Health Wonkery, FMLA, State Barometers, TRIA and more

February 28th, 2013 by Julie Ferguson

Health wonkery – Dr. Jaan Sidorov presents the February Edition of the Health Wonk Review: Insightful Nuggets From the Best Health Policy Blogs at his Disease Management Care Blog. He’s organized the posts by topic: “Obamacare’s key reforms, various health economists’ latest divinations on health care costs, hospitals, Medicaid, the internet, California, medical education and some British humor.” Check it out!
FMLA – Update your info – By March 8, employers need to update policies and replace FMLA posters with a newer version that reflects recent updates to the law related to military family leave, military caregiver leave and eligibility standards for airline flight crew members and flight attendants. You can get a copy of the updated FMLA poster and more information about the changes.
State-by-state barometers – Joe Paduda posts about medical care variation among states as reflected in the latest Dartmouth Atlas of healthcare, presented in yesterday’s WCRI Annual Meeting. Joe looks at some of the findings and questions that the report raises. And in another state-by-state comparative indicator, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation issued an interactive map that charts death rates and how states rank in 10 key indicators, such as drunk driving, prescription drugs, domestic partner abuse, and seat-belt use. It’s a pretty interesting tool – but we’d encourage them to add on-the-job deaths to the list.
Terrorism risk insurance – the current Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 will expire at the end of 2014 and some are already looking at the need for renewal. Brokers say the backstop coverage is still needed and while it may seem early to be looking at something that will expire in 2014, it is not – the article notes that “…any delay past the end of this year causes problems for 12-month insurance contracts and the stress that comes with uncertainty of the program’s future.”
Opioid sausage making – You know the old quote about how laws are like sausages – it’s better not to see them being made… Marc Gavin of Evidence Based thinks that the there has been an abject failure on the part of IAIABC on dealing with the opioid crisis after the executive committee of IAIABC sidelined and he is not alone in his opinions. The blogosphere has been abuzz about the curious backtracking – people were anticipating leadership with the issuance of model rules and legislation on opioid use in the workers’ compensation industry. Gavin tells us there is some hope in that the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) is taking up the cause at its spring meeting.
Ergonomics – What is early intervention in the context of preventing musculoskeletal disorders (MSD)? ErgonomicsPlus offers a checklist and tips.
Disease Detectives – We haven’t tried it yet but note with interest that the CDC offers a Solve the Outbreak i-Phone app. The descriptive copy says: “Get clues, analyze data, solve the case, and save lives! In this fun app, you get to be the Disease Detective. Do you quarantine the village? Talk to people who are sick? Ask for more lab results? The better your answers, the higher your score – and the more quickly you’ll save lives. You’ll start out as a Trainee and can earn badges by solving cases, with the goal of earning the top rank: Disease Detective.”
Noteworthy News