Summer Reading: Risk Cavalcade & Other news of note

August 7th, 2014 by Julie Ferguson

Catching up on our summer reading post vacation, we have a number of pointers to noteworthy news. First we note that according to a recent RIMS survey, the total cost of risk for businesses rose 2% in 2013. To segue on that, we turn to Cavalcade of Risk – a few of our friends have hosted recent issues: See The Italics and Dot-Dot-Dot Edition of the Cavalcade of Risk at Jaan Sidorov’s The Population Health Blog, plus the prior edition Cavalcade of Risk #213 hosted by Jason Shafrin at Healthcare Economist, which kicks off with a great TED video clip on our relationship with fear from Sebastien Foucan.
,,, and here’s more recent news in the world of workers comp
NCCI’s Workers Compensation Claim Frequency–2014 Update – “According to preliminary estimates, workers compensation lost-time claim frequency declined by a relatively modest 2% in Accident Year 2013. The Great Recession of 2007-2009, which was the most serious and long lasting economic contraction since the Great Depression, had a considerable effect on claim frequency changes. Frequency increased in Accident Year 2010 and has declined in each subsequent accident year.”
Frequency, high finance, and the future of work comp managed care – Joe Paduda talks about the impact of the drop in claim frequency on the work comp managed care industry: “Fewer claims = fewer services needed = fewer bills; less need for UR, case management, and related services.” He discusses the likey impact, noting that, “Meanwhile the supplier market is consolidating, and managed care vendors are scrambling to capture enough of the shrinking market to survive the coming shakeout.”
The Outsourcing Universe – For more on managed care, check out Peter Rousmanier’s thoughtful column on specialized work comp services in Work Comp Central: “The workers’ compensation insurer is for many the centerpiece of a mature industry. …Within this industry, however, specialized services as an extension of claims management grew since 1990 from about $4 billion in total costs to about $18 billion today. This service universe expanded dramatically and changed repeatedly in products, organization, and leadership. Let’s review this evolution and ask if two decades-plus of growth is coming toward an end.”
8 revealing WCRI state studies on workers compensation – Bill Coffin of PropertyCasualty360 notes: “The studies measure five specific worker outcomes: recovery of physical health and functioning, return to work, earnings recovery, access to medical care, and satisfaction with medical care.
These metrics are measured to help public officials, payors and health care providers, among others, to identify how state-level systems are performing, and identifying where and what kinds improvements or reforms they might need.”
Paying for Detox – At Risk & Insurance, Roberto Ceniceros notes that in response to the opioid crisis, workers comp payers are increasingly turning to detoxification programs and other multidisciplinary treatment modalities to address the problem. He discusses the opportunities and challenges in substance abuse treatment.
Zero PPE: The Future of Safety in Construction? – Scott Schneider of the The Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America issues a safety challenge. He notes that, “too often the first solution proposed to achieve this goal of zero injuries is to put all workers in personal protective equipment (PPE)” but wonders if the emphasis is misplaced: “Personal protective equipment is at the bottom of the hierarchy of controls for a reason.”
Obamacare Update: On this topic, we follow Jonathon Cohn’s writings, among others – here are two of this noteworthy recent articles: How Much Is Obamacare Raising Your Insurance Rate? Depends on Which State You Live In and Obamacare’s Impact on the Uninsured, State by State.
News Briefs: