Maple Heights woman guilty of fraud, ordered to repay more than $4K

A Maple Heights (Cuyahoga County) woman has been ordered to repay more than $4,000 to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) after she pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud.

An investigation was opened into Brandy Davis after BWC’s Special Investigations Department received information through a cross match of data with the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. The cross match indicated that Davis had received wages during a period of time when she was receiving benefits for a workplace injury.

The investigation confirmed Davis worked for Beech Brook, a children’s behavioral health center, and the Jewish Family Services Association (JFSA), both in Cleveland, while receiving temporary total disability benefits.

Davis entered a guilty plea to one first-degree misdemeanor count of workers’ compensation fraud on February 3 in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. Judge Holbrook sentenced Davis to 180 days in jail, suspended for five years of community control, under the condition that she pay restitution totaling $4,639.75.

Ohio border no longer a barrier

kendraKendra DePaul, Other States Coverage Manager

I often wonder how many employers realize the jurisdictional issues associated with having employees working in other states. As you may know, each state has different laws and requirements for workers’ compensation coverage and it is not always easy for employers to know what is required of them in another state.

Unfortunately, the way employers usually find out about the differences in state laws, is when something bad happens. A claim is filed outside the state of Ohio or a letter comes from a state official with an accompanying penalty for not having proper coverage. We often get calls from employers when these things happen. They want to know what they should do to remedy the situation. Oftentimes though, the call comes too late and the only advice we can give is to work with the official to pay the penalty and get coverage for the future. This is not a great option for employers and usually not a cheap option either.

BWC has come to the realization that our employers need a better option. An option where they can get coverage up front so that the frantic phone calls can be eliminated and employers can focus on the success of their businesses. And that is why we are undertaking implementation of Other States Coverage for Ohio employers.

We are partnering with a private insurer to offer optional coverage to employers who may face financial exposure while working outside the state of Ohio. The coverage secured through BWC will be very similar to private workers’ compensation insurance that some employers have chosen to purchase on their own. And if an employer is happy with their private coverage, there is no mandate to switch. But for those who have struggled to find coverage or don’t know where to go to meet their out-of-state requirements, BWC is here and we can help.

It has been a long journey to make this possible for Ohio employers. The legislation was passed in 2014, and since then there have been countless workgroups, meetings, and training to get ready for this endeavor. I’m happy to say there is some light at the end of the tunnel. I would not say that we have it all figured out, and there will be a lot of learning along the way, but I have confidence that we will bring this coverage offering up in the next few months and have a viable option for Ohio employers who send their employees outside the state of Ohio.

We at BWC will keep on working hard to get this option up and running, and we hope that if you are in need of this coverage, you will give us a call. We are excited to assist you.

More about Other States Coverage is available at bwc.ohio.gov.

A safety legacy! Proud to carry on the message…

By Sharon Roney, BWC Library Administrator

I am the Administrator of the BWC Library. In a past career, I worked directly in the environmental science/safety field. I’d like to believe I came by this career because of my Grandfather’s influence. I’m sure he would be proud to know that I work in safety.

This year is the 50th anniversary of my grandfather, Sherman L Roney winning a new Ford Fairlane in the 1966 traffic safety slogan-essay contest of the Ohio Department of Highway Safety. That Ford was the car that got me through high school and college. This photo from the 1966 Ohio Monitor at the 36th Ohio Safety Congress shows the proud winner.

Blog Sharon Roney

My Grandfather was a fairly early proponent of safety in manufacturing. He was the safety director at Union Drawn steel in Canton, Ohio and national director of the American Society of Safety Engineers. His essay and safety slogan in 1966 won him the car and the license plate with just the number 1. His slogan was placed on 300 billboards throughout the state.

safety letter

His message to us 50 years ago still rings true. “Fasten your seat belts, heaven can wait.”  We know seat belts save lives. The data below from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSTA) shows how many more Ohio lives could be saved if everyone wore their seat belt.

seat belt grid

An estimated 658 more people in Ohio would have gone home to their loved ones in the past 5 years had they been wearing their seat belt.

I’m sure that were he still alive, my grandfather would now be on a crusade to get us to all stop using our cell phones while driving. He would know the statistics on distracted driving. NHSTA estimates that at any one time during daylight hours 660,000 drivers are holding a cell phone to their ear while driving. He would be happy that the trends of deaths in vehicular accidents have been on a downward slope with the number of fatalities per 100,000 registered drivers reduced from 23.21 in 1994 to 15.42 in 2013 but recognize that we still have a long way to go.

Whenever I am assisting someone in the library I think of my grandfather. The library provides free informational services on the topics of occupational safety and health, workers’ compensation, and rehabilitation. We provide the only such library in the state of Ohio, and one of the few in the nation. While most special libraries are not open to the public, our library serves employers, local and state government, legal and health care professionals, Ohio’s work force and the general public.

Visit us
30 W. Spring St., Third Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-2256
1-800-644-6292
614-466-7388
614-644-0018 (video library)

You can e-mail the Safety and Hygiene Library if you have any questions or comments concerning our services.

Attention medical & health professionals

WORLD NEWS (11)

 

 

 

 

 

DrStephenWoodsBy Dr. Stephen Woods, BWC Chief Medical Officer

One of the things I like most about this position is that it gives me an opportunity to see how different organizations and regions of the state approach pain management. It has been a challenge in getting all providers on board with appropriate prescribing methods across the state.

We plan to cover the statewide Opiate Action Team guideline changes at the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Medical & Health Symposium, so it will be a great place for providers to expand their knowledge base on opiates and learn that coming into compliance with all the regulatory changes and guidelines is easier than they might think.

BWC is putting on the two-day symposium to focus on current issues bubbling up for the industry.  The two tracks being offered this year are pain and neuromusculoskeletal management, because these two areas have a huge impact on managing care and treating injured workers.

email medhead

Free continuing education opportunities
Not only are we bringing leading world, national and state experts together to learn and network with us,  we are providing continuing education opportunities for Ohio’s health-care staff members free of charge.  This is an exceptional value for an outstanding learning opportunity. I encourage Ohio’s providers to take advantage of our symposium.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
TBI treatment and awareness continues to evolve over the years.  Recovery from a TBI may be a slow process.  We need to be careful about the continuum of care and consider possible complications that may arise in the future.

Because of the increased awareness of the impact of TBIs, this is an exciting area of medicine. After lectures on the topic, I always feel like I walk away with new insights. I’m sure that will be the case with our symposium. You don’t want to miss the experts we have coming in to speak.

Read brochure, register today
Check out the brochure and then go to the website to register. We are offering the symposium in conjunction with the 2016 Ohio Safety Congress and Expo at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in downtown Columbus. I look forward to talking with you at the symposium on March 10 – 11.