Five Things You Need to Know: Friday Edition
By 01/06/2017 14:00:00
Action in Florida
- Dissatisfaction: The Florida Division of Workers' Compensation has released results from a satisfaction survey, and stakeholders aren't very happy. Michael Moline of Florida Politics reported that out of nearly 450 survey responders: "Nearly 66 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed that the system strikes the right balance. At nearly 40 percent, 'strongly disagree' got more votes than any other category. Nearly 18 percent agreed the balance was right, and a little more than 6 percent strongly agreed." The Division reached out to almost 4,470 people, including members of the medical and legal industries and representatives of carriers.
- Drug Formulary: The "Three-Member Panel" has spoken. Rather the "Two-Member Panel" now, with Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier and Tamela Perdue, Senior VP for Sunshine Health at the healm, according to Florida Politics. Tamela represents workers, but Gov. Rick Scott hasn't appointed an employers representative, so the seat remains vacant. The duo voted to recommend establishing a drug formulary to help with statewide medical costs. The recommendation will be either be considered through Florida's legislature on the House and Senate sides, or perhaps birth new state regulations.
- Rate Hike: A legislative storm is already brewing for the New Year. With the upcoming increase in workers' compensation insurance costs at 14.5 percent, businesses need to brace themselves for a 4.5 percent spike in 2017. Business and legal represenatives blame attorney fees, according to WCTV (Capitol News Service) in Tallahassee. Reporter Mike Vasilinda writes "The state's business trade groups say employee’s lawyers are greedy." The Florida Supreme court voted to eliminate caps on attorney fees in April 2016.
Hot News in Ohio
- As of Jan. 4, Ohio joined more than 50 percent of states with some sort of workers' compensation coverage for cancer. "The law allows firefighters who qualify that are 'disabled' by cancer the opportunity to file a claim with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, essentially classifying cancer as an occupational disease for firefighters," writes Maiai Belay of Cleveland's Fox 8. Gov. John Kasich signed Senate Bill 27 into effect, which was introduced in 2015.
Heavy OSHA Complaint Settled in Wisconsin
- Fraser Shipyards in Superior, WI was allegedly blamed for high levels of lead exposure during an oil engine extraction in 2016. Instead of admitting fault for the alleged exposure, Fraser will pay $700,000 and put together a new safety plan, according to Twin Cities Pioneer Press (Forum News Service). Fraser has been in Superior for more than 120 years. Reporter Bradey Slater writes: "Following an investigation, the shipyard was cited last summer by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 14 violations and slapped with a $1.395 million fine. Fraser appealed, resulting in a settlement conference that saw the penalty reduced by about half."