LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
California: Slow Taper of Opioid Usage: UR Decisions Must Be Consistent With the MTUS

In McCool v. Monterey Bay Medicar , 2014 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS --, the WCAB panel rescinded the WCJ’s award of medical treatment in the form of Oxycontin, Norco and Lyrica to the applicant who sustained an industrial low back injury on 9/17/83 resulting in three back surgeries. The WCAB...

2014 Workers’ Compensation Emerging Issues

The new edition of Workers’ Compensation Emerging Issues Analysis (LexisNexis) is a veritable cornucopia of expert analysis, provocative commentary, and a 50 state survey of workers’ compensation legislation in 2014 As with last year’s inaugural edition, the 2014 Larson Series Workers’...

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...

WCRI Study Strikes Serious Blow to Physician-Dispensed Strong Opioids

A significant proportion of physician-dispensed strong opioids may not have been necessary at all Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter , is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation. ...

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...

Understanding Geographic Variation in the Use of Treatment Guidelines for Occupational Injuries

Greater medical consensus could reduce geographic variability A recent study published by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests that there is geographic variation in the use of medical treatment guidelines that reaches beyond differences in population characteristics,...

New CWCI Study Looks at Independent Medical Review Outcomes in California Workers’ Comp

A new analysis of independent medical review decisions issued in 2014 suggests that the medical dispute resolution process mandated by the workers’ compensation reform bill enacted in 2012 is working to assure that the treatment provided to California injured worker meets evidence-based medicine...

National and State-by-State Workers' Comp News Powered by Larson's (5/26/2015)

NCCI Symposium Reports First Responder Bills Top List of 2015 Legislation . NCCI Symposium: Dr. Victor Shares Insights on Physician Dispensing . NCCI Symposium: CWCI Shares Insights on Calif. Medical Dispute Resolution . NCCI Symposium: Moody’s Presents U.S. Macro Outlook . NCCI Symposium...

Thomas A. Robinson on Prescription Drugs and Workers’ Compensation

Last week LexisNexis published an Emerging Issues Analysis article on prescription drugs and workers’ compensation written by Thomas A. Robinson, the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law . The article examines opioid use, medical marijuana, physician dispensing, generic drugs...

New Study Documents Significant Increases in Fatal Benzodiazepine Overdoses

Fatal Overdoses Increased Five-Fold from 1996 to 2013 According to a study recently published in the American Journal of Public Health [ See Bachhuber, Marcus A., MD, MSHP, et al., “ Increasing Benzodiazepine Prescriptions and Overdose Mortality in the United States, 1996–2013 ,”...

IAIABC Taking Part in Shaping the Future of Workers’ Compensation

By Jennifer C. Jordan, Esq., General Counsel, MEDVAL, LLC On April 20, 2016, the IAIABC kicked off the National Conversation on the Future of Workers’ Compensation at its Forum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In a three hour session, questions were presented to about 100 attendees to debate in round...

Opioid Abuse Reduction Efforts in Workers' Compensation Claims Examined

A New Report Looks at the Early Data in 25 States to See How Opioid Abuse Reform Efforts are Faring in Workers' Compensation Claims In light of the epidemic in deaths caused by prescription opioid overdoses and abuse building since at least the 1990s, reforms targeting the abuse of opioids for...

Medical Marijuana Use as An Alternative to Opioid Use for Relief of Chronic Pain

A Michigan Survey Suggests That Medical Marijuana Patients Are Decreasing Opioid Use to Treat Chronic Pain Two topics that have received a great deal of attention in recent years regarding the medical treatment of chronic pain have been the use and abuse of opioids such as Vicodin and the legalization...

How to Help Injured Workers Reduce Opioid Dependency

Massachusetts implements new opioid diversion track By Deborah G. Kohl, Esq. The significance of opioid dependency is clear to all participants in the field of workers’ compensation. The real issue facing the parties is how to deal with this problem. Should an insurer stop paying for the...

New York Workers’ Compensation: The Year in Review 2016

By Ronald E. Weiss, Esq. and Ronald Balter, Esq. The year 2016 started with some expectation of substantial “reform” being enacted in the Workers’ Compensation Law. As part of his executive budget, Governor Cuomo proposed some of the most extensive substantive and procedural changes...

Ag Claims, Physical Medicine and High-Cost Opioids All Common on California’s Central Coast

The California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI) has issued a new “Regional Score Card,” the sixth in its research series that looks at workers’ comp claims experience in 8 different regions of California. The new Score Card provides detailed data from more than 127,000 claims...

WCRI Conference Focuses on Combating the Opioid Epidemic

By Deborah G. Kohl, Esq. The last several years have seen the “opioid epidemic” become the hot topic in the workers’ compensation industry. It is a problem that everyone from elected officials, government agencies, insurance carriers, doctors and ultimately families have had to address...

Injured Worker’s Death Due to Overdose of Medication: Breaking the Chain of Causation

Key takeaways from a recent Tennessee case for both injured workers and employers When do an injured worker’s actions, which led to a tragic overdose of opioids in the Kilburn case, constitute an independent intervening cause and thereby release the employer of liability for subsequent injuries...

Tennessee: Injured Worker’s Death Due to Overdose Was Not Compensable

Reversing a decision of a state chancery court that had found an injured worker’s death due to acute oxycodone overdose, coupled with alcohol use, to be compensable, the Supreme Court of Tennessee held that the actions of the worker, in taking more of his opioid medication than prescribed and consuming...

Latest Data on Opioid Use in Workers’ Compensation Claims Reported

The 2017 WCRI Report Looks at Data in 26 States to See How Opioid Abuse Reform Efforts are Faring in Workers' Compensation Claims In light of the epidemic in deaths caused by prescription opioid overdoses and abuse building since at least the 1990s, reforms targeting the abuse of opioids for pain...

Medical Marijuana and Opioids in the Workplace

By Albert B. Randall, Jr., Esq., Franklin & Prokopik, P.C. Navigating federal and state laws regarding medical marijuana and dealing with the workplace implications of the national opioid epidemic are challenging issues facing many businesses today. Currently, twenty-nine states have legalized...

North Carolina: Worker’s Death from Accidental Overdose of Narcotics is Compensable

In an unpublished opinion, the Court of Appeals of North Carolina affirmed an award, inter alia, of death benefits to dependents of an injured employee who suffered a compensable back injury in June 2010 and died some four years later, as a result of an accidental overdose of prescribed medications and...

Kentucky: Opioid Dependence Results in Loss of Co-Employee Immunity in Tort Action

A school bus driver was not entitled to rely upon Kentucky’s fellow-immunity rule in a tort action filed against her, since there was sufficient evidence to support the jury’s finding that the defendant driver was voluntarily intoxicated at the time of a serious vehicle accident; her actions...

Despite the Risks, Most WCMSA Plans Include Funds for Long-Term Opioid Use

Oakland – Nearly 70% of federally mandated and approved Medicare settlements for injured workers require funding for decades of opioid use, often at dangerously high levels and in conjunction with other high-risk drugs. Such a requirement exceeds federal and state clinical guidelines and places...

Interrelationship Between Personal and Occupational Risk Factors Complicates Opioid/Benzodiazepine Crisis

Building on prior research, a recent study sponsored in part by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) identifies eight models that demonstrate the interrelationships among occupational risk factors (ORFs), personal...