The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced the results of the 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA), which found that drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States, ahead of deaths from motor vehicle accidents and firearms. In 2013, more than 46,000 people in the U.S. died from a drug overdose with more than half of those deaths caused by prescription painkillers and heroin.
The NDTA confirms the growing concern of prescription painkillers. The number of deaths attributable to controlled prescription drugs has outpaced those for cocaine and heroin combined. The report also echoes previous findings that heroin abuse has increased by people originally addicted to prescription opioids. The CDC maintains that some 45% of all people who used heroin were also addicted to prescription opioid painkillers, many of which arise from work related injuries.
The NDTA confirms a recurring phrase -- prescription drug overdose deaths have reached epidemic levels. As the state and federal governments continue to combat this problem, we will continue highlight this important issue in our industry.
THINKING ABOUT BECOMING SELF-INSURED IN CALIFORNIA?
EASING THE BURDEN
The California Office of Self Insurance Plans (OSIP) announced proposed regulations that would make it easier for employers to qualify as self-insured by streamlining procedural requirements and eliminating certain financial and reporting requirements.
The proposed regulations update and simplify the documentation and evaluation of the financial qualifications of self-insureds, including reducing the security deposit. They eliminate the claim loss history requirement and as well as the evaluation of illness prevention program. The regulations also update existing forms, create some new forms and would allow self-insured employers to submit annual forms via a new online portal.
OSIP will hold a public hearing on December 21, 2015, at its offices in Rancho Cordova and will be accepting written comments through 5 p.m. that day.
MAKING OUR WAY AROUND THE COUNTRY
The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) unveiled details about proposed cyber security regulations for insurance companies and banks under its jurisdiction. In a letter to other state and federal agencies, NYDFS outlined 12 areas that the covered entities would be required to implement and maintain written cyber security policies and procedures, including network security and consumer data privacy. Entities would also be required to designate a Chief Information Security Officer who would oversee and implement its cyber security program and enforce its cyber security policy.
The New York Worker's Compensation Board (WCB) announced a series of proposed rule changes involving a process for oral stipulations, the use of the new electronic medical portal, and the procedures for board reviews. The WCB will be accepting comments on the proposed regulations through December 28, 2015.
The Colorado Division of Workers' Compensation is proposing regulations to adopt new lower extremity medical treatment guidelines, which includes treatment to the feet, knees, hips and legs. It was firstannounced in February 2015 that the Division was in the process of updating these guidelines. A hearing is scheduled for December 8th.
MARKING 25 YEARS-THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
This year marks the 25 anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This week, the civic group ADA 25 Chicago sponsored the Disability Inclusion and Opportunity Summit in Chicago. The summit was designed to inspire and cultivate ideas that seek to provide further inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace, education and civic life. U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, Delaware Governor Jack Markell and Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth headlined the event.
QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, OR FEEDBACK?
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
If you received this email you are a member of the initial rollout group for GB's new weekly "The Way." Your insight and input are highly valued and appreciated. Since this is an initial rollout, we ask that you refrain from posting this to social media until we are ready for the larger rollout. As part of our "focus group" we would welcome your feedback on the value and format of this communication.
Please contact the authors - Greg McKenna and Cari Miller - and let us know how you liked this week's issue. We look forward to and value your feedback.