News Roundup: Risk, Rx, Ergonomics & More

April 3rd, 2013 by Julie Ferguson

Biweekly Risk RoundupCavalcade of Risk #180 is now posted by Michael Stack at the AMAXX blog – check it out.
Dispensing DocsNew study casts doubt on benefits of physician-dispensed meds – According to the findings of a recent research study conducted by the California Workers’ Compensation Research Institute, even after controls to curb price differentials, the practice costs more and is associated with more days away from work. Quoting from a report of the study in Risk and Insurance:

Part of the controversy around physician dispensing of repackaged drugs concerns the price. Prior to reforms in 2007, reimbursement for repackaged drugs “often exceeded the amount paid for equivalent pharmacy-based prescriptions by 500 percent or more,” noted the authors.

The reforms adopted by the California Division of Workers’ Compensation to the pharmacy fee schedule “largely eliminated the differential pricing,” the authors said. “The effect was immediate, as both the volume of physician-dispensed repackaged drugs and the amounts paid for these medications declined by more than 90 percent by 2011.”

Despite the change, overall amounts paid and days away from work increased after the reforms.

Rx Summit – Joe Paduda is posting reports on the second annual national Rx drug abuse summit at Managed Care Matters. Although attendance numbers are good, he notes that actuaries and C-suite execs are conspicuous for their absence. Joe says, “That is precisely why opioids are the single biggest problem in workers comp.”
Prevention Tips from a Pro – In Top 10 loss control tips for 2013, Dennis Truitt, a 20-year occupational safety veteran, reveals his list of the most important steps companies can take to mitigate risk and control loss.
Dark Ages – What did people do before Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – how did people communicate? Take a look: Vintage social networking.
Fee SchedulesSuccesses and Failures of Fee Schedules: How Medical Providers Circumvent Fee Schedule-Related Revenue Losses – John Stahl reports on a panel presentation at the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute’s recent annual conference. He discusses the session of “Unnecessarily High/Low Medical Prices and Fee Schedules”in some depth.
Ergonomics, A to Z – Mark Middlesworth of Ergonomics Plus has compiled an excellent Ultimate Guide to Workplace Ergonomics. His extensive list of resources covers everything from ergonomic assessments, training, and design to success stories. Its worth bookmarking!
Early Reporting – Jennifer Frederick offers five good reasons why reporting workers compensation claims ASAP should be your standard operating procedure.
Career Options – Looking for a career path with a good future? A new NIOSH report says that the future demand for occupational safety and health services will significantly outstrip the supply. “Although employers plan to hire at least 25, 000 occupational safety and health professionals over the next five years, only about 12,000 new graduates are expected to be available from the academic programs that provide the needed pool of expertise nationally. Hiring estimates include new or replacement positions, some of which may be filled by persons without occupational safety and health training.”
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