Welcome to this month’s edition of Comp Medical News. Marijuana, over- and under-use of medicine worldwide, and pharma money in odd places are your headlines for February 2017.
The Seventh Annual Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference, held February 2nd and 3rd at the Renaissance hotel in Baton Rouge featured topical sessions on state regulation, opioids, return-to-work, and a range of other issues. One standout included a point/counterpoint style debate between Office of Workers’ Compensation (OWC) Deputy Director Pauline Williams and LCTA Executive Vice-President Troy Prevot about Louisiana’s Second Injury Fund.
The recent Lafayette Bone & Joint Clinic v. LUBA case decided by the Louisiana Supreme Court sought to settle questions regarding employer choice of pharmacy (about which courts have differed). In the following guest post, Jeffrey Napolitano, attorney with Juge, Napolitano, Guilbeau, Ruli & Frieman representing LUBA in this case, explains the matter and implications for carriers moving forward.
Last week, HB 575, seeking to change the status of workers’ comp judges from classified to unclassified, was deferred. The same day, SB 44, a bill delineating certain subrogation rights for employers, won approval from the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council. This week, the group self-insurance fund financial bill faces another Committee hearing and the measure mandating the licensure of workers’ comp adjusters moves to the House. Also, Workers’ Memorial Day will be recognized with a program at the Labor Union Hall in Baton Rouge.
Tropics Software Technologies, a company specializing in workers’ comp software products and solutions for self-insured groups and insurance carriers, is the subject of Louisiana Comp Blog’s first “Tech Trends” feature, in which we take a look at how technology is shaping the world of the modern workers’ comp industry. Trae Jones, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Sarasota, Florida-based company, and Jeremy Williams, Chief Operating Officer, sat down with Comp Blog to explain how the next generation of workers is set to transform how companies portray themselves to potential talent.
Much like last year’s session, workers’ compensation as a target for lawmakers’ goals appears to be taking a backseat to the state’s still looming budget woes. However, several bills have been filed that address various technical aspects of the statute, including one bill addressing group funds’ financial stability, as well as a measure aimed at the potential adoption of an ODG formulary. Stick with Louisiana Comp Blog for full coverage of comp-related happenings until the Session ends on June 6th.
In their second of several policy-oriented guest posts below, Gregory J. Hubachek and D. Kirkhoff Brainard discuss Louisiana’s relationship with the national conversation surrounding opioids and addiction and how workers’ comp plays into it.
Welcome to this month’s Comp Medical News recap. Your top stories leading into March 2016 are Zika policy, David Duke, and employee resilience.
Gregory Hubachek, of Workers’ Compensation LLC, a law firm representing injured workers, has practiced in the field of workers’ compensation for over two decades and served on the Governor’s Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council since 2009, as well as providing educational presentations for a variety of organizations including LABI, the OWC, and the Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group. In this guest post, Hubachek and D. Kirkhoff Brainard sound off on how Louisiana can remedy its current budget woes by enforcing existing employment laws, and why dedicating resources to the Louisiana Workforce Commission to that end is so vitally important.
The first cohort of the Louisiana Insurance Academy at Delgado Community College is set to graduate in early December, and they will be ready for employment or internships at agencies across the state. We spoke with LIA founder and instructor Parke Ellis about the initiative and the importance of recruiting young talent to the insurance industry.