News Digest 10-11-2021


Workers’ comp insurance and medical cannabis

A small but growing number of states laws allow eligible patients to be reimbursed for the cost of their medical cannabis-related through their workers’ compensation insurance plans, according to an analysis of state policies conducted by the federal National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The researchers say they expected the number of states permitting cannabis-related compensation to increase in the coming years as more employees petition courts for reimbursement. The Leaf Online


Judge rules evidence thrown away in nitrogen deaths lawsuits

A judge last week said company being sued over the deaths of six employees in a Gainesville, Georgia, poultry plant in late January had thrown away potentially critical evidence for the lawsuits. Attorneys for the families of the victims, who died after nitrogen overflowed from machinery, asked the judge to sanction the company over its alleged concealment of evidence, which the company denies. Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Dozens of Washington lawmakers sign letter urging support of Hanford employees

A bipartisan group of 66 Washington lawmakers have signed a letter to President Joe Biden urging his administration to withdraw a challenge to the Washington State law which protects Hanford Nuclear Reservation employees. The law classifies some diseases associated with work at a nuclear facility are presumed to have been caused by exposure at work, and eases the process for employees to access benefits. Before the law passed, they had to prove their disease was not caused by exposure from elsewhere. Washington State Wire


Former executive pleads guilty in workers’ comp billing fraud, kickback conspiracy

A 39-year-old former executive with a medical supply and billing company pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, healthcare fraud, fraud to obtain federal employees’ compensation and illegal remunerations, in connection with a scheme to defraud the U.S. government and private insurance companies by overbilling for unnecessary medications provided to workers’ compensation patients. The scheme allegedly was individuals associated with the corporation recruited physicians to dispense pain creams and patches to their workers’ comp patients by offering them a split of the profits collected from successfully billing insurers, KTLO