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Time to “True-up”

July 15, 2016

With the state’s new fiscal year now underway, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is calling on employers to participate in the final step of the agency’s transition to prospective billing.

The “True-up” window opened July 1 and closes at the close of business Aug. 15.  Employers are required to report their actual payroll for the policy year ended June 30, 2016 and reconcile any differences in premium paid.

BWC began its switch to a prospective billing last year and now collects premiums upfront, an insurance industry standard practice.

BWC will remove employers from their current rating plan or discount program if it does not receive a payroll true-up by the due date.  Any outstanding payroll true-ups will render the employer ineligible for participation in future rating plans or discount programs until all outstanding payroll true-ups are complete.  Employers must complete the true-up report even if their payroll for the year matches the estimate received from BWC.

The quickest and easiest way to true-up is online with a BWC e-account.  Online true-up and payment also qualifies eligible employers for a 1% rebate up to $2,000.

Learn how to create an e-account here.  For true-up instructions, please visit this link. The payroll true-up may also be completed through the BWC call center at (800) 644-6292.

100 Ohio Employers Now Have Other States Coverage Policies

July 15, 2016

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has issued its 100th policy under the Other States Coverage program, a new option that protects Ohio businesses with employees who work in other states.  The coverage ensures these employees are protected regardless of where they are injured without the need to manage policies in multiple states with varying laws.

BWC generally provides coverage for employees working temporarily outside of Ohio.  However, complications could arise when the injured worker files a claim in another state.  Treatment can be delayed and businesses can be subject to penalties by the other state.

A law enacted last year granted BWC the authority to contract with an insurer to provide this coverage.  BWC is working with United States Insurance Services (USIS) and Zurich Insurance to provide that coverage.

Go here to learn more and to apply.  A brief video overview of the new program can be found here.

BWC Names New Legislative Director

July 1, 2016

Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator & CEO Sarah Morrison announced that Elle Decot has joined the agency as its legislative director.

Decot will be charged with representing BWC at the Statehouse, working with lawmakers on legislation effecting Ohio’s workers’ compensation system and responding to constituent and customer questions and concerns.

She joined BWC on June 13, filling a role vacated by Kelly Carey, who left the bureau in April for a job in the private sector.  A photo of Decot can be found here.

BWC Board to Host Toledo Public Forum

June 24, 2016

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) board of directors will host a public forum Wednesday, June 29 at 9:00 a.m. in Toledo for area business owners, medical providers, stakeholders, injured workers and other interested parties.

Members of the board will conduct a roundtable discussion about BWC and how policy decisions are made by the board. This is also an opportunity for the directors to learn which issues are most important to stakeholders in the area, and the suggestions they may have for improvement.

The meeting will take place at 1 Government Center, Suite 1136, Toledo, Ohio 43604-0794.

BWC True-Up Reminder!

June 17, 2016

Prospective billing payroll true-up begins July 1!   Visit the BWC website for more information.  This 2-minute video explains the true-up process.

A Guide for Safety Sustainability Reporting

June 17, 2016

The Center for Safety and Health Sustainability has released a Best Practice Guide for Occupational Health and Safety in Sustainability Reports, which outlines a framework that can be used to incorporate occupational health and safety metrics into sustainability reporting practices.

The eight-page guide was developed through a collaborative process that included some of the world’s largest OSH professional organizations and represents standards of performance which are already accepted, understood, and operationalized by those managing safety and health at work.

How Does Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Law Impact Your Drug-free Policy?

June 10, 2016

Here’s a post from OMA Connections Partner, Working Partners®:  “… Governor Kasich signed Ohio H.B. 523 into law, legalizing marijuana as “medicine under certain circumstances.” The law will officially go into effect in 90 days, but the bill allows two years for the state to complete the infrastructure and specifications to grow, sell and regulate the use of marijuana.

“It is important for you to know there are SEVERAL elements in law that protect you, the employer, and your drug-free workplace (DFWP) program:

  1. Employers do NOT have to permit or accommodate an employee’s use, possession, or distribution of “medical” marijuana.
  2. Employers are NOT prohibited from refusing to hire, discharging, disciplining or otherwise taking adverse action against a person who uses “medical” marijuana.
  3. Employers CAN drug test and have a drug-free workplace program, even if it is a zero tolerance policy.
  4. The law will NOT interfere with or change: alcohol/drug testing requirements mandated by the Department of Transportation (DOT); the BWC Drug-Free Safety Program, including H.B. 80; Ohio HB 223 (rebuttable presumption for workers’ compensation
  5. Nothing in the law permits a person to sue an employer for refusing to hire, discharge, disciplining, retaliating or otherwise taking an adverse employment action related to “medical” marijuana.

A person who is discharged from employment because of their medical use of marijuana is considered to have been discharged “for cause” if their use violated an employer’s policy.”

What Employers Should Know about Drug Tests (video)

June 10, 2016

Here’s a good 3 minute video from OMA Connections Partner, Working Partners®, that explains the various drug tests employers might consider.  Good to know!

BWC Offers Occupational Safety & Hygiene Fellowship

June 10, 2016

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is taking applications for a new fellowship program. The fellowship is an opportunity for college graduates in the fields of occupational safety and health, engineering, industrial hygiene, and/or or physical/ natural sciences to receive on-the-job training in the fields of occupational safety and health, ergonomics, industrial hygiene and risk management.

The positions last two years and are fulltime with pay and benefits.  During the two years, the fellows will be working alongside BWC safety, ergonomics and industrial hygiene consultants.

Interested individuals with an undergraduate degree in occupational safety & health, industrial hygiene, engineering, environmental health or closely related field of study (i.e. physical/natural science) can complete an employment application by searching for “Occupational Safety & Hygiene Fellow” at this website.

BWC Develops Opioid Prescribing Rule

June 3, 2016

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) board of directors approved a new opioid prescribing rule aimed at preventing opioid dependence and encouraging physicians to employ current best medical practices when treating injured workers with opioids.

Under the rule, BWC will not reimburse for opioid prescriptions written by physicians who fail to use best medical practices.  Best practices include the development of an individualized treatment plan, risk assessment and monitoring of the progress and improvement in function of the worker.

The new rule also allows BWC to provide treatment for opioid dependence that arises from the use of opioid medications covered by BWC.

BWC began making improvements to its pharmacy program in 2010 to ensure injured workers receive medications necessary for their recovery without endangering their health.  Since the creation of BWC’s first-ever formulary, opiate prescriptions have steadily fallen, dropping by 23.8 million doses, or 41 percent, since 2010.

The rule now moves to the Ohio General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.  If approved there, it becomes effective October 1 this year.