Nevada: Physicians May Consider Spinal Injury's Impact on Daily Living Activities in Rating Permanent Disability

The Supreme Court of Nevada (en banc) recently reversed a decision of a district court judge that had granted declaratory and injunctive relief sought by the state's Self-Insurers Association. The district judge had determined that a Division of Industrial Relations regulation allowing physicians...

Researchers Attempt to Unravel the Secrets of Chronic Pain and Disability

In the May 2010 issue of Journal of Pain , the authors of " Bio-Psychosocial Determinants of Persistent Pain 6 Months After Non-Life-Threatening Acute Orthopaedic Trauma" explore whether long term pain and disability can be predicted. The authors found that psychological factors, such as pessimism...

CA: Worker's Suicide Resulted From Chronic Pain After Industrial Injury

Bajro Sisic (Dec), Ramiza Sisic (Wid) v. Vasona Management, Inc. Injury AOE/COE--Suicide--Irresistible Impulse--WCAB, affirming WCJ's finding, held that decedent/general maintenance worker who suffered an admitted industrial injury to his back/hernia on 7/21/2003, died as a result of an irresistible...

Depression and Delayed Recovery for Workers’ Compensation Injuries

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Oh, the Pain of Inadequacy: Chiropractor Trumps Doctor in this Delaware Utilization Review Appeal

Today's post comes to us from Walt Schmittinger, offering up the outcome of a UR appeals case tried to the Board in Milford two weeks ago. The appeal was from a UR non-cert of chiropractic care with Dr. Michael Gandolfo. Here is what Walt had to say: "Actually I found it noteworthy as...

Oh, the Pain of Inadequacy: Chiropractor Trumps Doctor in this Delaware Utilization Review Appeal

Today's post comes to us from Walt Schmittinger, offering up the outcome of a UR appeals case tried to the Board in Milford two weeks ago. The appeal was from a UR non-cert of chiropractic care with Dr. Michael Gandolfo. Here is what Walt had to say: "Actually I found it noteworthy as a...

Up in Smoke: How Employers Are Using Disclosures in Medical Marijuana Cards to Defeat Claims for Workers’ Compensation

Employers are scoring victories by using injured workers’ disclosures in their medical marijuana cards to help defeat claims for workers’ compensation benefits. Note: Trial level decisions, while not binding authority, often deal with cutting edge issues. As such, they are informative...

Up in Smoke: How Employers Are Using Disclosures in Medical Marijuana Cards to Defeat Claims for Workers’ Compensation

Employers are scoring victories by using injured workers’ disclosures in their medical marijuana cards to help defeat claims for workers’ compensation benefits. Note: Trial level decisions, while not binding authority, often deal with cutting edge issues. As such, they are informative and...

Reforming Chronic Pain Treatment: New Attitudes and Better Knowledge Advocated

The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare authorized the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to study issues related to chronic pain. One reason for this effort was that chronic pain issues annually cost the workers’ compensation system and society as a whole an estimated $635...

Trends in Workers’ Compensation Narcotics Use: Avoiding Early Use is Key

By John Stahl, Esq. A May 2012 report from the National Council on Compensation Insurance Holdings, Inc. , (NCCI) addressed the conclusions of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) that “the overuse of opioid therapy to treat chronic pain conditions is becoming...

Pain Disorders and the New DSM-5

By Robert G. Rassp. Esq. “Pain is relevant to mental impairment, since mental illness may change the perception of pain, for example, making it the object of an obsession or a somatic (bodily) expression of an emotional problem. However, it can be extremely difficult to determine whether pain...

IAIABC Policy Guide on Reducing Opioid Abuse Offers Blueprint for Effective Reform

The bad news is that opioid abuse related to treating chronic pain remains a serious problem for every workers’ compensation system participant. The good news is that many workers’ compensation jurisdictions are increasing their efforts to reduce this situation that officials at the federal...

Survey Says Regulators Must Be More Assertive Regarding Opioid Use

By John Stahl, Esq. A November 12, 2013 webinar that peer review and drug management firm CID Management of Westlake Village, California sponsored summarized the results of a CID survey of front-line employees and executives in the workers’ compensation industry. That study asked the respondents...

Medicare Secondary Payer Law: 2013 in Review

I have come to realize that there are no easy solutions for the MSP problems we face in claims because the MSP is not the problem. Our MSP issues are collateral damage of more systemic societal problems we face as a nation. We clearly do not know how to treat chronic pain properly and instead have essentially...

100th Anniversary of New York Workers’ Compensation Law

By Ronald E. Weiss, Esq. and Ronald Balter, Esq. 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the enactment of New York’s Workers’ (then Workmens’) Compensation Law. It is well known that the death of so many workers in the horrific Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire moved New York’s...

Pain in the Heartland

Far too often we hear about pill mill doctors who are shut down or even arrested. Rachel Aviv’s article “ Prescription for Disaster ” ( The New Yorker , May 5, 2014) (subscription only) provides insight into the disturbing details of what led one such doctor, an osteopath named Stephen...

California: Opioid Medications in the Treatment of Work-Related Injuries

According to the Department of Industrial Relations Director Christine Baker, “ opioid misuse is a national concern ”. As a result of this “misuse”, the Division of Workers’ Compensation recently posted proposed “ Guidelines for the Use of Opioids to Treat Work Related...

Opioids – The Grand Debate

An examination of ACOEM’s newly revised opioid practice guidelines for treatment of pain By Robert G. Rassp, Esq. We hate statistics but policymakers can’t live without them. For example, 100 million residents of the United States have chronic pain according to a 2011 report from...