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November 02, 2004 7:37 PM
Workers' Compensation News - November 2, 2004 Volume 2 Issue 240

 -OSHA Identifies 585 NJ Workplaces with Highest Injury and Illness Rates 

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CMS TO ALLOW ON-LINE ACCESS
Beneficiary Automated Status and Inquiry System 
The Beneficiary Automated Status and Inquiry System (BASIS) is available to participants of the Voluntary Data Sharing Agreement (VDSA) program. The BASIS allows you to make on-line Medicare entitlement queries to CMS’ Enrollment Data Base (EDB) to determine if an individual is a Medicare beneficiary and if so, obtain available entitlement information. The BASIS serves as a useful tool when you have a need to know specific information during the interval between quarterly file exchanges
http://www.cms.hhs.gov/medicare/cob/basis/basis.asp

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LIBERTY MUTUAL AND ST. PAUL PROBED BY STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL
-St. Paul Travelers, Minnesota Life added to insurance probe
http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/10013999.htm?1c
-Spitzer subpoenas Liberty Mutual Group Spitzer inquiry targets industry sales practices
http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2004/10/20/liberty_mutual_probed/
-Mass. Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner Launch Probes into Brokers' Fee Arrangements
http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/east/2004/10/25/47140.htm
-California regulator says civil suits forthcoming
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20041021/IBINSURANCE21/TPBusiness/International

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HEPATITIS C HELD COMPENSABLE
Law enforcement officer put the blood-soaked evidence in a biohazard bag and assisted with the body's transport. and contracted Hep C.
Stutzman v. Lenexa, Kansas Ct Ap 10.22.04)
http://www.kscourts.org/kscases/ctapp/2004/20041022/91368.htm

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CELL PHONE USE REPORTED TO INCREASE RISK OF ACOUSTIC NEUROMA
Data suggest an increased risk of acoustic neuroma associated with mobile phone use of at least 10 years' duration.
Epidemiology. 2004 Nov;15(6):653-659
http://www.epidem.com

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CMS: NEW MEDICARE CONSOLIDATION OF CROSSOVER CLAIMS PROCESS
Effective October 1, 2004, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin implementation of a new and improved way for other health insurers to streamline the current Medicare crossover claims process. Under CMS' consolidated crossover process, trading partners that include Medigap plans, employer supplemental plans, self-insured plans, TRICARE for Life, Title XIX State Medicaid Agencies, and others will no longer have to sign separate agreements with individual Medicare contractors to receive Medicare paid claims data for the purpose of calculating their secondary payment liability. Instead, they will enter into one national Coordination of Benefits Agreements (COBA) with the COB Contractor. To learn more about the new Medicare crossover process, go to the Coordination of Benefits Agreement (COBA) page, or click below to obtain more information on the topic of your choice.
http://www.cms.hhs.gov/medicare/cob/coba/coba.asp 

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NJM PROHIBITS SMOKING ON ITS PREMISES
Concern about "second hand smoke" cited as rationale.
The Trentonian
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=13138236&BRD=1697&PAG=461&dept_id=44551&rfi=6

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LEAKED BRITISH GOVERNMENT REPORTS ETS MAJOR PROBLEM
A leaked government report* has concluded that 'no infant, child orbadult should be exposed to secondhand smoke …… secondhand smoke represents a substantial public health hazard'.
http://www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.ukhttp://www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.uk/scoth/members.htm 

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ARTHRAX VACCINE BANNED
U.S. Barred From Forcing Troops to Get Anthrax Shots
The Defense Department must immediately stop inoculating troops with anthrax vaccine, a federal judge ruled, saying that the Food and Drug Administration acted improperly when it approved the experimental injections for general use.
Concluding that the FDA violated its own rules by approving the vaccine late last year, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said the mandatory vaccination program -- which has inoculated more than 1.2 million troops since 1998 -- is "illegal."
Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A3691-2004Oct27.html/?nav=yb-t1

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