Monthly Archives: November 2013

Workers Compensation Costs Out of Control According to New Data

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.maciverinstitute.com

Median Workers Comp Payments Nearly 5 Times the Medicare Rates for Same Procedures

The Workers Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) is worried that medical costs are out of control and has spent the past few months formalizing a plan to keep them in check. Documents recently obtained by the MacIver Institute show there is reason to worry.

The documents, prepared by Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau (WCRB), compare the median payments from Workers Compensation to Medicare reimbursement rates in 2012. WCAC is currently considering a plan to tie Workers Comp payments to 175 percent of the Medicare reimbursement rate, which is similar to what other states have done.

Unfortunately, the 2012 data shows that the median amount paid by Workers Comp was nearly five times the Medicare reimbursement rate for the top 25 procedures performed in 2012. That is 177 percent greater than what is being proposed by the Council.

Arthroscopic shoulder surgeries, which doctors perform to inspect, diagnose, and repair problems within a person’s shoulder joint, had the largest differentiation in cost at 1,680 percent of the Medicare rate. The next highest was arthroscopic knee surgeries at 796 percent.

None of the Workers Comp median payments for the top 25 procedures were within 175 percent of the Medicare reimbursement rate.

The lowest differentials were for office or outpatient visits. Workers Comp median payments were between 199 percent and 232 percent of the Medicare rate for office…

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Keep Our Medicine Cabinets Safe

Today’s post was shared by Take Justice Back and comes from www.change.org

We applaud you and your colleagues for taking the next steps towards revising regulations to allow generic drug manufactures to update their warning labels. We want to thank you for your efforts to restore the rights of Americans injured by generic drugs.

We believe it is critically important that all prescription medicines, including generic drugs, carry current and accurate safety warnings.

People who are hurt by generic drugs should have the same legal rights as those who are injured by brand name versions of the same medications. Both brand name and generic manufacturers should be accountable for the safety of their products. If no one is accountable, no one is safe.

We hope this issue will be addressed as quickly as possible in order to ensure generic drugs are safe and patients’ rights are restored. Safety is an issue that cannot wait.

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California Tossed Out NFL Players Brain Injury Claim: Time To Change The System?

Hulk Hogan

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.sportsworldnews.com

While professional teams in California have sheltered themslves from workers’ compenstion claims, the injuries have not gone away. Workers’ compensation has long been a vehicle to insulate employers and their insurance carriers from the payment of benefits. With the errosion of workers’ compensation as a functional benefit program, many experts are now calling for its elimination altogether and merely allow the claims to proceed in the civil justice system. Today’s post is shared from sportsworldnews.com .
 
A California workers panel threw out former Dallas Cowboy Tony Dorsett’s brain-injury claim just months before he was diagnosed with initial signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

The diagnosis of Dorsett, the 59-year-old Hall of Fame running back, was made public Wednesday when two UCLA researchers found that Dorsett, Hall of Fame offensive lineman Joe DeLamielleure and former All-Pro defensive lineman Leonard Marshall showed signs of CTE, a degenerative disease that has been linked to head trauma.

The condition has led to depression, dementia and suicide in former NFL players.

Dorsett’s claim was denied in May when a workers compensation judge ruled that Dorsett agreed to an $85,000 settlement for injuries to “multiple orthopaedic body parts” in 1991, the Times reported. Therefore, the player was not allowed to file any more claims for subsequent injury, according to state records.

Dorsett appealed that workers’…

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Vans Recalls Boy’s Hooded Jackets with Drawstrings Due to Strangulation Hazard

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.prnewswire.com

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1973 and charged with protecting the American public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call the CPSC hotline at 1-800-638-2772, or visit http//:www.cpsc.gov/talk.html. Further recall information is available at http://www.cpsc.gov. (PRNewsFoto/U.S. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION)

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1973 and charged with protecting the American public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call the CPSC hotline at 1-800-638-2772, or visit http//:www.cpsc.gov/talk.html. Further recall information is available at http://www.cpsc.gov. (PRNewsFoto/U.S. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION)

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

(Logo: http://www.cpsc.gov/Global/Images/Recall/2014/14015/Jacket1LARGE.jpg)

Recall Summary

Name of Product: Boy’s hooded jackets

Hazard: The jackets have drawstrings in the hood around the neck area that pose a strangulation hazard to young children. In February 1996, CPSC issued guidelines about drawstrings in children’s upper outerwear. In 1997, those guidelines were incorporated into a voluntary standard. Then, in July 2011, based on the guidelines and voluntary standard, CPSC issued a federal regulation. CPSC’s actions demonstrate a commitment to help prevent children from strangling or getting entangled on neck and waist drawstrings in upper outerwear, such as jackets and sweatshirts.

Remedy: Refund, Repair

Consumer Contact:

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The Wounded Warrior Program Expedites Social Security Disability Claims For Veterans

Today’s post comes from guest author Barbara Tilker, from Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano.

Veteran’s Day is a day that the American people have set aside to celebrate and honor all those who have served in the armed forces. Veteran’s Day – originally known as Armistice Day – has been celebrated in the United States since 1919. Armistice Day became a national holiday in 1938, and has been known as Veteran’s Day since 1954. It is celebrated on November 11th to commemorate the armistice that ended the fighting in World War One.

The Social Security Administration recognizes the sacrifices that the members of our armed forces make every day. With the Wounded Warrior Program, the Administration ensures that military members who were injured on active duty have their cases processed in an expedited manner. While the standard of disability remains the same for all claimants, individuals injured on active duty can obtain a decision faster.

Even if you are still on active duty and receiving full pay, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Social Security looks at the activities you are performing, not the pay you are receiving, to determine if you meet the standard of disability. These benefits are in addition to any benefits you may receive from the Veteran’s Administration – it is important for you to know that a separate application for each type of benefit is required.

If you have any questions about applying for Social Security disability benefits, even if you are still on active duty, please contact us today for a free case evaluation.

“60 Minutes” Misses the Mark on Social Security Disability

What happens when a major journalism program runs a program without interviewing both sides? You get something like what “60 Minutes” aired in early October in “Disability, USA.” It’s one of the media’s favorite topics, “exposing” disability fraud on the part of the claimant. But how much truth is there to the allegations made on “60 Minutes”?

After watching the show, the viewer is lead to believe that almost anyone with any medical condition could be approved for Social Security Disability. You hear from an administrative law judge that the standards are too lax. However, over 66% of all disability claims are initially denied. Thereafter, only about 10% win disability benefits on appeal. The application and appeal process alone takes months, if not years. This sure doesn’t sound like an easy way to survive. Even if benefits are ultimately awarded, they are taxable and paid only on a monthly basis with the average disability payment of about $1,100.00.

While it’s true the number of disability claimants has increased, this is hardly surprising. Overall, we have an aging population which increases the ratio of disabled claimants. Likewise, with jobs scarce, those with disabilities are having an increasingly difficult time finding work.

It’s very disappointing that no one at “60 Minutes” took the time to interview a single disability applicant. If they had taken the time, they would have learned that the application is an arduous process. Failure to present your medical records or respond within strict timeframes, results in an automatic denial. Recently, one of our workers’ compensation clients reported that he underwent two separate disability applications and four appeals (cumulatively) before finally being approved in 2013. He has been out of work since 2006.

For more information, check out “Just the Facts” as well as this article published by the National Organization of Social Security Claimant Representatives in response to “Disability, USA.”