Workers' Compensation News - September 27, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 238 Workers' Compensation News - September 27, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 238

 Pharmaceutical Issues: Drugs have a successful history of use in treating illnesses and injuries, and they are responsible for many of our medical...

First Reports of Health Effects in World Trade Center Rescue and Recovery Workers Find High Rates of Respiratory and Mental Health Problems
Screening finds half of those examined had upper or lower respiratory symptoms, and more than half had psychological...

CMS Publishes Final Rule Changing the Way It Will Calculate Interest on Medicare Secondary Payer Debt

For these stories and others visit our web site http://www.gelmans.com

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A Failed System of Health Care Delivery: The Workers’ Compensation System in New Jersey
by Jay Bernstein, Rutgers Law Record, Rutgers Newark School of Law, Vol. 28 Rutgers L. Rec. 3 (May 1, 2004) published Saturday, 25 September, 2004; internet site: (http://www.LawRecord.com) (Report to the Labor Committee, NJ Assembly, recommendations for reform of the Workers Compensation system).
http://www.lawrecord.com/

See also:
Does the Workers’ Compensation System Need a Prescription Change? 
By Jon L. Gelman
http://www.gelmans.com/FrontEnd/ReadingRoom/vwArticle.asp?ArticleId=477&PracticeAreaId=-1

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Sept. 11 attacks didn’t bankrupt U.S. insurers: Study
The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the worst insured catastrophe in American history, were not costly enough to trigger failures of any U.S. insurance companies, according to a university researcher’s study.
http://www.businessinsurance.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?newsId=4376


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Most Ground Zero Volunteers Still Waiting For Workers' Comp
"A study of workers' compensation claims from the cleanup at the World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11 attacks found that about 90 percent of the 10,182 claims for workers' comp have been resolved. In contrast, less than a third, or 31 percent, of the 588 volunteer claims were resolved as of June 30, 2004, the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, found. 
http://www.adjuster.com/modules.php?mop=modload&name=News&func=article_view&adj_article_id=839

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The Chemical Wars, Part 3, September 16, 2004 by Peter Montague 
We have been describing the philosophy of environmental regulation in the U.S. Basically, it is a "prove harm" system -- anything goes until someone can "line up the dead bodies" and prove that significant harm is occurring. When that happens, which is rare, then a multi-year, or multi-decade, battle begins in which underfunded and understaffed government regulators bargain with a phalanx of corporate lawyers and scientists-for-hire. Eventually they hammer out a compromise between public health and corporate purposes. The compromise becomes an enforceable regulation --until one corporation or another decides to mount a challenge and the dance begins anew.
http://www.rachel.org/bulletin/index.cfm?St=1 

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Drastic workers compensation changes called for in Texas
In response to what has been called a developing crisis by Texas Governor Dewhurst, the Sunset Advisory Commission, a body charged with reviewing state agency performance, has just issued recommendations that include abolishing the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission (TWCC) and migrating many of the TWCC responsibilities to a newly created Office of Employee Assistance in the state's Department of Insurance. An article in the Houston Chronicle states:

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/2798442

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THE HEALTHCARE ISSUE & THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
Although health care ranks higher in importance among voters than most other domestic issues, it is only fourth in importance in deciding their vote for president. The health care issues of greatest concern are the affordability of health care and health care insurance. Health care issues do not appear likely to play a decisive role in the presidential election in 2004, but they might make a difference in some swing states if the race is close.
NEJ Med
http://content.nejm.org/content/vol351/issue13/index.shtml

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PENDING ISSUES - NJ SUPREME COURT
A-65-03 Sager v. O.A. Peterson Construction (55,496)
Was this employee entitled to benefits under N.J.S.A. 34:15-36 of the Workers’ Compensation Act for injuries sustained while away from the job site with his supervisor under these circumstances?
Certification granted: 2/27/04