In This Issue
Enhanced Workers' Compensation Benefit Program
Five Things Employers Should Know About Prescription Painkiller Use
Additional Member Services Offered by Public Entity Partners
Head in the Clouds?
Q: What is Tennessee's highest point?
A: Click here for the answer
| |Message from the President
Great things are happening in Tennessee. Recently, two groups of public safety officials were recognized and honored for their achievements. We all count on public safety agencies to help prevent and protect us from events that could threaten the safety of the general public. Please join Public Entity Partners in congratulating these member cities and employees for their great accomplishments.
Earlier this month, the winners of the 10th Annual Law Enforcement Challenge were announced by the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office. According to the press release, the Law Enforcement Challenge is an annual competition designed to recognize and reward the best overall traffic safety programs across the state. The winning safety programs combine officer training, public information and enforcement to reduce crashes and injuries within their jurisdictions. Click here for more details on the program and the winners.
Brentwood’s Fire & Rescue Department recently received Accredited Agency status with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). According to CFAI, the accreditation is a comprehensive self-assessment and evaluation model that enables organizations to examine past, current and future service levels and internal performance, and compare them to industry best practices. Click here to see more.
To all public safety officials, thank you for all you do to keep us safe.
Tennessee Law Enforcement Agencies Earn Statewide, National Honors
The Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office announced the winners of the 10th Annual Law Enforcement Challenge on Friday, Sept. 5. The Law Enforcement Challenge is presented to law enforcement agencies statewide. This year’s award winners were recognized on a state level and four agencies also received national recognition.
The Law Enforcement Challenge is an annual competition designed to recognize and reward the best overall traffic safety programs across the state. Similar sizes and types of agencies are judged on their local efforts to enforce laws and educate the public about the dangers of driving impaired and speeding, as well as the importance of occupant protection. The winning safety programs combine officer training, public information and enforcement to reduce crashes and injuries within their jurisdictions. To receive national recognition, agencies participated in the International Association of Chiefs of Police Law Enforcement Challenge.
“The Law Enforcement Challenge honors the good work of our law enforcement agencies,” said Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer. “It also provides an incentive for law enforcement agencies to reach new heights, set comprehensive goals, and share their experiences. These enforcement and education efforts help keep our roads safe and help nurture better drivers.”
Qualifying agencies were eligible to win two fully equipped police vehicles. This year’s vehicle winners were the White House Police Department and the Paris Police Department. Agencies that participated in the S.A.F.E. (Seatbelts Are For Everyone) campaign were eligible for a third fully equipped police vehicle. The winner of the S.A.F.E. vehicle was the Oliver Springs Police Department.
Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole reminded the group of law enforcement representatives that all who attended are winners. “Lives are saved every day by law enforcement officers who work to reduce the frequency and severity of injuries on our roadways in Tennessee,” Poole said. “The awards presented illustrate not only the achievements made in highway safety enforcement and education, but our appreciation for their work.”
A list of state and national winners can be found here: http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/news/2014/91914ChallengeWinners.pdf
The Law Enforcement Challenge took place following the 27th Annual Tennessee Lifesavers Conference. The Lifesavers Conference provides top-quality education and unparalleled networking opportunities for individuals in the traffic safety industry. This year, Grammy Award winner Jason Crabb performed the national anthem at the Opening Plenary. Kimberly Schlapman, member of country foursome Little Big Town, offered remarks during the Director’s Award Luncheon. The conference experienced a record year with over 600 registrants.
For more information about the Governor’s Highway Safety Office, visit their website at www.tntrafficsafety.org.
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Brentwood Fire & Rescue Department Awarded International Accreditation Status
The Brentwood Fire & Rescue Department has received Accredited Agency status with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). The department achieved this designation for meeting the criteria established through the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) voluntary self-assessment and accreditation program.
The Brentwood Fire & Rescue Department is one of 200 agencies worldwide, and only five in Tennessee, to achieve Internationally Accredited Agency status. The others in Tennessee are Kingsport, Alcoa, Maryville and Nashville. The department began laying the groundwork for the accreditation process in early 2010.
CFAI is dedicated to assisting the fire and emergency service agencies throughout the world in achieving excellence through self-assessment and accreditation. The accreditation process helps agencies achieve continuous quality improvement and provides enhanced service to their communities. The CFAI process is voluntary, and provides an agency with an improvement model to assess their service delivery and performance internally. The agency then works with a team of peers from other agencies to evaluate their completed self-assessment.
On achieving accredited status, Brentwood Fire Chief Brian Goss stated, “This demonstrates the commitment of the department to provide the highest quality of service to our community. We have been able to use the Commission on Fire Accreditation International's process as a proactive mechanism to plan for the future of this organization and identify areas where we can improve on the quality of the services we provide.
"While nearly every member of the department has their fingerprints on some part of this process, I would particularly like to thank accreditation managers Lt. Derek Hyde and Captain Brian Collins for their dedication and determination in helping make this a reality," Goss added.
The accreditation term is for a period of five (5) years, during which the fire and rescue department will be required to file annual compliance reports. The agency must then re-apply and be re-assessed for Accredited Agency status at the end of the five-year term.
Pictured above: (L-R) Allan Cain (CFAI Commission Chairman), Engineer John Russ, Lt. Neal Menanno, Lt. Cody Johnson, City Manager Kirk Bednar, Fire Chief Brian Goss, Lt. Derek Hyde, Asst. Chief David Windrow, Lt. John LoPiccolo, Lt. Jim Roman, and Chief Randy Bruegman (CPSE President).Return to the topEnhanced Workers' Compensation Benefit Program
You may not be aware, but we have transitioned pharmacy benefit management services to PMSI after StoneRiver Pharmacy Solutions (SRPS), Progressive Medical (PMI) and PMSI came together as subsidiaries. Accordingly, we are excited to announce that as of Sept. 1, 2014, we have transitioned the pharmacy benefit management program to PMSI’s platform, Tmesys®.
We expect to experience greater processing efficiencies and cost savings, enhanced claim management tools, and, importantly, a robust home delivery program. Additionally, the combined teams should provide exceptional customer service to our injured employees.
As stated earlier, as of Sept. 1, 2014, we have transitioned to Tmesys. Any employee with an active claim will receive a new retail drug card. Any employee who is not currently in active treatment will be provided with a new retail drug card following our approval of any new script. All prior Rx cards will be turned off after 60 days to permit the transition. Your employees will use the same local providers to get their prescriptions filled, and they will have the added benefit of access to convenient home delivery services for long-term, maintenance-type scripts.
Click here for an example of the first fill letter. We are placing this first fill temporary usage letter on our website under the Online Claims section for access by each member whenever it might be needed. This temporary letter may be duplicated and completed to help facilitate the initial fill on a new claim until we receive the claim form and get it processed.
If you have any questions regarding the aforementioned changes to our pharmacy benefit management program, please contact me or Michele Williams, or your adjuster at your earliest convenience, at 1-800-288-0829.
We thank you for your ongoing partnership and the opportunity to provide you exceptional claim service.
Itasca, IL (WorkersCompensation.com) — The number of people overdosing from opioid prescription painkillers is staggering, killing 45 people each day. Twenty-three percent of the workforce has misused prescription painkillers, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, making opioid use a serious threat to employee safety. Even when employees are taking opioid painkillers at the correct dosage with a valid prescription, subtle impairment may compromise workplace safety.
The National Safety Council notes there are five things employers should know about prescription painkiller use, and how it affects employee safety and the financial security of their businesses:
- Opioid painkillers compromise employee safety. Even after an employee returns to work, he or she could still feel the effects of prescription painkillers. Although an employee may take a legitimately prescribed amount of painkillers, he or she may be too impaired to operate equipment, drive or perform other job duties safely.
- Workers prescribed opioids have significantly higher workers' compensation claims. Workers prescribed even one opioid have four times more expensive total claim costs than workers with similar claims who aren’t prescribed opioids. Employers and insurers have been held financially accountable for overdose deaths tied to injured workers.
- Employers play an important role in helping their employees seek treatment. Research shows that employee recovery rates are higher when employers offer or suggest treatment, rather than friends or family.
- Opioid painkillers can delay recovery and return to work. “Return to work” and “fitness for duty” criteria vary widely, so it’s often difficult for employers to determine when an employee can safely begin working while under the influence of prescription painkillers.
- Using opioid painkillers increases the likelihood of disability claims. Receiving more than a one-week supply of opioids soon after an injury doubles a worker’s risk of disability one year later.
Read the complete article titled “The Proactive role employers can take: OPIOIDS IN THE WORKPLACE.”
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Additional Member Services Offered by Public Entity Partners
ü Loss Control Training Programs
The Loss Control department offers a variety of training classes to PE Partner members. Onsite training topics range from “Work Zone Safety” to “Civility in the Workplace.” Members also have access to an extensive DVD Safety Training Media Library. DVDs available for checkout include back injury prevention, driver safety, police liability, civil rights awareness, and other topics relative to employee safety and liability loss.
ü Legal Hotline Program
Through the Legal Hotline Program, members have access to a regional attorney who can answer a wide range of questions, from employment-related matters to workers’ compensation questions. This free service is intended to work in conjunction with your city attorney. Topics addressed from prior legal hotline questions include employment matters, drug-testing policies, interlocal agreements, ordinances and planning/zoning exposures.
ü Local Government Risk Academy
In an effort to support the complex needs of local governments, the Local Government Risk Academy’s courses are written specifically for local governments and governmental agencies. The program is designed to provide PE Partner members increased options and flexibility for in-house employee training. These online courses are available 24/7 from any computer with Internet access. Employees can stop in the middle of a course and come back later – the system remembers where you left off. Employees can print a certificate of completion once they pass the test at the end of their course. Course topics include: sexual harassment training for managers, workplace harassment, law enforcement liability, risk management for law enforcement, supervisor skills, back injuries, defensive driving basics, preventing accidents in the workplace, and many more.
Don't Get Caught Daydreaming with Your Head in the Clouds!
If your entity uses the cloud to store confidential information, address security by thoroughly examining the credentials of your chosen provider’s security practices and regularly conduct audits. It is important to also be cautious of what data is stored in the cloud. Finally, have legal counsel provide input when negotiating a contract between your entity and the provider, including who is responsible if a breach occurs and what that responsibility entails.