Important 2015 Workers’ Comp Rule Changes – IMEs and Panel of Physicians Requirements

by Jennifer M. Smith, Esq.

The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation 2015 Rules, which went into effect on July 1, 2015, included several changes. Two of particular significance involve pre-payments for IMEs and the panel of physician requirements.

• Pre-Payment of Claimant’s IME allowed up to $1,200: Rule 202 (b) was amended to allow pre-payment up […]

Tuesday, August 11, 2015|

Work Place Injuries High in Nursing Profession: Lifting Devices Can Help

by Jennifer M. Smith, Esq.

It may be surprising, but nursing assistants and nurses are at a higher risk for back and other musculoskeletal injuries than workers in the construction, manufacturing, police and firefighting industries, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While slip and fall injuries account for some of these work place […]

Tuesday, July 14, 2015|

Liability for Over-Prescribing Narcotic Pain Medications

by William A. Green, Esq.

The battle against the rising epidemic of prescription narcotic abuse continues as West Virginia’s Supreme Court issued an opinion which should put physicians and pharmacies on notice nationwide. The court held that healthcare providers could be liable for contributing to the opioid addictions of their patients, allowing plaintiffs to maintain a […]

Tuesday, June 9, 2015|

Getting to Know your Panel Physicians

by Samantha J. Bily, Esq.

Georgia employers and insurers are likely used to hearing about the importance of having a valid panel of physicians to limit exposure and keep control on workers’ compensation claims. The panel lists which providers are authorized to treat injured employees. Besides ensuring the panel is valid (at least six unaffiliated providers […]

Friday, May 1, 2015|

When is a Heart Attack Compensable in Georgia?

by Timothy A. Raimey, Jr., Esq.

A recent Supreme Court of Maine decision held a widow of an employee who suffered a fatal heart attack while walking on a treadmill during a break from his telecommuting job could recover workers’ compensation death benefits. He also had his Blackberry with him. The Court put significant weight on […]

Wednesday, April 1, 2015|

Occupational Disease Bill Only Covers Firefighters…For Now

by Jennifer M. Smith, Esq.

Also in legislative news, the House of Representatives introduced a bill which would provide a “rebuttable presumption” that occupational diseases (hypertension, heart disease, respiratory disease and sometimes cancer) contracted by firefighters are caused by their work. This places the burden on employers and insurers to prove that the job was not […]

Sunday, February 1, 2015|

Drug Testing May Help Control Workers’ Compensation Costs

by Vince A. Toreno, Esq.

A recent study by Helios suggests that urine drug testing may reduce the use of certain high risk medications, including opioids, and help decrease medication costs for injured workers. According to a recent article in PRWebb, workers’ compensation medication cost decreased when prescribers were provided with information concerning their patients’ unexpected […]

Saturday, November 1, 2014|

Idiopathic Injuries: Still No Absolutely Certain Line

by Alissa C. Atkins, Esq.

One of the more spirited panels at the annual conference was on the topic of idiopathic claims. Not surprisingly, the perspectives from the claimant and defense sides of the bar were very different. Idiopathic claims are those in which an injury is deemed not to have arisen out of employment because […]

Wednesday, October 1, 2014|

New Online Tool Will Help Make MSA Prescription Cost Predictions More Reliable

by Christopher N. Kleps, Esq.

A patient’s age, Social Security status, and the nature of the injury may make a Medicare Set-Aside (“MSA”) necessary during settlement in order to comply with federal law requiring parties to consider Medicare’s interest in not making medical payments for workers’ compensation injuries. In certain situations, the Centers for Medicare and […]

Monday, September 1, 2014|

What You See Can Hurt You: New Study Reveals Early MRIs Lead to Increased Costs and Unnecessary Treatment for Low-Back Pain

by Christopher N. Kleps, Esq.

An MRI is a very powerful diagnostic tool that can show problems with muscles, ligaments, tendons, discs and soft tissue that x-rays cannot show. Unfortunately this strength can become a problem if not properly used. A new study showed that when low-back MRIs were performed early in treatment, future medical costs […]

Monday, September 1, 2014|