Kudos - Congratulations to friend and colleague Joe Paduda on the one-year anniversary of his excellent blog, Managed Care Matters. If this blog isn�t on your regular reading list yet, it should be!
Guns at Work - Thanks to Michael Fitzgibbon for pointing us to a post at Workplace Prof Blog about guns at work: "Oklahoma and Kentucky have enacted laws prohibiting employers from excluding guns from the workplace. A bill has been introduced in Utah to do the same thing; a bill introduced in Florida would allow employees to keep guns in their cars even when the cars are at the workplace."
Also, see our prior post on the topic - it yielded an interesting discussion.
Wal-Mart Watch - The hits just keep on coming. Jordan Barab of Confined Space reports about a sweetheart deal between the Labor Department and Wal-Mart. Some officials apparently agreed to give the company 15 days advance notice before conducting any inspections for child labor safety violations.
Unhappy docs in California - The Sacramento Bee reports: "California Medical Association vow to cut back or stop treating injured workers in the wake of sweeping changes to the state workers' compensation system. While slashing costs, the historic overhaul has spawned an environment "that is hostile to physicians and often harmful to the patients they serve," according to a report released Monday by the medical association."
Aetna to pay for depression - Identifying depression as a cause of absence and a factor that exacerbates major illnesses, Aetna has agreed to cover a program to manage depression. (New York Times, free registration)
Healthcare translation - Bookmark this handy site! Rita Schwab of MSSPNexus points us to a terrific resource - Health Information Translations. There are nearly 40 million people in the U.S. who are not proficient in English, and some of them probably work for you. Three Ohio healthcare organizations provide fact sheets and health care information in 11 languages - and the service is free.
BP deaths were preventable - 15 deaths and 170 injuries could have been prevented if the refinery had installed a flare system years before, as OSHA had recommended, and heeded past warnings. Read more at Confined Space and rawblogXport.
New HR blog - Check out Ashraf Al Shafaki's AnswerOnce weblog that provides answers to many HR questions, such as "How can I manage employee retention?" and "How do I design a questionnaire?" It looks promising.
Insurance web service lacking - In the fifth study of its kind, 47 health care, life and health, and property & casualty insurer Web sites fared poorly in a study measuring the "Customer Respect Index." From the report:
The insurance industry remains the only industry sector evaluated with no Web site reaching the standard of excellent, noted the report. The insurance industry showed little or no improvement over the last study and in many key areas fell behind other industry sectors. For example, the industry failed to response to 26% of e-mail inquiries compared to an "ignore rate" of 16% for financial services. Read more about the report in Insurance Networking News.
New CEO at Ohio BWC - William Mabe, a retired Nationwide Insurance executive, has taken the helm at the beleaguered Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation. We wish him luck - things are still in considerable disarray. Follow the money in the Toledo Blade's excellent ongoing coverage of Coingate.
A little levity - Maybe we are a tad too serious here at the Workers Comp Insider. Heck, even actuaries let their hair down now and again. So we post the following tidbits for your amusement:
Interview with an honest boss (flash and sound alert) - (via Regina Miller.) Also, if you are looking for an educational craft project to while away the late fall evenings, you might consider knitting a digestive system. Fetching! (via Kevin, MD.)