LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
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...

CWCI Study Tracks the Changing Mix of Workers’ Comp Drugs as Opioid Use Declines

Oakland–Opioids remain the most common type of prescription drug used to treat California injured workers with lost-time injuries, but sustained efforts to curb their use are paying off as new data show that in the past decade they fell from about a third of indemnity claim prescriptions to less...

Recent Veterans Study Has Important Implications for Workers’ Comp World

Concomitant Benzodiazepine-Opioid Use Increases Risks of Adverse Outcomes Adding additional strength to the swell of medical research warning us about the dangers of combining opioid and benzodiazepine medications, a recent study published by the International Association for the Study of Pain [see...

WCRI Study Reveals Causal Connection Between Long-Term Opioid Prescribing and Duration of TTD Benefit Periods

A recent study published by Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) argues that there is indeed a causal relationship between the practice of providing extensive opioid prescriptions to an injured worker and the duration of that workers’ temporary disability benefits [ see Bogdan...

West Virginia: High Court Says Claimant’s Continued OxyContin Prescriptions Not Compensable

In a memorandum decision, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia affirmed the denial of continued use of OxyContin to an injured worker who sustained a back injury in August 1992, yet who complained of continuing back pain 23 years later, at the time of an IME. The IME noted that at the time of...

An Alternative to Opioids: A Mind-Body Approach to Pain Management

A recent webinar discussed one approach to reducing reliance on dangerous opioids for pain management By Roger Rabb, J.D. The opioid epidemic is perhaps the biggest health crisis facing the U.S today, as an estimated 115 Americans die from an opioid overdose each day. At the very least, this epidemic...

New Study Links Pre-Injury Opioid and Benzodiazepine Use with Risk and Cost of Post-Injury Disability

A study to be published by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine supports the widely-held — although not thoroughly documented — notion that pre-injury opioid and benzodiazepine use may increase the risk and cost of disability after a work-related injury [ see Esi W. Nkyekyer...