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Brad Bleakney
107 followers -
Chicago Workers Compensation Attorney, Illinois Workers Comp lawyer
Chicago Workers Compensation Attorney, Illinois Workers Comp lawyer

107 followers
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Modern Marijuana research and interplay with Workers Compensation

Excellent article written by Robert G. Rassp who is trained by prior education to appreciate empirical evidence by best research methods and scientific standards as separated out from mere hooey. 
see more at:  bit.ly/1QyQhdY

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Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission declares “Opt-Out” provisions unconstitutional

Oklahoma WCC  decision discusses the denial of due process in an equal protection/due process analysis and explains what is likely to happen next for appeal.  Critical reading for all state lawyers where Opt Out plans are being proposed that skirt state workers compensation claim coverage requirements.

See more at:  bit.ly/1TMywvh

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Illinois Workers Comp Medical costs fall below neighboring states Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana

CRAIN'S Chicago Business recently reported that IL workers comp medical costs per claim dropped 15%. Citing a report from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (see: http://bit.ly/1Q7kgve),  CRAIN"S reported that Illinois Workers Comp medical payments fell about 15 %,  to an average of $14,513 per claim, during the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2013, which was down from $17,140 per claim in 2010-11.

When the final numbers roll in from 2014 and 2015 we should see additional medical savings documented for Illinois employers from the recent major workers comp reforms put in place in 2011.

According to the WCRI report, Illinois' medical payments are down lower than Indiana ($18,863), Wisconsin ($17,787) and Iowa ($16,051) for the same period.

This is certainly great news for Illinois employers who have been waiting patiently (or not so patiently) for lower workers comp premiums based upon the lowered medical fee schedule payments per claim.

Some of the medical savings incurred are likely from the 30% slashing of the IL Workers Comp Medical Fee Schedule rates from 2011 and some of the savings are likely attributable to new utilization review enforcement which challenges what medical care is actually being approved by insurance carriers as being both reasonable and necessary. 

Widespread utilization review is often leading to great difficulty for injured workers seeking recommended medical treatment.  Out-of-state UR doctors in a "medical records review" only often deny medical treatment recommended by Illinois physicians. 

Injured Illinois employees are typically forced to seek out attorney representation for medical treatment denials and UR appeals.  Trial may often prove necessary to contest initial denial of medical care but, for better or worse, the overall reform package of 2011 is working to cut medical costs for Illinois employers.

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Are State Workers Comp Opt-Out Plans leading to Federal Oversight of State Workers Comp Programs?? Are we Federalizing Comp ??

Federal intervention may ... come as the result of the "opt out" movement in Texas and Oklahoma, in which employers shun heavily regulated workers' comp and are permitted to write and administer their own largely unregulated workplace injury plans.

Rep John Kline (R-MN), who chairs the House Workforce Committee, issued a statement..."I appreciate the concerns that have been raised.... but I would have reservations about putting the U.S. Department of Labor in charge of state workers' comp laws.

But Ten ranking Democrats on key Senate and House committees are urging the Labor Department to respond to a "pattern of detrimental changes in state workers' compensation laws" that have reduced protections and benefits for injured workers over the past decade.

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NCCI researchers examine the effects of prescription drug fee schedules on reducing drug prices in workers’ compensation

The states with a high fee schedule ( multiplier greater than 100% of the AWP) actually had a higher per unit drug price than states without a fee schedule. -


See more at: http://bit.ly/1jrS1te

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Injured Workers Benefits Continue to Decline While Employer Costs Continue to Rise

Why is it that injured workers benefits since 2009 have decreased by 5% while the costs to their employers rose by 5% .  What's wrong with this picture? Why are employer's costs up despite lowering benefits paid to injured workers?
see: http://bit.ly/1LrlNez

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AMA Guides 6th ratings struck down in Pennsylvania

A recent Pennsylvania appellate court strikes down the AMA Guides 6th as an improper delegation of authority.  The workers comp system judges are supposed to decide the extent of an injury and not an artificial grid system like the AMA 6th which limits recovery based on assessing "activities of daily living".
see: http://bit.ly/1OQVQp6

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If states continue to slash workers comp benefits will the exclusive remedy defense from suit still apply??

The question is whether recent state workers comp reforms, deforms or "opt outs" slash an injured workers benefits to the point that it violates norms of due process and the original "grand bargain".

To follow national trends sign up for the LexisNexis workers comp news letter by lead editor Robin Kobayashi  at:  http://bit.ly/1AC384N
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