Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Botox Treatment for Low Back Pain

Dr. Koop presents a detailed description of the use of Botox treatment for low back pain. The treatment is used to reduce muscle spasm. In a study five patients reported complete pain relief after four months, and the remaining seven experienced at least a 50 percent reduction in pain.

Low Level Heat Therapy for Low Back Pain

In another study, the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation endorsed the claims of the Procter & Gamble Company, makers of the ThermaCare(r) HeatWrap, that use of their product feels good. This was published in the form of a scientific study showing use of the heat wrap was twice as effective as the placebo. What was the placebo, an unheated back wrap? Well, yes, with ibuprofen, and the heat wrap users got a sugar pill.

Drug Free Workplace Pilot Project Extended

The Drug Free Workplace pilot project is a program offered by Drug Free Pennsylvania and SWIF that offers a workers' compensation premium credit for those SWIF insureds which enroll in Drug Free Pennsylvania's "Drugs Don't Work Here" program. The credit is up to 5%, and is available from SWIF's Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pottsville and Sunbury offices. The program is extended for an additional year.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Commonwealth Court Affirms Determination of Insurance Carrier Based on Estoppel

in Overhead Door Company v. WCAB (Gill), The Commonwealth Court reviewed a case where SWIF defended the case as if it was the carrier for fifteen months, then presented evidence from the Employer that the Claimant was employed by a different corporation of the Employer and AIG was the carrier. The WCJ's ultimate decision was that SWIF was estopped from denying it was the responsible carrier. The Board and Commonwealth Court affirmed. The Court reasoned that the WCJ's subject matter jurisdiction over the Claimant's claim was sufficient to give jurisdiction to make the finding that SWIF was the responsible carrier.

Commonwealth Court Again Continues Harle Suspension on Economic Layoff

In Klarich v. WCAB (RAC's Association), the Commonwealth Court affirmed the WCJ's medical only grant of a claim petition where the Claimant continued to work without restrictions up to his economic layoff. The Claimant had restrictions which the WCJ credited, but the Claimant testified his restrictions did not prevent him from performing his pre-injury duties. The Court reasoned the Claimant could not show he was unable to perform his pre-injury duties, so the burden did not shift to the Employer to show job availability.

Thursday, March 06, 2003