State of the States


Florida - A bill to provide additional cancer presumption benefits to firefighters in Florida is awaiting the governor’s signature.  SB 426 was unanimously passed by both the House and Senate this week. Under the bill, firefighters diagnosed with one of the 21 listed cancers would be eligible to receive disability or death benefits outside of the workers’ comp system, meaning, if the firefighter forgoes a workers’ comp claim they would be entitled to cancer treatment and a one-time cash payout of $25,000.

Oklahoma - An amended comprehensive workers’ comp reform bill, HB 2367, was unanimously passed by the Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday. The bill, which attempts to address several state supreme court decisions throwing out earlier reforms, will require reconsideration by the House before it can head to the Governor for signature. Among the elements of the bill is the mandated use of the Sixth Edition of the AMA guide and the ODG treatment guidelines. 

Montana - Montana Governor Steve Bullock has signed a law into effect making it easier for firefighters to receive workers’ comp benefits. After a lengthy battle, SB 160, will go into effect July 1, 2019.  Under the new law, several cancers, including mesothelioma and brain cancer, will be presumed to be caused by the firefighter’s work and therefore covered under workers’ comp. Insurers may only deny such a claim if they can prove that the firefighter was not exposed to enough smoke or particles to have caused the illness.

Texas - The Texas legislature is considering a bill that would mandate the use of electronic prescribing for all controlled substances beginning January 1, 2021. The Public Health Committee held a public hearing on the bill last week and is expected to vote on it by early next week.

Michigan - On Monday, the Michigan Attorney General announced she would be establishing a new enforcement unit to prosecute worker misclassifications which result in employers avoiding responsibility for overtime, health benefits, and workers’ compensation. The AG was elected last year on a promise to protect workers and labor unions.

By Danielle Jaffee

Courtesy of Injured Workers Pharmacy Blog

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