The pre-election season used to be dubbed the silly season, but this year it might better be termed the scary season - things are getting pretty acrimonious. Following up on the scary theme, Meredith Hughes, Allison Levy, and Sam Wainwright of New Health Dialogue Blog team up to bring you Health Wonk Review: All Hallows Eve Edition. It's an entertaining and substantive issue, and the last issue before the election.
And in other news of note:
Joe Paduda of Managed Care Matters tackles the issue of physician dispensed drugs in work comp and explains how repackaged drugs can add to costs by an alarming magnitude. In 2007, California closed this loophole that allowed repackaged drugs to go "off the grid" in terms of existing pricing controls, and other states are now looking at this issue. Joe's post compiles research and explains why this is an issue you should know and care about.
Roberto Ceniceros of Comp Time looks at the NFL's recent focus on helmet-to-helmet hits. He links to a press release from the NFL Players Association, which makes the point that player safety extends beyond the field, calling on the league to "call on the league to end "nasty litigation against nearly 300 players' workers compensation cases and stop saying 'no' to the disability benefits of NFL legends."
Yvonne Guibert of Complex Care Blog discusses obesity and comorbidities and the impact on claims costs. She offers research and resources to help employers grapple with this issue. The current issue of Human Resource Executive also carries a good article on how obesity adds to healthcare costs, along with some approaches that employers are taking to mitigate the problem.
For all practical purposes, Texas is the only state in the union that allows employers to opt out of mandatory workers comp coverage. Peter Rousmaniere takes a look at how the opt-out option has affected employers in the current issue of Risk and Insurance. And on the topic of opting out, see Good News for Texas Non-subscribers, Bad News for Excess Carrier, a post by Michael Fox of Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer.
Advanced Safety and Health News Blog discusses and links to federal OSHA's recently issued special evaluation of state-run OSHA programs. "The reports provide detailed findings and recommendations on the operations of state-run OSHA programs in 25 states and territories. The review was initiated after a 2009 special OSHA report on Nevada's program, identified serious operational deficiencies in that state."
Judge Tom of the eponymous blog schools us on Oklahoma's law on recreational injuries and workers comp. In 2005, the law was tightened to exclude any injuries that stem from recreational and social activities, even those occurring on the employer's premises. He notes: "The larger, unanswered question is whether employers no longer have tort immunity for injuries sustained at recreational and social functions such as Christmas parties, company sponsored sports leagues, the Orcutt basketball pick-up game, attendance at charitable events to name a few."
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