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Synopsis: Trip and fall denial while leaving work in IL WC may hang on a “shoe-string”! Research and writing by Michael Palmer, J.D., KCB&A’s most recent addition.   Editor’s Comment: In their solid ruling, the IL WC Commission delineates the subtle differences which may trigger compensability vs. denial in fall-down cases.   In Weston v. Illinois State Department of Children & Family Services, Petitioner was going to her employer’s orientation program and instructed to park in the lot in front of the building or in the alternative, a second lot nearby. The claimant parked in the lot in front of…
Synopsis: Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana Is Going Down For a Week Starting April 29th, as CAUSE takes a Pause. This is a “Must Read.” Comment by Kevin Boyle of Keefe Campbell Biery & Associates, LLC.   Editor’s comment: The Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana just published a very important notice that you need know about if you use the Indiana CAUSE system, as part of claims handling.  Please spread the word: At noon this coming Thursday, April 29th, 2021, the Accident Tracking system used by the IWCB will go down and remain inoperable for one week. On Wednesday, May 5th,…
Synopsis: Lots of My Readers are Asking—What is Up, Are You Still Writing the KCB&A Update?   Editor’s comment: The problem I am facing during the Great Pandemic of 2020-2021 is there isn’t much news that I feel is of interest to the greater WC community. There have been very few IL WC Appellate Court rulings to report on. I am not a “news-creator” and don’t feel it necessary to stretch to find headlines. When I have news that is “fit to print,” I promise to publish.   Here are a couple of thoughts that may be of interest to…
Synopsis: Did You Know There are Two Kinds of Death Claims in IL WC?   Editor’s comment: As odd as it sounds, it is true. There are two different sorts of claims which involve the death of a claimant in this State. Claims/risk managers need to be aware of how to handle each type of claim.   Section 7 of the IL WC Act   The first and perhaps most logical benefit stream arising from the death of a Claimant is what I have always called a Section 7 claim. For easy reference, such claims arise when a decedent suffers…
Synopsis: Federal Rules Mandating Open Medical/Treatment Notes—Electronic Medical Records may be Free for Claimants in WC across the U.S.   Editor’s comment: Taking effect in twenty (20) days or on April 5, 2021, rules implementing the bipartisan federal ‘Cures Act’ specify that clinical/medical notes are among electronic information that must not be blocked and must be made available free of charge to all patients. I assure you this includes workers’ comp claimants who obtain care. To meet the interests of some patients, the rules allow specified exceptions that I feel make sense—see the two exceptions at the bottom.   I continue…
Synopsis: One of the Best Defense Tools in IL WC—Utilization Review. Editor’s comment: I am handling a pending IL WC claim where Claimant has attended over 60 PT visits and wants another dozen more! What is the best way to block such obvious over-utilization? UR!!!   I feel so strong about this defense concept, I reached out to Jill Pessman from Triune Health Group for her thoughts and assistance.   Please note my strong opinion the best thing about prospective UR is simple—when you use UR, you aren’t worried about politics in a liberal IL WC Commission. You are concerned…
Synopsis: Madigan Quits!!!! What Does It Mean for IL Work Comp and Illinois Government?   Editor’s comment: Starting in November 1970 and continuing to the end of this month, Illinois voters have seen the longest tenured state legislative leader in U.S. history in the person of Michael J. Madigan. He has had an interesting and bittersweet run. I can’t stop giggling about his statement that he “dedicated [himself] to democracy.” What an absolute hoot!—in my view the State of Illinois under Madigan has become the “least democratic” State in the history of States.   What Does Madigan’s Departure Mean to…
Synopsis: Mandating vaccinations in the workplace? Surprising Guidance from EEOC… But Do You Want to Step in that Bear Trap? Thoughts and Opinions by John P. Campbell.   Editor’s Comment: As U.S. employers struggle to get their mind around the “rebuttable presumption” of workplace Covid-19 exposure, a new host of questions are emerging with the arrival of vaccinations.   With most front line workers and many elderly nursing home folks now vaccinated, the roll-out of vaccinations to the greater American workforce is afoot. Naturally, we are getting questions from clients and insurers:   Should we as employers mandate vaccinations for…
Synopsis: Causal Connection and Utilization Review—IL WC’s Best Remaining Defense Tools.   Editor’s comment: With the issuance of the IL Supreme Court’s ruling in McAllister v. IWCC, the playing field in IL WC has changed. For the first time in Illinois history, actions of daily life may now be termed work-related “accidents.” We feel there are some instances where something might go wrong at work where an Arbitrator and Commission panel will deny claims based on an accident dispute. But to the extent standing up and sitting down and bending over are now potentially “accidents,” that defense is greatly limited.…
Synopsis: Our Illinois General Assembly extends rebuttable presumption of workplace exposure; from John P. Campbell, Jr., J.D.   Editor’s Comment: In our recent KCBA update, we noted our IL Governor briefly extended the Emergency Proclamation through January 10th and may do so again until the vaccine(s) stem the tide of Covid-19 infections. In similar fashion, we predicted our IL State Legislature would also extend the rebuttable presumption of work-related infection for First Responders and “essential workers” beyond the original December 31, 2020 deadline in the original Statute.   If we could only predict the outcome of this weekend’s NFL playoffs…
Synopsis: The Great Pandemic of 2020 Continues. Update on IL WC Rebuttable Presumption for First Responders from John P. Campbell, Jr., J.D.   Editor’s Comment: Our IL Governor briefly extended the Emergency Proclamation through January 10th and may do so again until the vaccine(s) stem the tide of Covid-19 infections. The question for Workers’ Compensation observers is whether the rebuttable presumption of work-related infection carries into the new year.   Our research came across an updated Corona Virus Disaster Proclamation dated 12/11/20; according to the proclamation, it is to be in effect for 30 days or through January 10th. We…
Synopsis: PART TWO–Trying to Make Sense of Covid-19 Vaccinations—Ending the Great Pandemic of 2020. Last Blog of 2020!!!   Editor’s comment: More Simple Common Sense Thoughts From Gene Keefe for U.S. Risk/HR managers, claims handlers and all our readers of the KCB&A Update.   Please note Dr. Fauci and everyone in the world of “pandemic-a” are sure we can live with masks and gloves and washing our hands for years to come if we don’t buy into the vaccines. There are some folks that I can only characterize as “anti-vaxxers” who are worried if you get a shot, you might…
Synopsis: Trying to Make Sense of Covid-19 Vaccinations—Ending the Great Pandemic of 2020.   Editor’s comment: A Dozen Simple Common Sense Thoughts for U.S. Risk/HR managers, claims handlers and all our readers of the KCB&A Update.   If you get the vaccine, you are going to be immune at a 19 out of 20 rate at least. Thousands of test cases were analyzed and considered. Please expect lots of government officials and other folks in the public eye to get the vaccination. Lots of folks may wait a month to be “safe” and insure they aren’t the first—that is fine but plan…
Synopsis: Three Newsworthy Items for Our WC Readers.   Editor’s comment: I feel the nutty national media is missing a couple of things that WC risk managers, claims handlers and other interest parties should be aware of.   First—The Great Pandemic of 2020 Is Ending Soon!!!   Understanding how much we all like walking into a restaurant or retail outlet to then have to go back and get our masks, I want all my readers to understand, this ongoing financial, social and medical disaster has been solved!!! The doctors, researchers and vaccinologists found the cure. What you and I and…
Synopsis: In IL WC, When is Claimant Entitled to TTD (Temporary Total Disability)?   Editor’s comment: I have had so many WC attorneys and others question this simple concept, I figured it was time to give my readers my best thoughts.   I want to start this article with an example that presumes these claim facts—Claimant suffered an accepted work-related injury. The worker’s claim for WC benefits was accepted by the employer/insurance carrier/TPA. Medical care was provided at the employer’s cost. Lost time benefits, TTD was paid. When can the employer terminate TTD?   Please note there are different factors…
Synopsis: Can Employers Require Workers to Vaccinate? And What Happens If Your Workers Refuse the New Vaccine?   Editors Comment: To my understanding, there are two ways the Great Pandemic of 2020 is going to end—“Herd Immunity” or an effective and new vaccine.   “Herd Immunity” is simple and sporadic—right now, 12,637,714 people have such immunity, as they got the disease and should be immune (or no longer with us—not to be rude), going forward. When enough people have the disease and recover from it they have the antibodies needed to fend off future re-infections; around 12.3M U.S. citizens should…