Category Archives: News

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Final Rule Governing the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund’s Payment of Medical Benefits Has Been Issued

The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs has issued a Final Rule governing the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund’s payment of medical benefits under the Black Lung Benefits Act.

The Final Rule:

  • Adopts modern payment formulas for physicians, hospitals and other providers that are derived from the formulas used in the Medicare program. These formulas are also similar to those used by other OWCP programs (e.g., Federal Employees Compensation and Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation programs).
  • Codifies the black lung program’s current practices for the payment of prescription drugs and the submission of medical bills for payment.
  • Provides greater clarity about fees paid to providers, which should speed processing and payment of benefits as well as make it easier for the Trust Fund to obtain reimbursement from coal companies.
  • Prohibits providers from seeking additional payments from miners for covered services that have been paid by the Trust Fund.

Miners will not see any change in the medical care they receive to treat their black lung disease.

The regulations will be effective August 31, 2018.  The rules will apply to medical equipment, prescription drugs, and inpatient medical services provided or rendered after that date. The rules governing payment of professional medical services and outpatient medical services have a delayed application date and will apply to services rendered after November 30, 2019.

DOL Press Release of Final Rule

The Final Rule is available for public inspection today on the Federal Register’s website at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/06/14/2018-12418/black-lung-benefits-act-medical-benefit-payments. The Federal Register will publish the rule on June 14, 2018. The published version will be available online at the same website location.


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Congress Boosts ‘Black Lung’ Treatment Funding by Millions

Category : News

“Rural medical clinics that are struggling to respond to an epidemic of a fatal lung disease plaguing coal miners received a 40 percent boost in federal funding with the passage of the omnibus spending bill last week.” – Howard Berkes, NPR –

Read the entire article on NPR.org.


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Mark Your Calendars! NCBLRDC BoD Meeting & 2018 Conference

Category : NCBLRDC , News

Please mark your calendars for these upcoming events!

NCBLRDC Board of Director’s Meeting
HRSA Workshop

Washington, DC
March 5, 2018

NCBLRDC 2018 Conference
Pipestem, WV
June 5-June 8, 2018


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Black Lung COE at UIC to host Queensland Australia’s Parliament CWP Select Committee

Category : News

The Black Lung Center of Excellence at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health will host members of the Queensland Australia’s Parliament Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis (CWP) Select Committee on February 17, 2017.

The Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis (CWP) select committee was established by the Parliament on September 15, 2016 to conduct an inquiry and report on the re-emergence of CWP amongst coal mine workers in Queensland.
Please find a link to the inquiry’s website below: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/committees/CWPSC


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Become a Coal Miner Ambassador!

Category : News

Coal Miner Ambassador Committee

The committee is formed to develop a system to bring advocates interested in helping coal miners learn about the federal black lung claim process to the National Conference. The coal miner advocate will assist coal miners with federal black lung claim applications or assist coal miners with the paperwork process. This person would serve as an ambassador to promote National Coalition goals and to help spread the word.

The person must have a financial need and express interest and concern for coal miners with black lung disease.

Guidelines:

  1. Submit written summary explaining why you think your nomination should be selected by June 2017.
  2. The travel budget would be set at $1000.00.
  3. The budget would be approved yearly at the annual Board Meeting following the annual conference based on financial availability.
  4. The selected recipient of the Coal Mine Ambassador Award will be notified within 5 Days by the committee and arrangements will be made by NCBLRDC, Inc., Executive Committee.

Selection Committee Representatives Are:

  1. Anthony Warlick
  2. Dolores Weems
  3. Brenda Marion

Mail or Fax written (detailed) nominations to:
Brenda Marion
New River Breathing Center
P.O. Box 337
Scarbro, WV  25917
Fax: (304) 465-2177
E-Mail:  Brenda.hallmarion@nrhawv.org