News

New Mexico adopts Official Disability Guidelines

Following the lead of Texas, the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration has adopted the Work Loss Data Institute’s Official Disability Guidelines (ODG) effective July 1, 2013. The intent is to encourage consistent use of the guidelines to expedite care and return to work, reduce utilization review costs and improve overall outcomes. The Work Loss Data […]

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Cancer linked to $7.5 billion in lost productivity

A study on cancer cost impacts in the U.S. workforce reinforces the value of employer-sponsored programs for the prevention and early detection of disease. Cancer is associated with 33 million disability days per year, amounting to $7.5 billion in lost productivity, according to a study published in the December edition of the Journal of Occupational […]

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Efforts to keep medically unfit, impaired commerical drivers off the road

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has released a report on Selected Cases of Commercial Drivers with Potentially Disqualifying Impairments. The report describes controls designed to prevent medically unfit or impaired drivers from operating commercial vehicles and provides examples of impairments related to epilepsy, drugs or alcohol. The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century […]

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States get conditional approval to operate health insurance exchanges

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced that three more states are on track to establish health insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, under the Affordable Care Act. HHS issued its first conditional approval of a State Partnership Exchange in Delaware, and it gave Minnesota and Rhode Island conditional approval to operate State-based Exchanges. […]

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‘Ready or Not’ for a public health emergency?

InReady or Not? Protecting the Public from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism, a report released yesterday, 35 states and Washington, D.C. scored a six or lower on 10 key indicators of public health preparedness. The 10th annual report, issued by the Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that while there has been […]

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Disparities in population health rankings by state

Unhealthy behaviors and preventable illnesses continue to threaten overall quality of life in the U.S., according to America’s Health Rankings®, an annual comprehensive assessment of population health by state. The rankings are jointly published by the United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention. Among the findings:

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Whistleblower Protection Advisory panel named

In the federal government’s latest move to beef up protection for workers who report regulatory violations in the workplace, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis has appointed 15 individuals to serve on a new Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee. The panel will make recommendations on ways to improve the fairness, efficiency and transparency of whistleblower protection […]

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Taking steps to secure patient information in digital age

A new educational initiative launched this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides practical tips on ways to protect patients’ personal health information when using mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. The initiative, Mobile Devices: Know the Risks. Take the Steps. Protect and Secure Health Information, offers resources […]

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Groups urge sustained OSHA, NIOSH funding

In a joint letter, the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the American Society of Safety Engineers and the National Safety Council urge Sen. Tom Harkin, chair of the Senate Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations Subcommittee, to support stable funding levels for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health […]

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