National and State-by-State Workers' Comp News Powered by Larson's (12/8/2014)

Sign up here for our free workers' compensation enewsletters (National or California Edition) to receive weekly news items. Be sure to select the enewsletter of your choice. OSHA Reports 3 Million Workers Experienced Serious Injury or Illness on Job in 2013 . Three Compound Pharmacies Sue Express...

California Workers' Comp Case Roundup (12/10/2014)

CALIFORNIA COMPENSATION CASES Vol. 79 No. 11 November 2014 A Report of En Banc and Significant Panel Decisions of the WCAB and Selected Court Opinions of Related Interest, With a Digest of WCAB Decisions Denied Judicial Review CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE © Copyright 2014 LexisNexis. All rights...

CWCI Study Finds Reductions in Workers’ Comp Inpatient Hospital Stays & Spinal Surgeries

A new California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI) study finds that the number of inpatient hospital stays in California workers’ compensation declined by 15.6 percent between 2008 and 2013, slightly less than the decline noted for hospital stays paid under private coverage, but significantly...

California Workers’ Comp Medical Mileage Rate to Increase for 2015 Travel

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the standard mileage rate for business miles will increase 1.5 cents per mile to 57.5 cents per mile as of January 1, 2015. The California Workers’ Compensation Institute notes that this means the mileage rate that California workers’ compensation...

California: Stevens Writ Granted

Could the California courts finally be ready to rule on the constitutionality of Independent Medical Review? We may be on the verge of seeing that issue decided. On December 3, 2014, the California Court of Appeal First Appellate District Division One granted the petition for writ of review filed...

A Tribute to the Honorable Neil Patrick Sullivan

Neil Patrick Sullivan, a Deputy Commissioner of the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB), will retire on December 30, 2014, after a brilliant 30-year legal career, the overwhelming majority of which was exclusively with the WCAB. Deputy Commissioner Sullivan is known throughout...

Physician Self-Referral Statute Doesn’t Apply to Inpatient Surgical Procedures (12/12/2014)

Here’s the third batch of advanced postings for December 2014 issue of Cal. Comp. Cases. Lexis.com and Lexis Advance subscribers can link to the cases to read the complete headnotes and summaries. © Copyright 2014 LexisNexis. All rights reserved. Warner Bros. Studio Facilities, Inc...

National and State-by-State Workers' Comp News Powered by Larson's (12/15/2014)

Sign up here for our free workers' compensation enewsletters (National or California Edition) to receive weekly news items. Be sure to select the enewsletter of your choice. Hospital Outpatient Costs Higher Where Percent-of-Charge-Based Fee Regs, No Fee Schedules . NCCI Develops Proof of WC...

Applicant Rebuts 16 Percent Scheduled Rating to Obtain Permanent Total Disability: Cal. Comp. Cases December Advanced Postings (12/16/2014)

Here’s the fourth batch of advanced postings for December 2014 issue of Cal. Comp. Cases. Lexis.com and Lexis Advance subscribers can link to the cases to read the complete headnotes and summaries. © Copyright 2014 LexisNexis. All rights reserved. Sutter Medical Foundation, PSI, adjusted...

California: IBR Not Applicable to Pre-1/1/13 Medical Billing Disputes

The 4th District Court of Appeal has issued a decision raised to it on a question on the “retroactive” application of the Independent Bill Review provisions of SB 863 and whether the legislature intended to remove from the W.C.A.B. jurisdiction to address bill disputes that existed prior...

Evaluators of Psychiatric Injury Lacked Relevant Medical Records, Personnel File, Materials From Workplace Investigation: Cal. Comp. Cases January Advanced Postings (12/23/2014)

Here’s the first batch of advanced postings for the January 2015 issue of Cal. Comp. Cases. Lexis.com and Lexis Advance subscribers can link to the cases to read the complete headnotes and summaries. © Copyright 2014 LexisNexis. All rights reserved. Contra Costa County, Petitioner...

No Psychiatric Injury After Tripping on Balloon String: Cal. Comp. Cases January Advanced Postings (12/31/2014)

Here’s the second batch of advanced postings for the January 2015 issue of Cal. Comp. Cases. Lexis.com and Lexis Advance subscribers can link to the cases to read the complete headnotes and summaries. © Copyright 2014 LexisNexis. All rights reserved. Howard Pound, Petitioner...

California: Top 25 Noteworthy Panel Decisions (July–December 2014)

LexisNexis has picked the top “noteworthy” panel decisions issued by the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board during the period July through December 2014. You’ll find many helpful cases in this list, including a recent decision on reasonable attorney’s fees ,...

National and State-by-State Workers' Comp News Powered by Larson's (1/5/2015)

NIOSH Examines Link Between Firefighting and Cancer . Expert Provides Guidance on FLSA From Worker Perspective . AL: Labor Dept. Explains New OSHA Reporting Requirements Eff. Jan. 1 . AL: Injuries Sustained While Seeking Medical Treatment for Earlier Injury Held Compensable . AK: Labor Dept...

California: Appeals Court Reverses W.C.A.B. Application of Going and Coming Rule

The 2nd District Court of Appeal has reversed a W.C.A.B. decision, which had in turn reversed a WCJ decision in a going and coming rule case. In Shultz v W.C.A.B. (Joint Test Tactics And Training (JT3)) , the court ultimately determined that the employee was operating his motor vehicle within the course...

California Workers' Comp Case Roundup (1/8/2015)

CALIFORNIA COMPENSATION CASES Vol. 79 No. 12 December 2014 A Report of En Banc and Significant Panel Decisions of the WCAB and Selected Court Opinions of Related Interest, With a Digest of WCAB Decisions Denied Judicial Review CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE © Copyright 2014 LexisNexis. All rights...

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...

California: Communication of UR Decisions to Treating Physicians Must Specify Nature or Content of Message

In Shanley v. Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital , 2014 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS --, the WCAB panel rescinded the WCJ’s finding that the defendant’s 8/6/2013 utilization review (UR) determinations of a treating physician’s request for lumbar MRI and EMG were valid under Labor Code...

California: Entire Air Force Base is Employer’s “Premises” for Purposes of Going and Coming Rule

A California appellate court held that in as much as a civilian employee worked at a U.S. Air Force base and often traveled to multiple locations throughout the base to perform his work for the employer, the entire base constituted the employer’s “premises” for purposes of California’s...

California: Utilization Review: Timelines for Expedited Review When Imminent and Serious Threat Exists

In Rodriguez v. Air Eagle, Inc., 2015 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS --, the WCAB has provided guidance on the expedited review of a request for authorization and on the burden of proof of a prescription for home health care services. UR Denial Timeline for Expedited Review The WCAB, amending the WCJ’s...

Employer’s Medical Report Obtained At Own Expense Deemed Wholly Deficient: Cal. Comp. Cases January Advanced Postings (1/16/2015)

Here’s the third batch of advanced postings for the January 2015 issue of Cal. Comp. Cases. Lexis.com and Lexis Advance subscribers can link to the cases to read the complete headnotes and summaries. © Copyright 2015 LexisNexis. All rights reserved. United States Fire Insurance Company...

National and State-by-State Workers' Comp News Powered by Larson's (1/19/2015)

President Obama Signs Six-Year Extension of TRIA . President Obama Unveils Plan for Family Leave, Sick Days for Workers . Liberty Mutual 2014 Workplace Safety Index Lists Top 10 Causes of Workplace Injuries . NIOSH Examines Increased Risks of Birth Defects From Workplace Exposures . No Smoke...

Defendant Entitled to Credit for Applicant’s $5M Third-Party Settlement in Plumbing Explosion: Cal. Comp. Cases January Advanced Postings (1/21/2015)

Here’s the fourth batch of advanced postings for the January 2015 issue of Cal. Comp. Cases. Lexis.com and Lexis Advance subscribers can link to the cases to read the complete headnotes and summaries. © Copyright 2015 LexisNexis. All rights reserved. Jeffrey White , Petitioner v....

California: Arbitrary UR Cycles of Denials and Authorizations for Prescription Medications

Defendants can submit every prescription request to UR, but is this cost effective and does it fulfill their obligation to provide appropriate medical treatment to cure or relieve injured workers from the effects of their industrial injuries? In Cordova v. Garaventa Enterprises , 2015 Cal. Wrk. Comp...

National and State-by-State Workers' Comp News Powered by Larson's (1/26/2014)

NCCI President & CEO Stephen J. Klingel Plans to Retire in 2016 . H.R. 436 Would Amend Longshore Act Definition of Recreational Vessels . AK: DWC Updates Online Benefit Calculator . AR: WCRI Releases New Predictors of Worker Outcomes . CA: Postponement Likely for Calderon’s Public...