by Karl Voigt By now, you're probably fatigued by news about Covid-19, the virus that has been acknowledged as a worldwide pandemic. Pennsylvania, as of the date of this post (April 10, 2020) is certainly no stranger to the disease, with some 19,979 cases and 416 deaths. Even worse, Philadelphia is now the next projected … Continue reading COVID-19 and Workers’ Compensation: What Happens if I’m Exposed at Work?
by Karl Voigt Just last week, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 3 million workers nationwide were laid off due to mandatory or economic employer closings. And more people are expected to file in the upcoming weeks. While we all hope for a quick resolution to the crisis, there is some remedy for injured workers … Continue reading COVID-19 and Workers’ Compensation: What Happens After a Layoff?
by Karl Voigt When you have been injured at work, you and your treating physician make the important decisions. Both of you weigh treatment options and decide the best course of care. However, the workers' compensation insurance company has a statutory right to get opinions from a third-party doctor in what they call an "independent … Continue reading Insurance Medical Exams and Workers’ Compensation
by Karl Voigt Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Labor and Industry has announced the 2019 Statewide Average Weekly Wage. This figure serves as the basis for determining the maximum and minimum weekly Workers’ Compensation benefit rates in Pennsylvania. The figure has increased 2.3% to $1049 from the 2018 average of $1025. This increase affects the weekly rates … Continue reading Pennsylvania Announces 2019 Average Weekly Wage
by Karl Voigt An industrial laborer fractures his ankle on an assembly line. He goes to his employer's infirmary, receives some perfunctory first aid and is immediately sent back to work full duty, unable to even stand on his injured foot. Which in turn increases the likelihood of further injury - not just to him … Continue reading Tesla: Environment Friendly But Not So Injured Worker Friendly
by Karl Voigt Yesterday, October 24, Governor Tom Wolf, signed into law as Act 111 a bill that resurrects impairment ratings for injured workers in Pennsylvania. Impairment rating evaluations (IREs) allow insurance companies to subject an injured worker to a medical exam after receiving benefits for 104 weeks. The stricken 1996 law, if the worker … Continue reading Governor Wolf Signs Workers’ Compensation Bill – Act 111
by Karl Voigt This week, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf launched opioid prescribing guidelines for workers' compensation claimants, citing the opioid epidemic as its impeller. The Governor stated that Pennsylvania ranks third highest in the nation in the percentage of injured workers who become long-term opioid users. To counter that trend, these guidelines, which are not intended … Continue reading Governor Wolf Introduces Opioid Prescribing Guidelines for Workers’ Compensation Patients
by Karl Voigt April of this year saw Governor Wolf's veto of Senate Bill 936, which called for a drug formulary for treatment of injured workers. This was a victory for injured workers. Advocates of the formulary claimed that it would have addressed the opioid epidemic and the high cost of compound creams. Opponents maintained … Continue reading New Workers’ Comp Bill from Legislature in Light of Governor Wolf’s Veto of Their Last Effort
by Karl Voigt Yet another piece of proposed legislation is circulating in the Pennsylvania legislature. Senate Bill 1052 proposes that older occupational disease cases - with symptoms that may take years to manifest - be limited to the Workers’ Compensation system. As an example, asbestosis and mesothelioma cases would be brought back before Workers’ Compensation … Continue reading Yet Another Workers’ Compensation Act Proposed in PA Senate
by Karl Voigt Patients who are taking the pain medication Opana are now facing its manufacturer's withdrawal of the medication from the market. Earler this year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded that Opana ER "exposes patients and other users to the risks of opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to … Continue reading FDA requests removal of Opana ER for risks related to abuse