Week of May 8 - 12, 2017             
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Welcome to your weekly WCI Newsletter. We have selected the top stories that appeared on our website this week to help you stay up to date on what is happening in the world of workers' compensation and insurance. Enjoy.
FL and IL Push Work Comp Anti-Fraud Legislation Through

By Angela Underwood

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government has approved the formation for additional anti-fraud units under Sen. Jeff Brandes' (R-St. Petersburg) proposal.

Senate Bill 1012, sponsored by Brandes, has the full support of  The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, a 24-year-old anti-fraud alliance made up of consumers, insurance companies and legislators. Howard Goldblatt, director of government affairs, has been with the coalition from the beginning in 1993 and helped draft legislation that Sen. Brandes' s proposal is modeled from.

"The genesis was that the insurers were not able to get policy makers and state legislators to fully understand the effect and impact of insurance fraud on their business and customers," Goldblatt said of the coalition's formation more than two decades ago. Read more.
Despite Court Rulings, Exotic Dancers Face Problems Obtaining Workers' Comp Coverage

By Liz Carey

Despite more than two decades of lawsuits, exotic dancers still face issues over who pays if they are injured on the job.

And recent reports indicate the dancers work in some of the more unsafe industries out there.

Since 1994, exotic dancers have been suing their club owners for worker rights and benefits. While club owners identify exotic dancers as independent contractors, increasingly courts are ruling that they are employees of the clubs and entitled to benefits.

In April, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that an exotic dancer injured during a shooting incident in a Columbia, SC club was an employee and not an independent contractor, and entitled to weekly compensation for her injures. Read more.
Rousmaniere: Does it Matter Who Picks the Doctor?

By Peter Rousmaniere

Does it matter who picks the doctor? The Workers' Compensation Research Institute concluded in a  report released last week that for the most part an insurer or employer will incur roughly the same claims costs for work injuries regardless if they occur in "employer choice" or "employee choice" states. It also opened the door to fruitful discussion of what does make a difference in claims outcomes.

To get to its conclusions, the research team had to neutralize a lot of factors that might bias its findings. This made large sections of the text as complex as you'll ever see in our field. I trust the researchers made the right decisions to answer fairly the question they put before them. Read more. 
Nine Expert Tips That Can Lower Your Workers' Compensation Costs

By Simply Work Comp Blog
Many employers don't realize how much control they can have over their workers' compensation premiums.

Because premiums are based partially on your loss history, you can avoid future premium hikes (and maybe even see some reductions) if you take steps to prevent injuries and manage claims well.

Following are some of our best tips for controlling your losses, and as a result, your workers' compensation premiums. Read more.
Trapped in the Trunk of Chronic Pain? Pain Management Coaching Has the Power to Help

By Becky Curtis

When chronic pain entered my life, I became the ultimate cure seeker. Like many people with chronic pain, the idea of living the rest of my life with it was unacceptable; I had to find a cure. I knew the source. Chronic pain didn't creep into my life gradually; it came in violently yet without warning. One minute I was driving through one of the most beautiful valleys in Montana, the next I was tumbling with punishing force through the barrow pit along the highway.

Dirt filled my mouth, the smell of hot engine oil mixed with the scent of sagebrush, filled my nostrils, and I couldn't move from the neck down. I fought to breathe, and my life felt as if it was slipping away. In fact, it was. My crushed spine took away my autonomic reflex to breathe and my punctured lungs gradually took away my capacity for air. My life was in danger. Read more.
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