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BWC Board Releases MCO Study

December 21, 2018

The board of directors heard a presentation on a second phase of a study of managed care organization (MCO) performance in the Ohio system.

Unlike 20 years ago when Governor Voinovich called the Ohio workers’ compensation system the “silent killer of jobs,” the Ohio system today is a national leader on any number of metrics, including medical.

However, that success comes at a cost. The study indicates that MCOs are paid 27% of total medical costs; meanwhile, benchmarks in from other programs are 15% of total costs for administrative costs.

That suggests a possible overpayment of $70 to $80 million for MCO services. Those costs, of course, are born by employers.

The BWC will establish work groups to study this matter in detail. The OMA will be there. 12/20/2018

Steps Toward a World-Class Insurance Organization

December 21, 2018

Sarah D. Morrison, Administrator/CEO, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), recaps major accomplishments over the last eight years of the Kasich administration, steps she says are toward becoming a world-class insurance organization. 12/18/2018

OSHA Proposes to Revise Beryllium Standard for General Industry

December 21, 2018

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a proposed rule to revise the beryllium standard for general industry. OSHA said the proposed changes are designed to clarify the standard, and to simplify or improve compliance with the standard.

A comment period is open until February 9, 2019. The enforcement date for the provisions affected by this proposal is December 12, 2018. While this rulemaking is pending, compliance with the standard as modified by this proposal will be accepted as compliance.

The proposal is supposed to satisfy a settlement agreement with stakeholders that had concerns about some of the provisions in the 2017 beryllium final rule.

More here. 12/20/2018.

OMA Workers’ Comp. Account Manager Booth Retires

December 7, 2018

Georgia Booth, workers’ compensation account manager on the OMA staff, will retire this month.

Georgia has helped members manage their workers’ compensation claims and save money on their premiums since 2003, when she joined the staff. Her entire career was in the Ohio workers’ comp. industry.

Georgia’s customers sent in many messages of gratitude for her service and well wishes for a long and happy retirement. We will all miss her.

Her accounts will be ably serviced by Juliet Walker of the OMA WCS team. 12/6/2018

BWC Board Hears Initial MCO Study Results

November 30, 2018

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) board of directors has initiated a study of the effectiveness of the Managed Care Organization (MCO) system, the BWC’s contracted network of organizations that approve injured workers’ medical treatment and pay workers’ medical bills.

The initial results indicate that Ohio performs better than the national average with respect to return-to-work, injury incidence, and cost to treat injuries. And those savings, according to the study, are not associated with reduction of positive outcomes or quality of care.

However, over the last five years, there has been no decrease in days absent during the first year following injury for the three types of lost-time claims studied (low back pain, shoulder injury, knee arthroscopy).

Most injured workers and employers say they are satisfied with MCOs’ medical management, according to the study. 11/28/2018

Federal Court Decision Limits Scope of OSHA Investigations

November 16, 2018

From OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward: “In what should be viewed as a victory for employers, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently issued a decision limiting the scope of OSHA inspections. …

“In United States v. Mar-Jac Poultry, Inc., Franz Ward summarizes: “Mar-Jac (1) reinforces the notion that there are limits on OSHA’s inspection authority and (2) confirms the right of employers to limit consent to inspect or to challenge a warrant. OSHA cannot expand an accident-based inspection simply because of an emphasis program, injuries recorded on an OSHA 300 log, or the mere existence of a hazard. So, if faced with a request by OSHA to expand the scope of an accident-based inspection, employers should contact counsel immediately to determine an appropriate response.”

You can read the details of the case from Frantz Ward here. 11/9/2018

Next BWC Employer Webinar is November 29

November 16, 2018

On Nov. 29 at 11:30 a.m. the BWC’s monthly employer webinar will cover National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) manual classifications, recreational waivers, Violation of Specific Safety Requirement awards and its monthly safety tip.

You have the option to attend online, or to visit your local office and view the webinar with BWC staff. 11/15/2018

BWC Website Security Upgrade Coming Nov. 27

November 16, 2018

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) will make a change to its website to improve security on Nov. 27.

If you are already using a browser version listed on BWC’s Supported Browser List, then you shouldn’t have any issues.

If not, these changes mean that to take full advantage of the site, you’ll need to ensure your browser is up-to-date. Here are more details. 11/15/2018

OHA Reveals Top 10 Violations for 2018

November 16, 2018

OSHA has announced the preliminary Top 10 most frequently cited workplace safety violations for fiscal year 2018.

Year to year, the rankings rarely change, although this year’s No. 10, “Eye and Face Protection” (1926.102) was not on the 2017 list. 11/15/2018

OSHA has Holiday Season Safety Resources

November 16, 2018

With the increase in merchandise sales during the holiday shopping season comes an increase in potential hazards for workers in some industries.

Here’s OSHA’s list of holiday-season resources. 11/14/2018