LASIE Looks to Build on Momentum Gained from Burgess Decision

Louisiana employers and workers’ compensation insurers received a bit of financial relief last summer when the Louisiana Supreme Court held that employers were free to choose which pharmacy injured workers are to use to fill their prescription medications related to their industrial injury.  The decision reached by the court in Burgess v. Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans was a pivotal first step in reining in rising workers’ compensation costs in Louisiana.

Additionally, the Supreme Court recognized the possibility that even though medical fees may fall within the amounts established in the reimbursement schedule, they may also be declared unreasonable and not subject to compensation under certain circumstances.  This decision could very well leave the door open to future legal arguments against unreasonable medical services provided by outpatient facilities.  

On the heels of the Burgess decision, our good friends at the Louisiana Association of Self Insured Employers (LASIE) are hosting a seminar on Monday, April 16, 2018 in Baton Rouge to not only discuss the financial impacts the Burgess Decision has had on pharmacy costs in Louisiana over the past 9 months, but will also offer up valuable bits of information from attorneys in Louisiana on the practical implications this decision should have on a workers’ compensation program. For registration information on this seminar, please click here.

Arizona Lawmakers Introduce Bill Allowing for the Settlement of Future Medicals

Our good friends at workcompcentral.com recently posted an article on Arizona Senate Bill 1332, which would allow complete settlements in workers’ compensation cases, including future medicals.  Lawmakers sent Gov. Doug Ducey a bill that would allow “full and final settlements” and require employers to pay for travel to medical appointments, expand existing cancer presumptions for all safety workers and create a new presumption for heart ailments suffered by firefighters.

The settlements would have to be in writing and include a description of the worker’s medical conditions that have been identified and taken into consideration when settling the claim.  If an injured worker is not represented by an attorney, a full and final settlement would not be valid until the Industrial Commission determines that the deal is in the worker’s best interest.

This is certainly an issue we will be following closely here at Legacy Claim Solutions.  If signed into law, we stand ready to assist our clients in properly valuing, negotiating, and ultimately settling all of their outstanding high exposure workers’ compensation claims in Arizona, as we currently do across the country.

Castellanos Fallout Continues as AIG Increases Reserves By $100M

As the dust continues to settle in Florida in the aftermath of the Castellanos v. Next Door Company, et al, AIG has increased its reserves to cover the expected outcome.  In an article posted by our friends at workcompcentral this morning, AIG indicated that they will boost their reserves by $100 million, feeling the decision reached in the case will have a retroactive impact on current policies.

NCCI has also echoed the retroactive impact of this decision in its amended rate filings shortly after the Castellanos decision was reached, stating “because workers' compensation rate-making is prospective only, insurers are not able to recoup premium to cover such unforeseen retroactive system cost increases.  Even if the proposed rates are to apply to outstanding policies, a significant portion of the full retroactive impact and unfunded liability remains."

This is most certainly a dynamic time for workers’ compensation in Florida, especially considering the recent request for the United States Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of the entire Florida workers’ compensation system altogether.  One can safely assume that the ramifications of the Castellanos, and other similar decisions across Florida, will be felt for years to come.