Workers’ Comp Leaders to Host First-Ever Industry Twitter Chat

illustration of Twitter discussionInteractive social media event will focus on industry hot topics

Top media experts in workers’ compensation will  join subject matter experts from GENEX Services LLC, one of the nation’s largest providers of managed care services, to participate in the first-ever Twitter Chat on workers’ compensation on Feb. 10, 2 p.m. EST.

By following the hashtag #workcompchat, Twitter users will be able to learn from and converse with industry leaders on topics ranging from managing complex claims to regulatory issues. The chat will be moderated by GENEX (@genexservices) and will include a panel of popular industry writers, bloggers and subject matter experts including:

Roberto Ceniceros, Risk & Insurance@rceniceros
Bob Wilson,WorkersCompensation.com;  @wcconnections
Mark Walls, LinkedIn’s Work Comp Analysis Group;  @wcanalysisgroup
Stephen Sullivan, WorkCompWire ; @work_comp_wire
Ron Skrocki, GENEX Services@skrockiron
Melinda Hayes, GENEX Services@melindahayes_ Continue reading Workers’ Comp Leaders to Host First-Ever Industry Twitter Chat

Small Businesses Good Candidates for Wellness Programs

Denver, CO (WorkersCompensation.com) – Small businesses are prepared to adopt workplace wellness programs and, based on the kinds of health risks facing employees, are a good target for such health interventions according to new research published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Occupational and EnvirHealth happens here in the workplaceonmental Medicine from the Colorado School of Public Health.

This research was part of a large prospective, longitudinal case-control study to determine whether worker productivity improves and workers’ compensation costs fall if health promotion programs are offered to small businesses. Nearly 80 percent of large employers offer wellness programs, but less than one-third of small businesses engage in these programs, according to past research. The article, “Implementation of a Worksite Wellness Program Targeting Small Businesses: The Pinnacol Assurance Health Risk Management Study” from researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health is the first field-based study to look at implementing low-cost worksite wellness programs in a large number of small businesses.

“Small businesses face significant barriers when considering worksite wellness programs because they lack the money, time and knowledge about how to implement them,” said the study’s lead author, Lee Newman, MD, MA, professor of environmental and occupational health at the Colorado School of Public Health at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. “We demonstrated that Colorado small businesses will adopt worksite wellness programs if the program is provided free of charge and comes with advice on how to execute it,” he continued. “This study provides important on-the-ground insight into how to structure these programs.”

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No Brain, No Gain

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A study announced recently could potentially revolutionize medical treatment witillustration of boxing brainhin workers’ compensation and completely destroy the burgeoning fitness industry, as well as totally change the home dynamic for the recalcitrant couch potato. Researchers at Ohio University (go Buckeyes!) just published the results of their study in the Journal of Neurophysiology showing that human muscles will respond to simple thoughts of exercise, and just imagining exercise “can trick the muscles into delaying atrophy and even getting stronger”.

Specifically, the source story reports:

“To demonstrate the power of the brain, researchers at Ohio University    wrapped a single wrist of two sets of study participants in a cast — immobilizing their muscles for four weeks. One set was instructed to sit still and intensely imagine exercising for 11 minutes, five days a week. More than just casually daydream about going to the gym, participants were instructed to devote all of their mental energy towards imagining flexing their arm muscles.

The other set of study participants weren’t given any specific instructions. At the end of the four weeks, the mental-exercisers were two times stronger than the others.”

Researchers also employed magnetic imaging to isolate the area of the brain responsible for the specific arm muscles. Participants imagining exercise not only developed stronger arms but also created stronger neuromuscular pathways. They built a stronger brain in the process.

Wow. Intensely imagine exercise for just 11 minutes a day. I could do that in my sleep. This is a game changer on so many fronts. I can actually work out (mentally) while sitting at my desk. I can feel my core muscles rippling even as I write. Somethings rippling, anyway. Could be the burrito I had for breakfast this morning. But it may just be my muscles strengthening under the grueling mental workout I am putting them through. Of course, processing that damn burrito may be challenging enough. But I digress….. Continue reading No Brain, No Gain

5 Digital Health Trends You’ll See In 2015

BY LEYL MASTER BLACK

Digital Health Trends for 2015 illustration2014 has been a huge year for health tech. According to digital health incubator StartUp Health, digital health funding in the first three quarters of 2014 has already surpassed $5 billion, close to double what was invested in all of 2013 ($2.8 billion).

“Digital health funding for the year is on track to double last year’s total,” said Unity Stoakes, co-founder and president of StartUp Health. “Some trends we’re watching include a growing corporate interest in digital health, more global cross-pollination of ideas, as well as increasing health consumerism as people move into the driver’s seat when it comes to their care.”

With this kind of capital pouring into the market, the health tech space should be exciting to watch in the coming years, but here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming in 2015.

1. Wearables for the ear

Tired of clip-on trackers and bracelets? Your next wearable device just might be hooked around your ear.

“Due to the proximity to the temporal artery,

devices worn on the ear can conduct completely unobtrusive, passive monitoring

devices worn on the ear can conduct completely unobtrusive, passive monitoring and offer far more precise measurements,” says Dr. Vahram Mouradian, founder and CTO of Sensogram Technologies. “Moreover, they can deliver a wealth of wellness information, including real time blood pressure, respiration rate and oxygen saturation, in addition to the typical readings of heart rate or steps taken.”

We’ve already seen a few of companies introduce ear buds with basic health monitoring, such as IriverOn and FreeWavz. Watch for increasing sophistication in ear-based devices over the coming year.

For example, Sensogram’s SensoTRACK — slated for general availability in March 2015 — is an elegantly designed device that fits snugly on your ear, where it measures heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and respiration rate. It also counts steps and calories burned, while sensing your speed, activity level, geolocation, altitude, body posture and pace.

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Marijuana Impact on Workers Compensation

There’s some words we bet you never thought you’d see together in a headline!

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Problem:

clip art of a prescription medicine bottle containing a marijuana leaf23 States and the District of Columbia have or will be approving recreational marijuana use.   Chances are more states will approve recreational use since politicians have discovered a tax gold mine from marijuana.  Unfortunately marijuana use is very dangerous.

 

Marijuana intoxication contains as many as 400 known chemicals entering the body.  Marijuana smokers inhale more deeply and keep the smoke in their lungs longer. These smoke toxins and use procedures make it more dangerous, allow for greater side effects, as well as allows for greater permanent disabilities.  One ingredient THC has increased in toxicity and causes the greatest disability of brain damage.  In 2008 it reached a high of 9.6%.  Some foreign marijuana has been found that exceeded 24%.  (Interactions with other bodily functions and prolonged use deterioration are still being developed by the scientific and medical communities.)

 

Deteriorating health and employee performance impacts from marijuana use can become part of a workers compensation injury claim. Employees under marijuana intoxication coming on the job, or becoming intoxicated on the job, have great potential to cause or create situations for on the job injuries.   Should this happen, the employer can be faced with paying weekly benefits and medical care costs.  This may even cause exposures for the  employee’s lifetime.  Remember worker compensation laws require that the employee must be brought to pre-injury status.

 

 

Employer Reliefs Minimal:

 

Most or all workers compensation acts provide the employer with relief or no responsibility for employee self-inflicted injuries.  Substance abuse with resulting health impairment has been held to be self-inflicted and workers compensation cases have been denied based on this premise.

 

Two theories stand to defeat such relief. First the state law or a decisional finding, requires the employer to take the employee as found.  This means, any underlying health condition or pathology aggravated by a compensable injury becomes the employer’s responsibility to address and correct until the employee is brought back to pre-injury status.

Continue reading Marijuana Impact on Workers Compensation