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Ask the Doctor? - Utilization Review in Delaware

Today I have the pleasure of hosting guest blogger Michael Owen, Esquire of the Wilmington insurance defense law firm of Chrissinger & Baumberger. Mike and his colleagues have been testing the waters in the wake of the newly-enacted Practice Guidelines and Utilization Review mechanism for challenging...

Baseball and Workers' Compensation

Baseball is the great American pastime and its players are often idolized by their legions of fans. But even the highest paid players are still made of flesh and bones. Professional baseball players are entitled to worker's compensation benefits in the event of an injury which may disable them temporarily...

Corporate America, Train Thy Front Line Manager Well on the Ways of Workers' Comp

It is said that a company is only as good as its worst employee. It would stand to reason then, that how a company handles a workers' compensation claim is largely only going to be as good as the skill, knowledge and commitment of the front line manager who initially deals with the situation. A corporation...

Workplace Incident Data: Fact or Fiction?

It’s been an interesting path taking the leap from writing an occasional guest column in the local newspaper to blogging, where all of sudden there is a global audience. Yet even though readers are out there searching the web for useful content, a Blogger never knows if their writing has any impact...

Obesity Costs in Workers’ Compensation Claims

Commentators suggest rising obesity rates increase workers’ compensation costs. Obesity may now directly increase workers’ compensation costs if more states require carriers to pay for weight loss surgery. According to recent government statistics, 34% of all Americans are obese and 66...

Big on Health, Light on Reform

Paraphrasing Sen Ron Wyden (D OR) produces the most accurate soundbite description of the House' health reform bill. Is this the best we can do? If the answer is yes, we're in deeper trouble than even I thought. I'm really disappointed with the Republicans. They are supposed to be the...

Is Independence Self-Evident?

How many times, whether in the last year or over the course of your tenure as a savvy workers’ compensation practitioner, have you received a Claim Petition, alleging a work-related injury occurring in the alleged course and scope of employment, against an insured, who then proceeds to tell you...

Working Nights Weighs-in on Health Care Reform

Circadian Age, Inc. – ‘ Working Nights ’ – a company dedicated to helping shift workers and their families adjust to their unique lifestyles, is concerned with making sure that any health care reform will benefit the 25 million Americans working shifts. These workers represent...

LexisNexis Top Blog of the Year Workers Compensation and Workplace Issues - 2009

The LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation Law Center is pleased to announce our selection for Top Blog of the Year 2009. To be sure, it was a tough decision to make, what with so many excellent blogs to consider in our Top 25 Blogs 2009 list. We appreciate all of the feedback we’ve received...

LexisNexis Podcast of Margaret DiBianca on Implications of Social Networking, Technology and Employment Law on Workers’ Compensation (Transcript)

LexisNexis Podcast of Margaret DiBianca on Implications of Social Networking, Technology and Employment Law on Workers’ Compensation February 2009 Interview Conducted by Steve Berstler, Esq. On this edition Margaret DiBianca of Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor of Wilmington, Delaware on...

Reflections of a National Workers’ Compensation Conference Participant

I attend a good number of conferences around the country every year, and having just returned from the 18th National Workers' Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo in Chicago , I have had just a bit of time to reflect on the activities and agenda there. If you are someone who has never...

Robin Hood the Tax Man

Almost forty years ago a National Commission reviewed the adequacy of the State workers’ compensation laws and concluded that the patchwork system of providing benefits and medical care to the families of workers injured on the job was woefully inadequate. It proposed adoption of a series of essential...

Beekeeper’s Portrait Wins First Prize in European Photo Competition on Safer and Healthier Workplaces

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has just announced the winner of the photography competition focusing on safety and health at work. Christopher Azzopardi from Malta was awarded with the 1st prize for his photograph entitled “Beekeeper” at the European Summit on...

Christmas and Workers' Compensation

Sarasota , FL (CompNewsNetwork) - 'Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the office, not a keyboard was stirring, not a monitor or a mouse! It's the jolly, holly time of the year when the annual Christmas party draws near. Great expectations of a well earned Christmas bonus ruminate...

Occupational Injuries and Occupational Diseases

Wisconsin law recognizes two types of on-the-job injuries that are compensable under an employer's workers' compensation insurance policy: accidental injuries and occupational diseases. State courts have distinguished accidental injuries as those that result from a definite occurrence or mishap...

Recent Medicare Secondary Payer Lawsuit: United States of America v. Stricker

I attach for your information a recent lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The claim is to recover conditional payments under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (42 USC §1395y(b)(2)) from a liability claims settlement that took place...

Defense Medical Expert Dr. John Townsend Weighs In on Delaware Practice Guidelines

This week I am pleased introduce as my guest blogger Dr. John Townsend, who was featured in my last posting as the "expert victorious" in the Rodney Nesmith v. ServiceMaster case. Dr. Townsend, a Board-certified neurologist, is well-recognized at the Delaware Industrial Accident Board, most...

Avatars in the Workplace: A Legal and Ethical Minefield?

The new movie Avatar has generated a lot of excitement over what it would be like to go to work and control a body other than your own, all in a virtual, “safe” world. But as reported by Stanford University in the Stanford Report , avatars have already been widely used in the video game...

Understanding Florida's Workers' Compensation Retaliation Statute

A plaintiff who alleges that his employer terminated his employment in retaliation for filing a workers ’ compensation claim is entitled to proceed to trial, according to a recent decision by the Third District Court of Appeals, Ortega v. Engineering Systems Technology, Inc . (Fla. 3d DCA, January...

Concerns About Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Emergency Regs on Medicare Set Asides

Effective January 4, 2010, the Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission has issued emergency regulations (see also settlement worksheet ) covering the approval process for final settlements. They are classified as “emergency” regulations because they were adopted short of the complete...

U.S. vs. Stricker - U.S. files Motion for Partial Summary Judgment

I want to thank Tommy Thornton from Carr Allison and Jeffrey J. Signor from Goldberg Segalla for bringing this partial motion for summary judgment to my attention. I know both have written on the topic, but I feel compelled to offer my own thoughts on this very interesting case. The U.S. filed a motion...

Business Gears Up to Battle New Obama Workplace Safety Rule

As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the White House are trying to minimize their differences , a brewing battle at OSHA over a workplace injury reporting rule illustrates how tough that could become given the administration's pro-labor leanings. While bureaucratic clashes over subtle rule changes...

Prescription Drugs & The Medicare Set Aside: Understanding CMS’ New Prescription Drug Policies

Perhaps the most significant development on the Medicare Set Aside (MSA) front in the past few years has been the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS’) recent enactment of new policies for calculating future Medicare Part D prescription drug costs for MSA proposals in workers’...

Workers’ Compensation Claims and Litigation Management

When I was the litigation manager for a Fortune 500 company, the insurance company settled a claim I planned to fight. Heck, I WAS fighting it, and had recently retained an expert for an internal evaluation, so how could they settle that claim without my agreement? Simple – it wasn’t in the...

He Wrote the Book: DE Chiropractor and Member of Health Care Advisory Panel Offers Sneak Peek at Medical Records Text

I am pleased to have as my guest this week Dr. Douglas Briggs of First State Health & Wellness. Dr. Briggs is the chiropractic representative on the State Workers’ Compensation Health Care Advisory Panel. T he Panel was responsible for promulgating the Health Care Practice Guidelines, Utilization...