
NY - Worker Gets Summary Judgment for Fall From Ladder
| 13 min read
A New York appellate court upheld a grant of summary judgment to a worker for his Labor Law claim based on a fall from an unsecured ladder.
Case: Von Hegel v. Brixmor Sunshine Square LLC, No. 2018-08574, 02/05/2020, published.
Facts: William Von Hegel worked for RFE Inc. as a maintenance specialist. In October 2013, RFE sent him to perform repair work at a Ruby Tuesday restaurant in Medford. The property was owned by Brixmor Sunshine Square LLC and leased by RT Long Island Franchise LLC.
While Von Hegel was working at the restaurant, a ladder allegedly slipped out from under him, causi...