‘Nevada’ articles

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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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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Small business owner: Margin tax
would impose 32% marginal tax rate

Threat of hefty tax offers new incentive to keep revenues low

The proposed margin tax would impose a 32% marginal tax rate on Frank Friedlander, owner of Las Vegas Window Tinting.

LAS VEGAS — Come November, the fate of Nevada business owners — big and small — will be in the hands of voters.

For family-owned businesses like Las Vegas Window Tinting, the stakes are high: the imposition of the margin tax would slap owners Frank and Lelia Friedlander with an additional $24,000 tax bill.

Unlike a corporate income tax, the proposed two-percent margin tax would be levied on the revenue that passes through businesses’ registers, not the profit left over after bills are paid. This means struggling businesses stand to lose all of their profit, or worse, end up losing money at a time when many Nevada job-creators are still trying to fully recover from the Great Recession.

“We’re just getting back now,” Frank said, explaining that his company “made it through the recession but barely made it through the recovery because it was so long.”

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Two released after Lovelock, Nevada rescue

Mother, 1 child discharged from hospital after rescue in bitter cold Nevada wilderness

RENO, Nevada (AP) — A mother and her youngest child were discharged Wednesday from a Nevada hospital a day after being rescued with four other group members who were stranded for two days in a bitter cold mountain wilderness when their Jeep rolled over.

The father of the girl and three other young members of the couple's families were also doing "remarkably well" but will remain a bit longer for observation at the hospital in Lovelock, Dr. Douglas Vacek said.

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Tahoe homeowners still view
TRPA as frustrating, indifferent

Survey: High proportion find dealing with it ‘futile’

LAS VEGAS — The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is winning national awards from government-planning professionals, but among homeowners in the five counties surrounding Lake Tahoe, it’s the least popular local government agency of all.

Seventy percent of homeowners in the Lake Tahoe Basin said TRPA would not take their concerns very seriously and 47 percent expressed much frustration with TRPA.

When poll respondents reporting minimal experience with the agency were excluded from the calculations, the negatives went up — to 72 percent and 55 percent, respectively.

In every case, TRPA’s negative numbers are significantly higher than those of other local government agencies in the Basin and higher still when compared to the attitudes of homeowners just outside the basin.

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Environmentalism vs. the environment

Tahoe hostility to development ensured lake pollution for decades

LAS VEGAS — The Lake Tahoe Basin — its residents are ceaselessly told — has suffered much environmental damage over the decades.

Rarely mentioned, however, is a remarkable fact: Much of the damage has actually been at the hands of the lake’s ostensible protectors.

While this reality is only occasionally acknowledged, it’s a critical part of basin history and needs to be known if the Tahoe environment is to flourish.

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Feds' war on Western ranchers'
water rights takes a body blow

Judge refers BLM, USFS officers for potential criminal prosecution, shames DOJ lawyers

LAS VEGAS — Out in the American West, it’s not hard to find ranchers who’ll tell you that federal land agencies and U.S. Justice Department lawyers have in recent decades been working to destroy family ranching as a way of life.

Late last month, however, those ranchers — ignored and discounted though they’ve generally been — got, for their argument, some very high-powered ammunition.

Naturally enough, it came right out of the heart of the decades-long, high-profile litigation between the U.S. government and the family of the late E. Wayne Hage, author and property-rights advocate.

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In Tahoe face-off with
California, Nevada retreats

Sandoval risks political backlash

LAS VEGAS — Has the Lake Tahoe Compact been saved?

Do the announced compromises between Nevada and California — repeatedly hailed by lawmakers in Carson City following the May 14 agreement of the states’ governors — stand any genuine chance of solving the Tahoe Basin’s longstanding economic, governance and water-clarity problems?

Or have deep and fundamental conflicts between the two states and between Tahoe environmentalists and most lake residents merely been papered over — soon to return in an even more virulent form?

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Proposed amendment would
preserve Tahoe compact

Would be conditional on California legislature agreeing to Nevada's conditions

LAS VEGAS — A high-stakes amendment intended to keep Nevada in the controversial bi-state Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) was proposed today by Gov. Brian Sandoval, Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick and State Sen. James Settelmeyer.

All three, during the 2011 Nevada Legislature, had supported Senate Bill 271, the bill to take Nevada out of the TRPA Compact unless California agreed to change the terms governing the agency’s control over Lake Tahoe planning.

Sen. Settelmeyer was a primary author of the legislation, and Speaker Kirkpatrick had — notwithstanding criticism from “green” groups — supported it. Gov. Sandoval, once the bill had been approved by both legislative chambers, had signed it.

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Moving company owner, after sting, pans Nevada's 'arduous' licensing process

Company fined $1,000 for operating, advertising without a license

Carolyn Davis wanted to start a moving company in Las Vegas, but instead got caught in a sting operation by the Nevada Transportation Authority. Davis describes the NTA's rigorous licensing process while a NTA attorney defends it.

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