Workplace Wellness and On-site Chiropractic Services: Is There a Chiropractor in the House?

By Robin E. Kobayashi, J.DCost benefit graphic for workplace chiropractic services., LexisNexis Legal & Professional Operations

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), including most commonly sprains and strains, accounted for a whopping 33 percent of all workplace injury and illness cases as well as one-third of all the days-away-from-work cases in 2013 according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. What’s more, workers who sustained an MSD injury needed an average of 11 days to recuperate before they could return to work compared to 8 days for all other types of injury cases. Nursing assistants, laborers, and freight, stock, and material movers had the highest rates of MSD injuries.

Given the high rate of MSD injuries in the workplace and the associated high costs of treatment, studies from 2011 and 2012 examined the use of on-site chiropractic services and found that these services contributed to lowered overall costs. Supporting the value of on-site chiropractic services is a 2014 study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine that compared the impact of on-site and off-site chiropractic care on health care utilization, specifically, radiological procedures and clinical care.

How the 2014 Study Was Set Up

The study focused on Cerner Corporation, a self-insured company in Kansas City, MO, specializing in health information technology and care delivery strategies. Cerner’s on-site health centers provide wellness, prevention, pharmacy services, and primary care, including chiropractic care, to all employees enrolled in Cerner’s health plan.

The 36-month retrospective study examined 876 employees who received chiropractic care at their place of employment (the on-site group) and 759 employees who received chiropractic care at an off-site community-based chiropractic office (the off-site group).

The study assessed utilization for radiological procedures (i.e., MRI, ultrasound, CT scan, and other radiograph procedures) and clinical utilization (i.e., claims for chiropractic services, physical therapy, or further medical care—inpatient, outpatient, or ER visits).

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Employer Defenses Against Work Comp Claims Involving Marijuana

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So far the judicial trend is favoring the employer in defending against injuries and claims involving marijuana use on the job or coming to work under the influence. Employees terminated or denied employment because of a positive drug test for marijuana have been up held by the courts.

A few of the most noteworthy cases are:

Montana: Johnson vs. Columbia Falls Aluminum
California: Ross vs. Raging Wire
Michigan: Cassias vs. Wal-Mart
Washington: Roe vs. Teltec Customer Care Management
medical marijuana daily dose tray
Some states allowing medical marijuana have had decisions in favor of the employee. These cases involved issues where the employee sought use of marijuana to recover from a workers compensation injury. A few of these cases are:
Louisiana: Creole Steel vs. Ricky Stewart
California: Liberty Mutual and Farmers Insurance vs. Cockrell
New Mexico: Ben’s Auto Services vs. Vailpandro

Arizona, Connecticut, Maine and Rhode Island have written protection sections for the employee in their laws. However there is still question if these protections are legal and constitutional. At this point in time it seems rulings are unavailable.

Federal Law Should Trump State Law As Marijuana Still Illegal

Federal law should trump state law since Federal Law still has marijuana as an illegal substance. Further laws and rules for commercial drivers, pilots, railroad engineers, and public transportation operators all have adverse penalties for marijuana and other substance abuses.

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Cal/OSHA Announces Safety Awareness Campaign for Roofers

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Oakland, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) – Cal/OSHA today launched a safety awareness campaign for roofers, where the workplace incidence of serious injuries and fatalities is higher compared to other industries.

“Roofing operations are inherently risky and worker safety is roofer sliding off the roofparamount. Employers must have strong safety programs in place that include appropriate equipment and training to prevent injuries on the job,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations, which oversees Cal/OSHA.

Between 2012 and 2014, Cal/OSHA conducted 126 investigations of roofing operations where an accident occurred. A full three out of four of those accidents occurred at roofing operations that were found to be in violation of state safety regulations.

Falls are the leading cause of death and serious injury for roofing workers. Most falls can be avoided by following safety regulations. For example, on December 27, 2013, West Coast Roofing employee Leopoldo Retana fell 36 feet to his death at a job site in Ventura. Investigators found Mr. Retana had not been wearing fall protection equipment or a positioning system. West Coast Roofing was cited $22,360 for 10 violations, including two serious in nature. Serious violations are those where death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard created by the violation.

Another tragic and preventable case occurred earlier that year on June 13, 2013, when Midwest Roofing & Solar employee Ernesto Rosales fell approximately 17 feet from the unprotected edge of an apartment building roof in Pico Rivera. Mr. Rosales died five days after the accident. Cal/OSHA cited Midwest Roofing & Solar $39,600 for five serious violations.

Cal/OSHA’s “Roofing Maximum Enforcement Program,” taking place from March 1 through November 1, calls for targeted inspections of roofing operations across the state. This program will help ensure employers provide the necessary training and safety equipment to protect their workers on the job.

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“Out Front Ideas with Kimberly and Mark” Free Webinar Series Promises Cutting-Edge Workers’ Compensation-Related Content

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Photo of Kimberly George and Mark WallsKimberly George and Mark Walls announced today that they will join forces to host a regular, complimentary webinar series and interactive forum called “Out Front Ideas with Kimberly and Mark.” The series – sponsored by Sedgwick and Safety National – will be dedicated to covering important workers’ compensation-related topics that are not receiving enough attention in the industry.

“Out Front Ideas with Kimberly and Mark” will provide a unique alternative to the traditional webinar format by including a mix of communication methods, such as podcasts and live interviews from industry events. The approach will be to collaborate on meaningful topics that are not discussed openly in the industry or, in some cases, not at all.

“As our industry finds new ways to collaborate and seeks new solutions to current issues, Kimberly and Mark are leading the way by provoking honest, inclusive debate as they work to engage and inform through this new series,” said David A. North, president and CEO of Sedgwick.

Both well-known experts and advocates in their fields, George and Walls plan to explore the perspectives of risk managers, brokers, third-party administrators, human resources professionals, carriers and other industry stakeholders. The goal of the series is to bring in a variety of experts to provide input from each thought-provoking angle to initiate or advance conversations.

“As an industry leader, we support efforts like this that encourage discussion on emerging trends and needs in the workers’ compensation arena,” added Mark Wilhelm, CEO of Safety National. “Kimberly and Mark are both very passionate about this industry and we know that the audience will benefit greatly from their work on this series.”

“Out Front Ideas with Kimberly and Mark” will launch with its first webinar on the advantages of unbundled claims handling scheduled for March 31, 2015. Visit www.OutFrontIdeas.com for more information.

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What, Exactly, Is Influenza?

And You Thought You Knew Flu!

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illustration of symptoms of influenzaThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes the flu as a contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe symptoms and at times can lead to death.

Common flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle and body aches, headaches and fatigue. Symptoms can also include vomiting and diarrhea.

How does the flu spread?

The flu spreads primarily from mucus or saliva droplets during coughing, sneezing or talking. Droplets can travel up to 6 feet, person to person, landing in the mouth and nose, or are inhaled into the lungs of the uninfected person. People can also get the flu when they touch contaminated surfaces and objects, like telephones or countertops that have the flu virus on them, and then touch their own mouths or noses.

Flu symptoms can start within one to four days after being infected and last upwards of one week. The flu can be spread for up to seven days or longer by children. Surprisingly, some infected individuals show no symptoms at all. The CDC stresses that this means you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before, or without knowing you are sick.

How can I protect myself and others?

The CDC wants everyone to know that best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. Everyone six months or age and older should get the flu vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control stresses that the best way to avoid contracting the influenza is to get a flu shot.

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8 Things Doctors Are 3-D Printing Right Now!

Soon, it will be a cast of thousands!

Casts

Inspired by a broken arm and introduced as a senior pr3-D printed cast on armoject by multidisciplinary designer and recent graduate Jake Evill, the Cortex exoskeleton cast employs 3D printing technology to produce a personalized nylon enclosure for fractured limbs. The pattern for the cast structure — which takes on a honeycomb form and snaps together with a pin system — is derived from X-ray and 3D scan data, ensuring that each splint uniquely accommodates a patient’s individual point of fracture and limb contours.

Find out more: http://www.evilldesign.com/cortex

Knee replacements

All tibia and femur replacements that receive the ConforMIS treatment are fully customized for each new patient thanks to CT imaging, modeling software and 3D printers. Even for surgeons, it’s 3-D printed knee replacementquite the improvement over best practices of yore: “Because off-the-shelf knee replacements aren’t designed to your specific anatomy, surgeons have to compromise on implant fit. This compromise may result in having implant overhang (implant hangs over the bone) or underhang (the implant is too small, leaving the bone exposed and uncovered). It could also result in an implant that isn’t aligned properly,” the product description explains.

Find out more: http://www.gizmag.com/3d-printing-custom-knee-replacement-conformis/34322/

Ears

Scientists from Princeton University have managed to 3D-print bionic ears with the capacity to hear beyond the typical human appendage using a consumer 3D printer. As Princeton reports: 3_D printed replacement ear“The finished ear consists of a coiled antenna inside a cartilage structure. Two wires lead from the base of the ear and wind around a helical “cochlea” — the part of the ear that senses sound — which can connect to electrodes,” thus allowing the device to pick up on frequencies far beyond what is customary for non-bionic parts. The printer used to create the device was reported to have cost $3,000.

Find out more: http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S36/80/19M40/index.xml?section=topstories

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