March 20, 2013

News roundup: risk, happiness, state fund in Illinois, new hire compliance & more

Risk Roundup - Check out this week's Cavalcade of Risk #179 - March 20th, 2013 Edition posted at My Personal Finance Journey

Taking care of business - At WorkCompWire, Joe Paduda poses the question What business are you in?" He hazards a guess that most of us would say "the insurance business" but he argues that we are really in "the medical and disability management business - with medical listed first in order of priority." He suggests that, "Senior management misunderstands their core deliverable - they think it is providing financial protection from industrial accidents, when in reality it is preventing losses and delivering quality medical care designed to return injured workers to maximum functionality." We could quote the whole thing, he makes a compelling argument so be sure to check it out. It echoes one of the Lynch Ryan founding tenets. When many of us got into this business, we did not come with insurance backgrounds. We felt at its core, managing injuries required a focus on the human event and not the dollars. We believed then and still believe now that if you took excellent care of the injured worker, got them quality medical care and helped them get well and back to work, the dollars would follow.

Smile - it's March 20 - Did you know that March 20 is International Day of Happiness? Now you do. It's also the first day or Spring, and if, like us, you wondered why Spring isn't commencing on the usual March 21 date, Joe Rao at SPACE.com explains Why Spring Begins Early This Year.

New State Fund in Illinois? - Illinois Bucks Trend in Other States; Looks to Establish Competitive Workers' Comp State Fund - "Illinois state legislators are running counter to a national trend by proposing creation of a state workers' compensation insurance fund that would compete with the private system. The development is generating deep angst amongst Illinois insurers and industry trade groups."

Other state news


New Citizenship Verification form - As of 3-8-13, a revised US Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) Verification Form I-9 has been issued. There is a 60-day grace period to come into compliance - new USCIS I-9 Formsforms must be in use by May 7, 2013.

When healthcare workers are unsafe, patient quality suffers - "Many medical work environments are unsafe for health professionals, adding stress and distraction that can expose patients to harm," according Kevin B. O'Reilly who writes about a recent report by the National Patient Safety Foundation's Lucian Leape Institute. In an article in amednews.com entitled Warning sounded on demoralized health care work force, he cites a high injury rate that is 33% higher than private industry as one factor, as well as "the lingering problem of disruptive behavior in health care, which can create a culture of fear and intimidation that inhibits safe, high-quality care."

Fatalities Report - The March Monthly Labor Review has a report on Hispanic/Latino fatal occupational injury rates (PDF). The fatality rate for Hispanic/Latino workers is much higher than that of other demographic groups. Studies also show that, "... foreign-born Hispanic/Latino workers have higher rates than native-born Hispanic/Latino workers in certain occupations, a statistic that is explainable by differentials in employment between the two groups."

Worker Costs - According to the latest Department of Labor report, the Northeast leads the U.S. in worker costs. "Hourly costs per employee in the Northeast - which includes the New England states, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania - averaged $33.10 in December, higher than the national average of $28.89. The next costliest region was the West, which consists of the mountain and Pacific coast states, at $30.29. The average hourly wage in the Northeast was $22.85, while the average per-hour employer cost in benefits was $10.25, both the highest in the U.S."

More news of note

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Julie Ferguson published on March 20, 2013 1:57 PM.

Annals of Compensability: A Tale of Two Blisters was the previous entry in this blog.

Bagpiper's Fungus, Cheesewasher's Lung & other obsolete occupational maladies is the next entry in this blog.

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