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The LexisNexis Workers' Compensation Law Community has selected its 2011 honorees for the Top 25 Blogs for Workers' Compensation and Workplace Issues. Congratulations to all the honorees!
We thank our community members and Larson's National Workers' Compensation Advisory Board members for giving us their input.
These top blogsites contain some of the best writing out there on workers' compensation and workplace issues. They contain a wealth of information for the workers' compensation community with timely news items, practical information, expert analysis, practice tips, frequent postings, and helpful links to other sites.
These blogsites also show us how workplace issues interact with politics and culture. Moreover, they demonstrate how bloggers can impact the world of workers' compensation and workplace issues.
You can view the complete list below.
Grab the Badge! Honorees can post the 2011 LexisNexis top blog badge on their blogsites. We ask that you link it back to this announcement. Contact Ted.Zwayer@lexisnexis.com for details.
TOP 25 BLOGS FOR WORKERS' COMPENSATION AND WORKPLACE ISSUES2011 HONOREES
Comp Time by Roberto Ceniceroshttp://www.businessinsurance.com/section/blogs02Published by Business Insurance
A perennial favorite, Comp Time, written by talented business journalist Roberto Ceniceros, offers invaluable news summaries and learned analysis about risk management, business insurance and workers' compensation. Part of the large web site maintained by businessinsurance.com, the blog continues to provide a broad overview of current developments in the field. Examples include the August 9, 2011 post, "S&P's credit downgrade," offering interesting points on whether the downgrade of the U.S.'s credit rating might impact employers' cost of collateral for large deductible workers compensation programs. Others include the posting on July 15, 2011, "Recipe for fighting Rx costs," wherein Comp Time highlights successful practices within the state of Washington to reduce workers' comp-related prescription costs, such as the state's formulary of approved drugs, mandatory generic substitution, and lower than typical pharmacy fee schedule as well as infrequent physician dispensing.
From Bob's Cluttered Deskhttp://www.workerscompensation.com/compnewsnetwork/from-bobs-cluttered-deskPublished by Robert Wilson
Bob serves as President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and his personal blog launched on his firm's expansive site, is a clever combination of "thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants." He modestly states that they're not always coherent; we beg to disagree. His October 20, 2011 post, "Learning How to Screw Up a Claim While Visiting the Wisconsin Bells (as well as Whistles, Buzzers, Gongs and Other Various Noisemakers)" mixes the fun with the serious. Gleaned from the Wisconsin Workers' Comp Forum, which Bob attended, he lists his Top Ten Ways to Screw Up a Claim. Bob shows his national reach in an August 4, 2011 post, "Florida RIMS: Darrell Brown On Medical Marijuana," wherein he reports on a summer session at the Florida RIMS Educational Conference in Naples, Florida.
Managed Care Mattershttp://www.joepaduda.com/Published by Joseph Paduda
A prior winner (both 2009 and 2010), Managed Care Matters continues its seven-year tradition of being a strong, valuable resource for insurers, employers, and healthcare providers. Joseph Paduda offers commentary and opinion on a broad range of topics. In his October 11, 2011 piece, "Is Florida finally going to fix its (repackaged) drug problem?" Paduda notes that the latest reports indicate the state's physician dispensers charged more than pharmacies for all 15 of the top drugs dispensed in Florida. He points to a link between a lack of legislative oversight and campaign contributions and wonders what it will take to reform matters in the Sunshine state (see also the related "Physician dispensing - boy do we have a deal for you!" published October 21, 2011). His excellent June 29, 2011 post, "The cost of narcotics in workers comp," which details the financial and human cost of drug addiction as a result of workplace injuries, is a wakeup call to the entire industry.
Workers' Comp Insiderhttp://www.workerscompinsider.com/Published by Lynch Ryan
Now in its ninth year, the Workers' Comp Insider is among a handful of blogs that are consistently thorough, edgy, provocative, and accurately informative. The blog covers comp issues, risk management, business insurance, and workplace health and safety across the nation. The blog's quality can easily be seen in two recent offerings: "Triaging Trouble: Predictive Modeling in Claims Management (October 4, 2011), which discusses the use of systematic modeling by risk management consultants, TPAs and insurers to identify injured workers who are most at-risk of delayed recovery or malingering, and "Wide disparity in costs for common medical procedures" (July 6, 2011), which points out that because of the lack of transparency in the level of health care costs, the cost of an abdominal CT scan might be $1200 at one hospital and yet only $300 in a clinic or doctor's office in a nearby town.
Workers Comp Zonehttp://workerscompzone.com/Published by Julius Young
Known for years not only for his careful and incisive analysis of "anything California," but for his biting wit (see his "Whiling Away the Downtime," a June 28, 2011 post that describes how Julius and others spend "down time" while waiting for things to happen at the California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board), Julius Young's Workers Comp Zone continues to hold a position as a solid font of information and analysis within the comp world. You may not always agree with Julius, but you'll always come away from his posts scratching your head, thinking, "I never saw it that way." Two fine examples are his "Baker Redux: The California Supreme Court has spoken again about COLAs" (Oct. 19, 2011), which gives a very detailed and salient analysis of the state high court's recent decision in Baker v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd., and two companion entries, "Flash: Valdez is Here" (April 20, 2011) and "More on Valdez" (April 21, 2011), which provides an unusual level of careful analysis-unusual for virtually anyone but Julius, that is.
The Rassp Report (California)http://www.lexisnexis.com/community/workerscompensationlaw/blogs/workerscompensationlawblog/archive/2010/12/15/robert-rassp-report.aspxPublished by Robert G. Rassp, Esq.
Known for his frenetic pace--it has been reported that California Edison solves its temporary "brown-out" problems by plugging its power grid into Bob's right arm--and his non-stop keyboard--one colleague somewhat jealously quipped that Bob "doesn't have an unpublished thought"--Bob Rassp's report is an absolute must-read for California practitioners. Attorneys in other states would be wise if they saved a hot link to the blog in their browsers. Check out his April 14, 2011 post, "2011 Alphabet Soup: MSA, CMS, WCMSA, MSPRC, COBC, C&R, RRE, ORM, TPOC, EIEIO - The Latest in Medicare, Social Security and Your Large C&R in California" is an example of state-oriented that offers insight for attorneys and others outside the Golden State. His February 4, 2011 offering, "California: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Arbitrations and Are Afraid to Ask," the first comprehensive article on arbitration in workers' compensation cases following the advent of mandatory arbitrations, while California-centric, can be digested, as well, by East-Coasters.
Colorado Workers Comp Bloghttp://coloradoworkcomp.blogspot.com/Published by Richard E. Falcone, Esq.
Who says workers' comp writing has to be boring? Colorado Workers' Comp Blog, offered by Colorado Springs Attorney Richard Falcone, is an excellent example of an attorney who writes with depth and clarity, all the while sprinkled with flair and even humor. Falcone, who writes from the perspective of the injured and disabled worker, continues to provide readers with commentary and analysis. Falcone's September 16, 2011 post, entitled "New Court Case on Medical Benefits," and his May 13, 2011 article, "Munoz Court Case on DIME waiver," sift through complex medical issues with relative ease. He also enjoys the hypothetical-his February 4, 2011, "Does Charlie Sheen Have a Workers' Comp Claim," reacts to a whimsical question posted on a satirical blog, "the Spoof," regarding the antics of the former star of television's Two and a Half Men.
Delaware Detour & Frolichttp://law.lexisnexis.com/practiceareas/Workers-Compensation-Law-Blog/Workers-Compensation/Delaware-Detour-and-FrolicA workers' comp law blog by Cassandra Roberts
One of the very best state-specific comp blogs, Delaware Detour & Frolic, written by Cassandra Roberts, a senior partner at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP, is an example of what one gets when equal portions of passion and competence are mixed. Cassandra quips that that "the function of the blog is not so much to report on cases coming out of the Supreme Court (editor's note: although she does provide excellent commentary on such decisions); it is to pull back the curtain from the IAB and expose the wizard." Her June 23, 2011 post, "The War Eagle Has Landed ....... and a Tutorial on Daubert," shows that passion: she's able to provide a mother's lament upon the enrollment of her daughter in college, all the while providing terse analysis of a Daubert challenge in a recent IAB case. Her October 25, 2011 post, "Reversal of Fortune: Delaware Supreme Court Delivers Blow to the Use of Labor Market Surveys," which discusses the Delaware high court's recent decision related to hypothetical retroactive labor market surveys, is a fine example of Cassandra's competence.
Watch the video interview with Cassandra Roberts on the three time selection of Delaware Detour & Frolic as a Top Blog.
Ouch! Workers' Compensation News and Issues (Kentucky)
Already a three-time winner, OUCH! continues to be a font of information related to workers' compensation law and practice within the great state of Kentucky. An excellent mixture of case analysis and workers' compensation news, the Blog provides readers with a helpful narrative on a wide array of workers' compensation topics. In the discussion of Schmidt v. South Central Bell (Ky. App. 2011) on June 29, 2011, Marcus Roland highlights the retroactive application of remedial legislation. Earlier in the year (February 20, 2011), a piece entitled, "Amend me ... amend me not: Newly proposed practice regs yanked from consideration," Roland commented upon a decision by the Commissioner of the Department of Workers' Claims to withdraw proposed amendments to the "Practice Regulations" embodied under 803 KAR 25:010.
Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyer Bloghttp://www.massachusettsworkerscompensationlawyerblog.com/Published by Altman & Altman LLP
A past winner, Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Lawyer Blog, offered by the law firm of Altman & Altman, focuses primarily on Massachusetts news, trends and comp law. For example, in its September 30, 2011 post, "OSHA Cites and Fines Bostik Inc.," the firm provides coverage of OSHA's citations of employer, Bostik, Inc., for 50 alleged violations of workplace safety standards following a March 13 explosion at the company's Middleton plant. An excellent September 13, 2011 post, "Massachusetts Appeals Court Rules Two Employers Jointly Responsible for Employee´s Workers´ Compensation," includes a discussion of joint employment and joint workers' compensation liability in Massachusetts. And a July 21, 2011 piece, "Walgreens to Pay Massachusetts $2.8 Million in Restitution For Overcharging Workers´ Compensation Prescriptions," is an example of a local story that might have national implications.
Nevada Workers' Compensation Law Bloghttp://www.nevadaworkerscompensationlaw.com/Published by Virginia Hunt Law Office
Nevada Workers' Compensation Law Blog is written by Virginia Hunt, a former hearing officer who currently represents injured workers. Many of her posts offer helpful advice to those who have suffered compensable injuries. "Thinking of Starting Your Own Business After Your Work Injury" [October 10, 2011] is such an example. Virginia posits that while numbers of injured workers contemplate starting their own businesses in the wake of their injuries, careful planning is required and hasty decisions should be avoided. In her May 23, 2011 article, "Uninsured Employers," Virginia advises injured workers what to do if they determine that their employer has failed to secure workers' compensation coverage for employees. She cautions workers who are paid in cash that it may be difficult to establish claims and show average periodic earnings.
New York Workers Compensation Alliance Bloghttp://www.nyworkerscompensationalliance.org/Published by New York State Workers' Compensation Alliance
The New York Workers' Compensation Alliance Blog, published by a "coalition of injured workers and other stakeholders committed to protecting the rights of injured workers under the New York State Workers' Compensation Law," continues to provide excellent posts related to the plight of injured workers. While the number of postings seems to have tailed off a bit during 2011, the quality is still there. Its June 20, 2011 article, "WCA Opposes CIRB Application for Increase in Workers' Comp Insurance Rates," is an example of its passionate advocacy for the rights on those injured in the workplace. The Alliance doesn't hide its agenda, see the May 4, 2011 posting, "WCA Announces 2011/2012 Legislative Agenda" and its April 14, 2011 piece, "WCA Releases Letter Condemning the Medical Treatment Guidelines."
New Jersey Workers' Comp Bloghttp://www.njworkerscompblog.com/Published by John Geaney, of Capehart Scatchard
The workers' compensation claimants' bar seems to be more active in blogging than the defense bar. A notable exception is New Jersey Workers' Comp Blog, authored by John Geaney, of the defense firm, Capehart Scatchard. The blog handles straight-forward comp issues, but also treats collateral issues, such as claims filed under the ADA or FMLA. In a particularly interesting, July 5, 2011 posting, "Appellate Division Holds Truck Driver Sleeping On Dana Transport Property Was An Employee and Cannot Sue Dana Transport in Civil Action," the blog discusses what Professor Arthur Larson sometimes referred to as "upside-down" exclusivity, where the injured worker does not seek workers' compensation benefits, but rather argues for some reason or another that the claim falls outside the workers' compensation bargain so as to maintain a tort action against the employer.
North Carolina Workers' Compensation Lawyer Bloghttp://www.northcarolinaworkerscompensationlawyerblog.com/Published by Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, LLP
In spite of the state-specific reference in its title, Michael DeMayo's blog not only covers workers' compensation issues within the Tar Heel state, it looks for developments around the nation (and even the world) that could affect workers' compensation practice for North Carolina practitioners. And so it's no surprise that his March 30, 2011 offering, "Will the NC General Assembly Gouge the North Carolina Workers' Compensation System?" comments on the potential workers' compensation "reform" that was being talked about in Charlotte and Raleigh. But have you wondered what implications the meltdown of Japanese nuclear power plants might have within the Old North State? DeMayo has and he writes about it in his April 20, 2011 piece, "What Homer Simpson Can Teach Us about North Carolina Workers' Compensation." Last year, we commented that the DeMayo blog served as a "virtual water cooler" for North Carolina practitioners trying to stay on top of things. It still has plenty of "gurgle."
Columbus Workers' Compensation Law Blog (Ohio)http://www.columbusworkerscompensationblog.comPublished by Philip J. Fulton Law Office
Singled out on last year's list as a strong newcomer, Columbus Workers' Compensation Law Blog by the Philip J. Fulton Law Office continues to provide important information and commentary regarding workers compensation law and practice within the Buckeye state. Mr. Fulton is the author of the widely cited Ohio Workers' Compensation Law (LexisNexis) publication and a leading claimant's attorney. Fulton displays an unapologetic passion for injured workers. For example, in his August 4, 2011 posting, "Ohio Workers Compensation Indemnity Reform," he points out that the hue and cry among employers and carriers to tighten up on the payment of indemnity appears to be totally contradicted by data showing that since 1997, the total amount of wage loss benefits paid in Ohio has been relatively static. "Spinal Fusion Surgery Not Effective For Patients," posted February 18, 2011, is a good example of Fulton's mastery of medico-legal issues. He provides terse analysis of recent medical studies that question the effectiveness of spinal fusion surgery for injured workers.
Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Lawyer Bloghttp://www.pennsylvaniaworkerscompensationlawyerblog.comPublished by Brilliant & Neiman, LLC
Previously honored as one of the top blogs, this Pennsylvania oriented offering from Brilliant & Neiman, LLC, a claimants firm, excels in its explanations of current Pennsylvania court rulings affecting injured workers' claims. The blog certainly calls 'em as it sees 'em, recently describing the Commonwealth Court's decision in PA Liquor Control Bd. v. Workers' Comp. Appeal Bd. (Kochanowicz), 2011 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 467 (Sept. 20, 2011) as "staggeringly repulsive." LexisNexis Workers' Compensation Law Community members might recall that the case was highlighted in the Larson's Spotlight (Sept. 23, 2011 list), involving the denial of benefits related to a claimed psychological injury resulting from the robbery of a liquor store. Pennsylvania law requires "abnormal working conditions" to support such a "mental" injury claim. The court observed that robberies were a "normal" condition of liquor store employment. Another thoughtful post is "Medical Treatment in PA Workers' Comp Not Reasonable or Necessary Because No Significant Improvement" (May 13, 2011).
Navigable Watershttp://navwaters.comPublished by Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett
Last year we identified Navigable Waters as a relatively new blog that practitioners and employers should watch. During 2011 this blog, whose primary focus is, of course, maritime law, has kept its standards high. Active discussion of important issues related to the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act and the Defense Base Act continue. Jon Robinson's excellent two-part post, "New OWCP Bulletin Addresses War Hazards Compensation Act Procedure," (Part I, Part II) is well worth reading, as is "Cap on Punitive Damage, offered by by attorney Will Bland.
graphicThe Official Medicare Set Aside Blog and Information Resourcehttp://www.medicaresetasideblog.com/Published by MedVal
A blog whose coverage is geared to a single topic, yet which covers virtually every aspect of that topic, is The Official Medicare Set Aside Blog. The blog provides up-to-date information of what continues to be one of the most complex areas within the workers' compensation arena, not to mention tort law: Medicare Set Asides. The site's case analysis is second to none-the October 3, 2011 offering, "There's Only 1 Way to Skin a Cat," which discusses the Second Circuit's decision in Bindrum v. American Home Assurance, is one of many thoughtful commentaries on MSA case law. But commentary is not limited to the decisions of our courts; the blog really shines when it comments upon activities within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The September 30, 2011 posting, "CMS has been Quietly Formulating Significant MSP Policies," offers clear, if acerbic, criticism of CMS practices.
Weekly Tollhttp://weeklytoll.blogspot.com/Published by United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities
While over the years much of the American economy has moved away from the factory and forge, the workplace is still a dangerous place to be. Included as an award winning blog this year, as has been the case for the past three years, Weekly Toll offers itself up as a reminder that every week within our nation, workers die at their place of employment. The blog, an offering of United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities (USMWF) and its executive director, Tammy Miser, also provides links to important safety resources for workers and support resources for the families of those killed. As noted last year, covering the entire country, Weekly Toll serves to highlight the toll that workplace fatalities impose upon our society.
Working Immigrantshttp://www.workingimmigrants.com/Published by Peter Rousmaniere
A three-time winner, Working Immigrants, by Peter Rousmaniere, serves as an articulate voice for the many immigrant workers around the country, for whom English is often a second language. Peter's postings related to state legislation are outstanding-see "Alabama's Immigration law dissected [August 30, 2011] and "Supreme Court: key provision in Arizona immigration law is OK" [May 27, 2011]. Attorneys and others can also profit from its timely summaries of articles found in other publications ["To boost economy, boost immigration," posted to the blog on June 23, 2011, which highlights an article by the libertarian pundit, Megan McArdle, previously published in The Atlantic Monthly]. While you may not always agree with Rousmaniere, you'll always be enlightened by his commentary.
Safety and Employer-Related Blogs
The Safety Blogwww.safetyservicescompany.com/blogPublished by Safety Services Company
Safety Services Company indicates that it provides construction, manufacturing, and workplace safety programs and training to thousands of work sites across the United States and Canada. In its specialized blog, The Safety Blog, it also provides clients and others with timely articles on those same topics. The blog straddles the Canadian-American border, offering such interesting reads as "Whistle blowing on the rise" (October 19, 2011), describing an increase in such activity within the U.S. and "Injuries on the rise for female workers" (August 22, 2011), which highlights an increase in injuries among women in British Columbia. Readers might also take a look at the August 1, 2011 posting, "Positive workplace safety results," which examines safety statistics from Alberta.
Work Comp Rounduphttp://blog.reduceyourworkerscomp.com/Published by Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc.
A standout blog for a number of years, Work Comp Roundup (formerly known as Workers' Comp Kit Blog) is a valuable compendium of cost containment ideas, best practices, techniques and strategies. The blog provides not only vast amounts of pertinent legal information, it contains an excellent mix of practical measures in a format that is accessible by non-lawyers as well. Among the valuable 2011 posts are "Five Signals Your TPA is Doing a Great Job" and "How Product Liability and Workers Compensation Interact." Rebecca Shafer's "Tribute to Colleagues Sept 11 - 10th Anniversary" is one of the most poignant remembrances of the nation's loss on that dark day in 2001. Two of the largest insurance brokers in the world were housed within the World Trade Center. Marsh and AON collectively lost almost 600 employees in the attack. Becki had been employed at various times by both companies. In her Tenth Anniversary 9/11 piece, she mourns the loss of many friends and colleagues, and challenges us all not to forget them.
New Blogs to Watch
San Diego Workers' Compensation Law Bloghttp://www.sandiegoworkerscompensationlaw.com/Published by Thomas M. DeBenedetto
San Diego Workers' Compensation Law Blog, offered by the highly respected applicant's attorney, Thomas M. DeBenedetto, has appeared on our top blog radar this year. Representing injured workers for the past 18 years, DeBenedetto writes with clarity and directness. His "A closer look at some of the 'hottest' jobs," written at the peak of summer temperatures (August 12, 2011) examines the jobs that are most susceptible to heat stroke. His September 14, 2011 post, "Addressing safety hazards in the office," points out that while we tend to think of assembly lines, factories, mines and foundries as hazardous work sites-and they are-we need also to remember that office settings can also be dangerous; conditions there can often result in serious leg, neck, back and spine injuries.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyershttp://workerscomplawyerhelp.com/workers-comp-lawyer-blogPublished by the Law Offices of Alex Berman, PC
A new designee this year is a claimant-oriented blog, Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. While some blog writers find time to post but a couple of articles each month, Alex Berman's office posts four or five each week. Most are short and ultra clear. See, for example, the October 11, 2011 posting, "Detroit News Editorial: Our 2 cents on workers comp changes," which challenges a Detroit News editorial that had stressed the need for the sort of cost controls found in House Bill 5002. A number of the posts are directed at claimants themselves. An August 23, 2011 offering, "How to get ready for an independent medical examination (IME)," offers helpful advice for claimants facing the dreaded IME.
Missouri Workers Compensation Lawyer Bloghttp://www.missouriworkerscompensationlawyerblog.com/Published by Aaron Sachs & Associates, P.C.
A relative newcomer, with posts beginning in mid-May, 2011, this Missouri-centric blog is published by Aaron Sachs & Associates, a claimants firm. It offers a mixture of text and video information geared toward injured workers and the attorneys who represent them. A recent offering on October 10, 2011, "Labor Commission Decision Finds Immigration Status Irrelevant for Missouri Workers' Compensation Purposes," comments on a recent case decided by the Missouri Labor Commission (Maribel Vega-Rivera v. Hyatt). Another recent blog post, "Workers' Compensation No Longer the Exclusive Remedy for Missouri Occupational Disease Claims," posted October 4, 2011, provides analysis of one of the more controversial cases in recent memory, State ex rel. KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Co. v. Cook, wherein the Missouri Court of Appeals held that occupational disease claims are not subject to the workers' compensation exclusive remedy rule.
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Cool! Top blog sites. I could visit them 1 by 1 and start reading them ahead. Very thankful for this output I've red. Think The Rassp Report more interesting.