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The WSIA Weekly, 2.9.18

Legislature continues to advance occupational disease presumptions
On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee passed HB 2633 on for further consideration. This bill adds a mix of new cancers, infections, and acute cardiovascular events for both firefighters as well as fire investigators, EMTs, and police officers. WSIA alongside the associations of counties and cities was successful in getting some limitation accomplished by amendment. The committee amended the bill to remove stroke as a presumptive condition for both police and fire. We continue to work to inform lawmakers on the significant costs of this proposal to local governments. Meanwhile, SB 6214, creating an occupational disease presumption of PTSD for police and fire, may come up for a vote in the Senate as early as today. 

Bill to limit social security offset passes House
House Bill 1336, which restricts the social security offset against time loss and pension payments for workers who had applied for, or were receiving, social security retirement befits prior to injury, passed the House of Representatives Wednesday on a 65-33 vote. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration, where there's a good chance it ends up passing and becoming law.

Want to follow along on all the legislative issues this session? Click here for our weekly members' legislative update.

Labor & Industries announces rulemaking on hearing aids
The Department of Labor & Industries announced rulemaking this week to update its criteria for the repair or replacement of hearing aids. The rulemaking is in response to legislation that was introduced this session requiring hearing aid replacement at least once every five years, but with the advocacy of WSIA and other parties, was shelved in favor of this more flexible approach. Click here for the rulemaking notice, and stay tuned for updates if you are interested in commenting once draft proposals become available. 

Fee schedule increasing for certain treatments
The Department also released proposed rulemaking language this week to increase the medical aid fee schedule for physical and occupational therapy, as well as revise conversion factors for anesthesia services and other treatments. Click here for the language. Any comments on the proposal are due by March 28, 2018 to 

25 steps to a safer office
Based on recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the folks at the National Safety Council have come up with a list of 25 steps office workers can take to minimize the risk of the most persistent office injuries. Interesting reading -- take a look here and pass along to your risk manager or safety manager if you work in an office.

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