The RISC eNews Blast is intended to provide relevant and timely news information from a number of sources to member pool staff. If you see articles in the journals, email and sources you subscribe to that may be of interest to the RISC membership, please feel free to forward them to Erin Rian for inclusion in the eNews Blast.
In this week's edition of the RISC eNews Blast:
DATA SECURITY & CYBER RISK
NYPD Rolls Out New Social Media Guidelines (PC Magazine, 3/29/2013): The New York City police department has adopted a social media policy specifically for its police department, which prohibits posting photos of uniformed officers, except those taken in official police ceremonies. Officers are also prohibited from posting official police matters online or speaking with lawyers, witnesses or minors online.
EMPLOYEE BENEFITS AND HEALTH CARE
IRS Proposes Regulations on $8 Billion Health Insurance Fee (Mondaq, 4/8/2013): The IRS recently issued proposed regulations regarding the annual fee on the health insurance industry scheduled to take effect in 2014. The fee is generally imposed on organizations engaged in the business of providing health insurance with some exclusions, including employers who self-insure, governmental entities, among others. Access the proposed rules here. The deadline to submit comments is June 3, 2013. There has been some question as to the applicability of these regulations to public entity health pools. NLC-RISC is evaluating this issue and will provide updates as additional information become available.
New Jersey Proposed Law The Most Aggressive Social Media Password Protection Law To Date (Mondaq, 4/10/2013): The New Jersey legislature has passed a new law providing wide protection to employee social media accounts. Not only are employers prohibited from requesting passwords to view the social media accounts of employees or applicants, they may also be prohibited from viewing postings through the account of another employee who has complained about a co-worker’s online conduct. The law also provides aggrieved workers with a private cause of action.
Bill would allow bosses to seek Facebook passwords (KIROTV, 4/3/2013): An amendment to a bill in the Washington legislature would permit an employer conducting an investigation to require or demand from an employee or a prospective employee access to a personal social media account if that person had pending allegations of workplace misconduct or giving away an employer’s proprietary information. The amendment was to a bill that would protect employees and applicants from employer demands for access to social media.
MEDICARE SECONDARY PAYER
To Protect Medicare or Not, Is that a Question for the State Court’s to Answer? (Franco Signor): A Medicare Secondary Payer consultant blogs that the recent settlement in Sterrett v. Klebart, which was approved by a state court and excludes future medicals, will not survive a challenge by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and suggests that the parties would have been better served by a court decision on the merits based on evidence.
NGHP Alert – Batch File and DDE Submissions (CMS.gov, 3/24/2013): Three fields in the Section 111 reporting requirements have been changed to “optional”.
PROPERTY & CASUALTY
Marketplace Realities 2013: Spring Update (Willis, Spring 2013): This report provides price predictions and a summary of the factors affecting the marketplace in major product, professional liability, and specialty product lines.
ISO’s CGL Changes for 2013 – Part II (Claims Journal, 3/29/2013): This is the second in a series of articles on ISO’s 2013 policy form changes.
New Workers’ Compensation Formula Lowers Premiums for Most Employers (Insurance Journal, 4/9/2013): The National Council on Compensation Insurance has changed the “split point” between primary and excess coverage used to calculate employers’ modification rates from $5,000 to $10,000 in 2013, with additional increases in 2014 and 2015. The purpose of the change was to improve the mod’s predictive power. The $5,000 split point has been in effect for the past two decades, and has been eroded by inflation.
New study casts doubt on benefits of physician-dispensed meds (Risk & Insurance, 4/1/2013): The California Workers’ Compensation Research Institute says that medical costs and days missed increased for claimants with physician dispensed medications, despite changes in California to reduce the cost of physician-dispensed medication to equate to pharmacy dispensed medication.
NCOIL Considers Model Laws on Prepackaged Drugs, Opioid Abuse (Property Casualty 360, 3/20/2013): A panel of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators has conditionally approved model legislation that would tie reimbursement for prepackaged physician dispensed drugs in workers’ compensation cases to the original manufacturer’s wholesale price. The model is based on Tennessee’s statute, but NCOIL wants to incorporate best practices from other states as well.
OTHER TOPICS OF INTEREST
CSU Forecast: 72% Chance of Major Hurricane Landfall in 2013 (Property Casualty 360, 4/10/2013): Forecasters from Colorado State University say there is a 72% chance of a major hurricane hitting the US coast during the 2013 hurricane season.
Top 10 Driving Distractions Involved in Fatal Car Crashes (Claims Journal, 4/4/2013): Erie Insurance has analyzed police data regarding fatal auto accidents over the past two years, and found that the top distractor is being “generally distracted or lost in thought”, at 62% of total distracted driving incidents. Cell phone use came in second, at 12%. The data is based on police officers’ judgment at the time of the crash.
Scientists in Race to Gauge Pandemic Risk of New Bird Flu (Insurance Journal, 4/3/2013): Genetic sequencing on a new bird flu strain that has infected nine people in China indicates genetic mutations that warrant further study, although human-to-human transmission has not yet been demonstrated.
Back to Black: How Municipalities Recover After They've Been Embezzled (Seven Days, 4/3/2013): The Vermont League of Cities and Towns’ crime coverage has helped a number of Vermont towns recover from embezzlements that arose from lack of basic internal financial controls.
Indiana could be first to require armed employee in every public school (Indystar.com, 4/3/2013): Legislation approved by the Indiana House Education Committee would require the creation of an armed protection officer for each school, who could be the principal, a teacher, another staff member or police/security guards.