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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query obesity. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query obesity. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Obesity Is Weighing Down The Workers' Compensation System

The "fat" gene
With over two-thirds of the nations' workforce overweight, the US workers' compensation system appears to weighed down with issue of obesity and its complications and costs. The delivery of medical treatment, and resulting permanent disability benefits, need to co-exist with the added weight workers are bringing to the system.

Medical delivery now needs to deal with: weight reduction, delay of medical care and complex treatment protocols , due obesity issues. The resulting consequences of this pre-existing / coexisting issues, are increasing the economic burden on the entire program.

Recent discoveries in human genome project reflect that obesity may actually be controlled by genetic propensities. In other words, the so-called "fat gene" programs whether the human body will gain weight. 

"Obesity is a chronic metabolic disorder affecting half a billion people worldwide. Major difficulties in managing obesity are the cessation of continued weight loss in patients after an initial period of responsiveness and rebound to pretreatment weight. It is conceivable that chronic weight gain unrelated to physiological needs induces an allostatic regulatory state that defends a supranormal adipose mass despite its maladaptive consequences. To challenge this hypothesis, we generated a reversible genetic mouse model of early-onset hyperphagia and severe obesity by selectively blocking the expression of the proopiomelanocortin gene (Pomc) in hypothalamic neurons. Eutopic reactivation of central POMC transmission at different stages of overweight progression normalized or greatly reduced food intake in these obesity-programmed mice. Hypothalamic Pomc rescue also attenuated comorbidities such as hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and hepatic steatosis and normalized locomotor activity. However, effectiveness of treatment to normalize body weight and adiposity declined progressively as the level of obesity at the time of Pomcinduction increased. Thus, our study using a novel reversible monogenic obesity model reveals the critical importance of early intervention for the prevention of subsequent allostatic overload that auto-perpetuates obesity."


Workers' Compensation needs to address obesity as a medical condition requiring, not only with co-existence medical attention, but also extend preventive medical treatment and medical monitoring to that the conditio Then obesity will not become a major factor in an employee's lifetime. Identification of this genetic abnormality early on appears critical to addressing weight control and behavior leading to its elimination.

This is yet another reason why the incorporation of the workers' compensation program into a universal medical system is so very important to the health of workers, and the solvency of workers compensation going forward.

Read the entire study, Obesity-programmed mice are rescued by early genetic intervention, Viviana F. Bumaschny, Miho Yamashita, Rodrigo Casas-Cordero,Verónica Otero-Corchón, Flávio S.J. de Souza, Marcelo Rubinstein andMalcolm J. Low, J Clin Invest. 2012;122(11):4203–4212. doi:10.1172/JCI62543.
....
Jon L.Gelman of Wayne NJ, helping injured workers and their families for over 4 decades, is the author NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson).  

Read more about obesity and workers' compensation
Jun 21, 2012
"The statistical analysis shows that claimants with a comorbidity indicator pointing to obesity have an indemnity benefit duration that is more than five times the value of claimants who do not have this comorbidity indicator but ...
Sep 23, 2011
We thought it was a fitting topic for our workers' law blog because NFL linemen must embrace this condition in order to stay in peak performance. It's called chronic obesity. These days, to be an NFL lineman, you not only have ...
Nov 15, 2012
In 2010, an NCCI study found that claims with an obesity comorbidity diagnosis incurred significantly higher medical costs than comparable claims without such a comorbidity diagnosis. Relative to that study, this study ...
Mar 20, 2010
His morbid obesity has contributed to his knee and back problems and, in an effort to combat those problems and counter a broader threat to his survival, claimant sought authorization to undergo gastric bypass surgery.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Obesity 'could be a disability' - EU courts rule



Levels of obesity are rising across Europe
Levels of obesity are rising across Europe
Today's post is shared from bbc.com/

Obesity can constitute a disability in certain circumstances, the EU's highest court has ruled.

The European Court of Justice was asked to consider the case of a male childminder in Denmark who says he was sacked for being too fat.

The court said that if obesity could hinder "full and effective participation" at work then it could count as a disability.

The ruling is binding across the EU.
“If employers suddenly have to start ensuring that they've got wider seats, larger tables, more parking spaces for people who are obese, I think then we're just making the situation worse.”Jane Deville Almond British Obesity Society

Judges said that obesity in itself was not a disability - but if a person had a long term impairment because of their obesity, then they would be protected by disability legislation.

The case centres around childminder Karsten Kaltoft who weighs about 160kg (25 stone).

He brought a discrimination case against his employers of 15 years, Billund local authority, after he was sacked four years ago.

The authority said a fall in the number of children meant Mr Kaltoft was no longer required.

But Mr Kaltoft said he was dismissed because he was overweight.

'No problems'

Earlier this year he told the BBC that reports he was so fat he was unable to bend down to tie children's shoelaces were untrue.

Describing his work with...
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Read more about obesity and workers' compensation
Jun 21, 2012
In a report issued by NCCI Holdings Inc., a company that generates workers' compensation insurance rates in many jurisdictions, the increased cost factors for obesity were reported. "The statistical analysis shows that ...
Mar 20, 2010
Now a Court has ordered that an insurance company must treat a persons obesity as an extension of its medical benefits so that weight reduction can occur and the underlying work related condition can be addressed.
Sep 23, 2011
We thought it was a fitting topic for our workers' law blog because NFL linemen must embrace this condition in order to stay in peak performance. It's called chronic obesity. These days, to be an NFL lineman, you not only have ...
Mar 15, 2014
Workers' compensation is affected by obesity as well. A work injury or disease, coupled with chronic obesity, frequently becomes much more difficult to deal with. The usual methods of treatment may not be possible for an ...

Workers Fired for Being Obese May Sue Bosses, Court Says

Today's post is shared from businessweek.com/

Obese workers may claim discrimination in the workplace, the European Union’s highest court said in a case that will pave the way for severely fat people to be protected as disabled.

“That condition falls within the concept of disability where, under particular conditions, it hinders the full and effective participation of the person concerned in professional life on an equal basis with other workers,” the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled today.

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, according to the World Health Organization, which says at least 2.8 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. People with a BMI of more than 25 are classified as overweight and a BMI of more than 30 is obese. As many as 30 percent of adults in Europe are obese, the WHO says.

Today’s case was triggered by Karsten Kaltoft, who sued the town of Billund, Denmark, after he was dismissed from his post in 2010. Kaltoft, whose weight was never less than 160 kilograms (353 pounds) at the time, had a high body mass index of 54, which classified him as obese. His public-sector employer denies that this was why he lost his job.

Kaltoft first took his case to a Danish court, which asked the EU tribunal to rule on whether obesity could be included as a reason for unlawful discrimination by employers. The Danish court will have decide on his firing in line with today’s ruling.

The case is: C-354/13, FOA, acting on behalf...
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Read more about obesity and workers' compensation
Nov 21, 2014
Officials estimated that about 30 percent of seniors are obese and therefore eligible for counseling services, which studies have shown improve the odds of significant weight loss. But less than 1 percent of Medicare's 50 ...
Jun 30, 2014
Those are the results of a first-of-its-type study the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries sponsored connecting what you do for work with obesity. The study also examined the percentage of workers in specific ...
Nov 20, 2013
Obesity is now been classified as disease. With such a designation of Worker's Compensation systems will be impacted by request for benefits in order to diminish obesity is a pre-existing and coexisting diagnosis. Treatment ...
Dec 04, 2012
With over two-thirds of the nations' workforce overweight, the US workers' compensation system appears to weighed down with issue of obesity and its complications and costs. The delivery of medical treatment, and resulting ...

Monday, June 30, 2014

Obesity Prevalence by Occupation in Washington State

Today's post comes from guest author Kit Case, from Causey Law Firm.

Truckers, movers, and police and firefighters are likeliest to be obese. Doctors, scientists and teachers are the healthiest.
Those are the results of a first-of-its-type study the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries sponsored connecting what you do for work with obesity. The study also examined the percentage of workers in specific occupations who smoke, have adequate fruit and vegetable servings, participate in leisure time exercise and report high physical demands of their job.
“This is the first state-level study using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data to estimate occupation-specific obesity." 
“The objective of the research was to identify occupations in need of workplace obesity prevention programs,” said Dr. David K. Bonauto, associate medical director for L&I’s research division. “Employers, policy makers and health practitioners can use our results to target and prioritize prevention and health behavior promotions.”
The study, “Obesity Prevalence by Occupation in Washington State, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System,” was published earlier this year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study was based on more than 88,000 participants the CDC contacted in the state in odd years from 2003-2009. It found that nearly 1-in-4 workers statewide were obese.
“We know obesity poses a threat to public health,” Dr. Bonauto said. “This is the first state-level study using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data to estimate occupation-specific obesity. All states within the U.S. could have this data if questions about occupation and industry were added to many state and national health surveys.”
Truck drivers were the most obese, nearly 39 percent. The proportion of current smokers was highest also for truck drivers, who – with computer scientists and mechanics – had the lowest proportion of adequate servings of fruits and vegetables. “Truckers are likely influenced by the availability of food choices, such as fast food and convenience stores,” Dr. Bonauto noted.
The study has its limitations. Because researchers used self-reported height and weight, there might be an underestimate of obesity. Also, the body mass index results don’t distinguish between fat and muscle mass. Police and firefighters, for instance, had a high prevalence of obesity but also had the highest proportion of vigorous leisure time physical activity.
Those with less education and an income less than $35,000 had a significantly higher likelihood of being obese, according to the study. Workers who had regular servings of fruits and vegetables and adequate physical exercise were less likely to be obese.
 Photo credit: kennethkonica / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Effects of Obesity on an Injury

The impact of morbid obesity on the residuals of an injury that occurred at work is to be considered when evaluating an individual’s eligibility for Social Security disability.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Obesity is a disability. Employers should start treating it that way.

Today's post is shared from washingtonpost.com/ Helen Leahey is a Welsh journalist and documentary filmmaker who works in education management.


Job interviews are an uncomfortable experience for most people. But for people like me who suffer from morbid obesity, they are especially grueling. It’s hard to impress someone when you’re the fat applicant. There’s the added challenge of sustaining an engaging conversation as a potential future employer walks you around the premises, a hike that leaves you winded. After that, you have to squeeze into a tiny chair and present your credentials, maintaining a charming demeanor as the blood circulation to the lower half of your body is cut off. I went through this process over and over again while I was searching for a job. I did land one eventually, as a manager in one of the world’s leading business schools. But my problems didn’t end there. Because of my handicap, co-workers had to take over tasks that I couldn’t manage – mainly those that involved climbing any number of stairs or walking more than 20 feet.

It is clear to me that morbid obesity — defined as having a body mass index above 40 — is often a disability, irrelevant of the cause. But in many legal systems, that’s still an unanswered question. Even as obesity rates have soared, U.S. and European courts have grappled with whether to classify it as a disability, which would obligate employers to provide necessary accommodations so obese employees can...
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Friday, August 9, 2013

Move Over: Obesity as a medical condition is coming to workers' compensation

The recent action by the American Medical Association to recognize obesity as a medical condition is going to have a super-sized impact on workers' compensation systems throughout the nation. Today's post is shared from insurancejournal.com

Report: Obesity Monkier to Impact California Workers’ Comp
"The recognition of obesity as a disease may have a significant impact on workers’ compensation claims in California, a group said in a report on Thursday.

The group issued the report following a decision in June by the American Medical Association House of Delegates to reclassifying obesity as “a disease state.”

In the past obesity in workers’ comp went largely unreported because it was not considered a condition that needed to be addressed to treat most work related injuries or illnesses, according to the report from the California Workers’ Compensation Institute.

But with obesity reclassified as a disease medical providers may feel a greater responsibility to counsel obese patients about their weight, or if treatment for a compensable injury causes significant weight gain, CWCI stated in its report........


Read the entire article

Friday, November 21, 2014

Seniors’ Obesity-Counseling Benefit Goes Largely Unused

Today's post was shared by Kaiser Health News and comes from kaiserhealthnews.org

Three years ago, the Obama administration offered hope to millions of overweight seniors when it announced Medicare would offer free weight-loss counseling.
Officials estimated that about 30 percent of seniors are obese and therefore eligible for counseling services, which studies have shown improve the odds of significant weight loss.
But less than 1 percent of Medicare’s 50 million beneficiaries have used the benefit so far. Experts blame the government’s failure to promote the program, rules that limit where and when patients can go for counseling as well as the low fees for providers.
Since November 2011, about 120,000 seniors have participated, including about 50,000 last year, according to federal data.
“It’s very disappointing,” said Dr. Scott Kahan, an obesity medicine specialist at George Washington University.

Medicare measuring tape 570
Medicare measuring tape 570

“It’s a huge lost opportunity,” said Bonnie Modugno, a registered dietician in Santa Monica, Calif., who advises doctors how to provide weight loss counseling.
By  comparison, about 250,000 seniors last year used Medicare’s tobacco cessation counseling benefit, which started in 2005 and offers greater flexibility about how providers can offer it. Nationally, 9 percent of seniors smoke, while 30 percent are obese.
Obesity and smoking are the two leading causes of preventable death in the United States. Obesity, which is defined as being 35 pounds or more overweight or having a...
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

NCCI Takes Aim At Obesity

What scientists call "Overweight" ch...

In a report issued by NCCI Holdings Inc., a company that generates workers' compensation insurance rates in many jurisdictions, the increased cost factors for obesity were reported. 

"The statistical analysis shows that claimants with a comorbidity indicator pointing to obesity have an indemnity benefit duration that is more than five times the value of claimants who do not have this comorbidity indicator but are otherwise comparable. Inclusive of Permanent Partial indemnity payments, this multiple climbs to more than six."


As the nation continues to grow at the waist, and obesity complicates and contributes to systemic medical conditions,  workers' compensation medical costs will continue to skyrocket. Courts continue to struggle with the integration and synergetic of obesity on occupational health conditions.  As an major element of the national's health crisis, obesity may in fact be the tipping factor for a national universal medical program.

Related articles

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New obesity treatment guideline released

Obesity is now been classified as disease. With such a designation of Worker's Compensation systems will be impacted by request for benefits in order to diminish obesity is a pre-existing and coexisting diagnosis. Treatment plans will need to be included for the reduction of weight in order to treat certain diseases by protocols including medication.Today's post was shared by RWJF PublicHealth and comes from www.bostonglobe.com

A new guideline for obesity treatment, released last week by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, provides a solid road map for doctors challenged with helping overweight patients achieve a healthier weight.
Insurance coverage for weight-related counseling, such as helping patients plan new menus with fewer calories or outline a realistic fitness program, could improve under this new recommendation. More importantly, the panel of physicians and weight researchers outlined which interventions are the most effective based on clinical trials.
Doctors should treat patients who are obese — a BMI of 30 or above (180 pounds or more for a 5-foot-5 person — as well as those who are overweight with a BMI between 25 to 30 (150 to 180 pounds for a 5-foot-5 person) if they have certain heart disease risk factors such as type 2 diabetes, the guideline states. People at a healthy weight, or who are overweight without any health problems, should keep their weight steady.
“It’s not just about body weight, but whether excess body weight is associated with medical conditions,” said Dr. Timothy Church, director of preventive medicine research at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, who was not involved in writing the guideline.
Doctors can offer drugs or bariatric surgery to help reverse obesity, but they should first try providing patients with intensive counseling to help them exercise and eat right.
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Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Extra Cost Of Extra Weight For Older Adults

Today's post was shared by Kaiser Health News and comes from kaiserhealthnews.org

Bayou La Batre calls itself the seafood capital of Alabama. Residents here depend on fishing and shrimping for their livelihood, and when they sit down to eat, they like most things fried.

It’s here that former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin has been trying to reverse the nation’s obesity epidemic one patient at a time. Benjamin grew up near Bayou La Batre and has run a health clinic in this town of seafood workers and ship builders since 1990. As obesity became commonplace around the U.S., health care providers like Benjamin began seeing the impacts of obesity all around them.

“We saw our patient population get heavier,” Benjamin said. “We saw chronic diseases start to rise, and if we continued, our entire community would totally be crippled, basically, based on chronic diseases.”

Two major trends are on a collision course here, as in the rest of the United States: a decades-long surge in obesity and the aging of the U.S. population. Today, one out of every three adults in the U.S. are clinically obese, and many who have lived for decades with excess weight, diabetes and heart disease are now heading into their senior years. Obese people are far more likely to become sick or disabled as they age, and researchers say this burgeoning demographic will strain hospitals and nursing homes.

“We’re potentially going to have a larger, older population that’s more likely to be obese,...


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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Workers Compensation Insurance Company Ordered to Pay For Gastric Bypass

Treating medical conditions that are necessary to relieve and cure a medical condition is the responsibility generally of workers' compensation programs throughout the United States. Now a Court has ordered that an insurance company must treat a persons obesity as an extension of its medical benefits so that weight reduction can occur and the underlying work related condition can be addressed.

"Claimant slipped and fell at work in 2002, and his ensuing workers' compensation claim presently encompasses, among other things, injuries to his head, neck, back and knees. His morbid obesity has contributed to his knee and back problems and, in an effort to combat those problems and counter a broader threat to his survival, claimant sought authorization to undergo gastric bypass surgery. The Workers' Compensation Law Judge granted his request. Upon review, the Workers' Compensation Board affirmed, holding that the surgery was causally related to the compensable injuries. 

In affirming the decision the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, New York held:

"The employer is obliged to pay for claimant's medical care “for such period as the nature of the injury or the process of recovery may require” (Workers' Compensation Law § 13[a]; see Matter of Spyhalsky v. Cross Constr., 294 A.D.2d 23, 25-26 [2002] ). There is evidence in the record that claimant has gained a substantial amount of weight since 2002 due to the sedentary lifestyle imposed by the compensable injuries. Claimant's treating orthopedic surgeon opined that claimant's back and knee pain was exacerbated by his obesity and that such could be alleviated by weight loss. An independent medical examiner agreed, opining that weight loss would “certainly” help those conditions. While material in the record before us could support a different result, substantial evidence exists for the Board's determination that claimant's weight gain was caused by his compensable injuries and that gastric bypass surgery “would assist in [his] recovery” ( Matter of Bolds v. Precision Health, Inc., 16 A.D.3d 1007, 1009 [2005]; see Workers' Compensation Law § 13[a]; Matter of Spyhalsky v. Cross Constr., 294 A.D.2d at 25-26, 743 N.Y.S.2d 212).
Laezzo v. New York State Thruway Authority, --- N.Y.S.2d ----, 2010 WL 812862, N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept., 2010, March 11, 2010.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Should Workers' Compensation Be In The Wellness Business?

A recent study indicate that wellness programs are exceptionally important. Employers and workers' compensation insurance companies would be wise to follow this initiative.

One out of every four dollars employers pay for health care is tied to unhealthy lifestyle choices or conditions like smoking, stress and obesity, despite the fact that most large employers have workplace wellness programs.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

N.J. boosts public workers' insurance coverage for alcoholism, drug addiction

Obesity is a front page story in NJ every day as Governor Christie struggles to loose weight. While the Governor spoke in April 2013 about revising the state's workers' compensation system, he has been silent on the subject after his initial announcement. With an election quickly approaching in November he has turned to the endorsement of legislation to treat drug addiction  mental illness and obesity.  All of these efforts are strong indicators that a healthier workforce is being encouraged and will ultimately benefit the workers' compensation system by reducing pre-existing and co-existing conditions. Today's post was shared by WCBlog and comes from www.nj.com


Gov. Chris Christie, shown here in Asbury Park at an unrelated event today, announced that the state's health benefits plan for public workers will cover alcoholism and drug addiction the same as other mental illnesses starting next year.Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger

More than 200,000 public workers in New Jersey will get enhanced insurance coverage for mental illnesses such as alcoholism and drug addiction beginning next year, Gov. Chris Christie announced today.

A committee of state and union officials approved "mental health parity" on Friday for the state's second-largest health benefits plan. It means the same level of coverage now provided for a biologically-based mental illness — such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder — will apply to other types of illnesses such as alcoholism, drug addiction and eating disorders.

The expansion is expected to cost "less than $5.1 million a year" and will affect more than 217,000 current and retired workers enrolled in the State Health Benefits Program, Christie's office said in a news release today. The insurance plan covers state, county and local government workers as well as employees of New Jersey's public colleges and universities, and their dependent family members.

Along with that change, the committee approved "four new lower-cost health plan options" and a new "wellness program" that seeks to encourage healthier lifestyles by offering workers gift cards worth $100 to $250 per person every...
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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Federal Government Launches New Workplace Health Program

The Federal Government has launched a new program to provide for better delivery of medical care in the workplace. As occupational medical conditions become increasingly more difficult to diagnose and treat under workers' compensation systems, this initiative is a bold effort to provide a solution.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today the availability of $10 million to establish and evaluate comprehensive workplace health promotion programs across the nation to improve the health of American workers and their families. The initiative, with funds from the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, is aimed at improving workplace environments so that they support healthy lifestyles and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.

“Spiraling health care costs and declines in worker productivity due to poor health are eroding the bottom line of American businesses,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “This new initiative will help companies of all sizes implement strategies to improve employee health and contain health costs driven largely by chronic diseases.”

Funds will be awarded through a competitive contract to an organization with the expertise and capacity to work with groups of employers across the nation to develop and expand workplace health programs in small and large worksites. Participating companies will educate employees about good health practices and establish work environments that promote physical activity and proper nutrition and discourage tobacco use—the key lifestyle behaviors that reduce employees’ risk for chronic disease.

“This is an exciting opportunity to help employers deliver effective workplace health programs on a national scale,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of HHS’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which oversees the initiative. “The promise of this strategy is a win-win: workers will be healthier and more productive, and companies will be more profitable.

Project funds will support evidence-based initiatives to build worksite capacity and improve workplace culture in support of health. Examples of such strategies include establishing tobacco-free campus policies, promoting flextime to allow employees to be more physically active, and offering more healthy food choices in worksite cafeterias and vending machines. A core principle of the initiative is to maximize employee engagement in designing and implementing the programs so they have the greatest chances of success.

The Obama Administration recognizes the importance of a broad approach to addressing the health and well-being of our communities, and June is Prevention & Wellness Month. Other initiatives put forth by the Obama Administration to promote prevention include the President’s Childhood Obesity Task Force and the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative aimed at combating childhood obesity, as well as the National Prevention Council, which is charged with designing and implementing a National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy.

Organizations interested in submitting proposals for the Comprehensive Health Programs to Address Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Tobacco Use in the Workplace can find more information at www.fbo.gov. The application deadline is August 8, 2011. A separate funding opportunity is available for a national evaluation of the initiative and can also be found at www.fbo.gov .

Sunday, November 24, 2013

FAA to Evaluate Obese Pilots for Sleep Disorder

Today's post was shared by FairWarning and comes from online.wsj.com

Concern about the U.S. obesity epidemic has now moved into airplane cockpits, prompting the Federal Aviation Administration to enhance medical scrutiny of overweight commercial and private pilots susceptible to sleep disorders.
After laying the groundwork with months of public education efforts, the FAA on Wednesday confirmed it plans to implement a new policy requiring special screening of pilots with excess weight or other factors that increase their risk of suffering from sleep apnea. To maintain their licenses, those aviators will have to be evaluated by a physician who is a sleep specialist.
The FAA eventually also plans to expand the effort to identify air-traffic controllers at greater risk for sleep apnea.
Once a pilot has been diagnosed with the condition—marked by sleep deprivation that causes daytime fatigue—he or she will have to undergo treatment before getting approval to return to the controls.
In a statement, the FAA said the updated guidelines to physicians are designed to help pilots and boost aviation safety "by improving the diagnosis of unrecognized or untreated" forms of the sleep disorder.
For private or weekend pilots especially, the impact could be dramatic. In 2011, the FAA identified about 125,000 pilots who were considered obese, making them potential candidates for testing under an expanded policy, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the largest national membership organization representing private aviators. There...
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Monday, September 2, 2013

Brain injuries a big problem for NFL in California

Today's post was shared by WCBlog and comes from www.aberdeennews.com


By the thousands, professional athletes from around the country are seeking medical care or money through California's workers' compensation system for brain trauma and other injuries suffered on the playing field.

Former athletes have filed more than 4,400 claims involving head and brain injuries since 2006 — seven times more than in the previous 15 years, according to a Times analysis of state records. Nearly three-quarters of all new claims made in California now include alleged brain injuries.
Most of these claims come from former pro football players, brought by superstars such as Joe Theismann, Tony Dorsett and Earl Campbell, as well as unheralded practice squad players.
NFL brain injuries
NFL brain injuries

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Workers' Compensation Beauty Pageant

The chore of ranking state workers' compensation systems is tougher than judging a national beauty pageant.  Peter Rousamiere made an excellent attempt this week in Risk and Insurance. The real answer is in the eyes of the users of the system and not merely on the commercial factors that industry relies upon to judge value.

Workers' compensation is social, remedial legislation. It is supposed to be a summary proceeding that delivers benefits expeditiously and efficiently to injured workers. The promise made in 1911 was a system removed of fault,  contributory negligence and assumption of the risk. Society has reneged on that agreement and now apportions and allocates disability on pre-existing conditions, prior functional credits and individual habits of workers. Ironically, it is Industry itself that markets items that results in obesity, smoking addiction and many other allegedly non-compensable factors.

The quality of a system is not only factored on rate of benefits, cost of insurance and lost time frequency. It is a system that should be evaluated on the human factors of injured workers' access to benefits and the time required to achieve the result. Justice delayed is indeed justice denied.

Yes, California, Alaska, New Jersey, New York and Montana may all share the bottom of the tank on the Risk and Insurance rating scale. However, horror stories are heard from Massachusetts (#1) concerning "opt-out programs," and in Nevada (#2) from OSHA, concerning the failure to abide by safety regulations. These dismal problems seem to be universal and embrace the entire program as it now exists.

Like the Miss America Pageant, it is time to take a good hard look at how the system presently functions and why it is not meeting expectations, both financial and socially.  Congress should commission an undertaking to figure out how to put the workers back into workers' comp.

To read more about a Congressional Commission click here.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Is Big Sugar the Next Liability Target?

Today's post was shared by The Health Care Blog and comes from thehealthcareblog.com

By Vik Khanna

Growing paranoia is the hallmark of the aging process for me.  Although I am a generally affable sort (I know, it doesn’t always seem that way from my writing), I am also a fairly suspicious person.  I am starting to think that all the food industry’s sweet talk about the innocence of sugar is really just icing on a toxic cake and that we’ve all been sold a bill of goods.  In particular, I wonder — and part of me hopes — that Big Sugar might soon replace Big Tobacco as the favorite target of our most underappreciated and misunderstood national resource…the plaintiff’s bar.

 There is no question we eat way too much sugar and that the increase in consumption has coincided nicely with both our rise in obesity and decline in health status even though we are living longer.

Not that I think the Tobacco Settlement (TS) was great social policy.  You can read my full view here; but, to summarize, as an immigrant and a person of color, a part of me resents the TS because all it did is push the burden of fulfillment of the financial terms into the hearts and lungs of people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  The smug satisfaction of tobacco opponents in the US and their glib dismissal of the impact on predominantly poor people of color around the world is first order racism.
Any analogous move against Big Sugar (BS) could be quite interesting.  There is, of course, the delectable duality of...
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