That workers’ compensation makes
people crazy is no mere coincidence

State’s so-called ‘grand bargain’ frustrates employees, employers, taxpayers

Nevada’s workers’ compensation system is Kafkaesque.

Literally.

In one way, it’s simply because workers’ comp systems virtually everywhere — despite their asserted necessity — trigger feelings of senselessness, disorientation and helpless alienation, resembling those so famously evoked by Franz Kafka’s tales.

But it goes deeper: Kafka — highly intelligent and exceptionally sensitive — was himself drenched in the workers’ comp milieu, spending each workday, himself, as a functionary at the Worker’s Accident Insurance Institute in Prague, Bohemia.

Then, after 2 p.m., he would go home and write his evocative tales.

“Out of his experience of paternal tyranny and decadent bureaucracy,” said novelist John Updike in a forward to a collection of Kafka’s stories, “he projected nightmares that proved prophetic.”

“A sense that Kafka epitomized,” said Updike, was “a sensation of anxiety and shame whose center cannot be located and therefore cannot be placated; a sense of an infinite difficulty within things, impeding every step.”

That, in fact, is a pretty accurate description of many experiences of Nevada’s injured workers — once they’ve found themselves subject to work comp’s tender mercies.

“They make you feel like a criminal, workers’ comp does,” a career firefighter told Nevada Journal. “They make you feel like you’re less than” other employees.

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Nevada

Is Nevada work comp legit?

Truncated health-provider networks increase insurers’ control over doctors

Line up all the problems with Nevada’s workers’ comp system that injured workers will tell you about, and it’s easy to begin to wonder:

Is this system really on the level?

The question haunts the Nevada Legislature this session as lawmakers consider AB187. The bill would restore to injured workers the right to select their own treating physicians — a right lawmakers took away in 1993.

Overtly, the issue before legislators is whether reversing that old decision — made as bankruptcy loomed over the profligate state industrial insurance system of that era — would have the dire consequences for Nevada’s current work comp system that insurer lobbyists prophesy today.

More veiled, however, but definitely on the minds of legislators, is the question of whether that 1993 decision has, in retrospect, had the effect of fundamentally rupturing the so-called “grand bargain” that workers’ comp traditionally has been said to embody.

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Nevada

Supreme Court case bears
on bill before Legislature

Big work-comp administrator firm committed fraud, say briefs before court

As the Nevada Legislature ponders allowing injured workers to once again choose their doctors, a case now before the state’s high court suggests the current ban on such choice may be facilitating fraud.

The legislation before the current session is Assembly Bill 187, sponsored by 15 assembly members and three state senators.

It aims to greatly expand the universe of qualified medical providers authorized to provide medical care within the state’s industrial insurance system, and — from that greatly expanded list — let injured workers, once again, select their own doctors. That is a right lawmakers eliminated in 1993.

The case at the Nevada Supreme Court bearing on this issue is Reeves v. Division of Industrial Relations and Nevada Department of Administration, case No. 62468.

Evidence submitted to the court by appellant Susan Reeves and her attorney, the latter told the court, shows a 2004 instance of clear fraud by one of Nevada’s largest third-party administrators of workers’ comp claims — Cannon Cochran Management Services (CCMSI), under contract at the time to Bally’s Resort Hotel & Casino, a property of Caesar’s Entertainment.

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PERS releases Social Security numbers
of over 100 retired and current judges

In apparent attempt to avoid transparency, Nevada’s retirement system causes huge security breach

Expert critics of Common Core to face
NDE officials in unique public events

Forums designed to give lawmakers, parents, teachers
the chance to learn and ask questions

Federal education officials: Nevada can’t charge dad to look at children’s records

Dozens of mistakes identified in now-viewable records

Double-dipping ex-purchasing director
reportedly repays school district

But CCSD keeps key findings of internal probe hidden from public

Former NSEA staffer accuses
union of racial discrimination

A former employee of the Nevada State Education Association is suing his former employer, union over what he calls “textbook” racism.

CCSD spent over $13,000 discussing controversial sex-ed program

The Clark County School District spent over $13,000 this year to discuss the child sex-education advocacy program that made headlines when it was reported that the district was considering teaching masturbation to Kindergartners.

Charter-school parents fear
the creeping CCSD mindset

Pinecrest Academy’s board seen as distancing itself from parent concerns

Medicaid patients to be the
surprise victims of margin tax

If the margin tax passes, it will claim a group of unlikely victims: Medicaid patients.

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