Cavalcade of Risk & Other Notable News

November 13th, 2014 by Julie Ferguson

Cavalcade Of Risk #221,: Birds of a Feather – Claire Wilkinson of Terms + Conditions hosts this weeks’ biweekly roundup, and it’s a good one!
First up: Peril, and Daring, at 1 World Trade Center as Window Washers Are Trapped – Dramatic photos and reports of yesterday’s rescue via the New York Times. Today’s report: Workers Rescued From Dangling Scaffolding “Doing Well”, which includes footage of the rescues. Good job, first responders!
Wrangling With John Burton Over the Future of Workers’ Comp
A workers comp must-read. The International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC) featured a “point-counterpoint” type presentation in its annual Peer Review Journal. This edition features John Burton, Professor Emeritus at Rutgers and Cornell, and presidentially appointed Chairman of the 1972 Federal Commission on Workmen’s Compensation and Robert “Bob’s Cluttered Desk” Wilson, workers comp internet entrepreneur/visionary and President and CEO of Burton’s article “Should There Be a 21st Century National Commission on Workers’ Compensation Laws?” suggests a direction for the future and Wilson’s article “The Case for Workers’ Recovery” suggests a philosophical change for the industry. Download and read the series of articles.
WorkCompWire: NCCI Publishes Workers Compensation Financial Results Update – NCCI’s State of the Line report indicated favorable industry results for 2013. Industrywide statutory data for 2013 indicates little difference between NCCI’s preliminary estimates and the final results for most of the major financial measures. For Calendar Year 2013, NCCI initially estimated workers compensation premium volume net of reinsurance to be $37.0 billion for private carriers. This compares to the actual data reported by the industry of $36.7 billion. NCCI estimated an industrywide workers compensation combined ratio of 101 for 2013; actual data reported by the industry indicates a combined ratio of 101.3. 9. (You can access and download the full report free: NCCI Workers Compensation Financial Results Update.
ARAWC: A New Force for Change
Chris Mandel is SVP, strategic solutions for Sedgwick. “This new national organization was formed by a coalition of employers and workers’ compensation system providers after many realized the benefits achieved in Texas and those anticipated in Oklahoma. The board and ARAWC’s members have an intense interest in seeing employees better cared for by a more optimally designed and managed system. By seeking options to traditional workers’ compensation, the organization has a goal of also driving economic development through the attraction of employer savings.”
Related: Roberto Ceniceros – National Employers Push for Comp Options
Court to rule on health care subsidies
SCOTUS Blog: “The Supreme Court, moving back into the abiding controversy over the Affordable Care Act, agreed early Friday afternoon to decide how far the federal government can extend its program of subsidies to buyers of health insurance. At issue is whether the program of tax credits applies only in the consumer marketplaces set up by sixteen states, and not at federally operated sites in thirty-four states.”
– Ezra Klein: The huge new threat to Obamacare, explained in 2 minutes
– Jonathan Cohn: Obamacare Returns to the Supreme Court
Republicans to Chip at Obamacare by Redefining Work Hours
Report: Healthcare premium increases ‘quite low’ in 2015
– Bob Laszewski: Is the Administration Low-Balling Their 2015 Obamacare Enrollment?
The American public is skeptical about workers’ comp
Julius Young of WorkersCompZone reviews the results of a Harris Interactive poll on attitudes to workers compensation. “Instead of celebrating the social bargain that created workers’ comp, too often the perception is that the system is out of control. And that stakeholders are only out to aggrandize their share of the pie. / Ultimately this has made it hard for injured worker advocates to gain much traction in the court of public opinion.”
NPR investigation: Injuries and violations continue at coal mines that owe millions in fines
Keb Ward, Coal Tattoo: “Our friends at NPR News and the Mine Safety and Health News — Howard Berkes and Ellen Smith — have just posted some remarkable new work from a year-long investigation of what happens when coal mine operators never have to actually pay the safety fines that are assessed for violations of federal standards.”

Who insures short-duration work-injury caused absences?

Terry Bogyo: “Without data, it is hard to estimate the number of work-related absence cases that are going uncompensated because of waiting periods. Without measurement, it is hard to see if this burden is shrinking or growing. Without a financial implication, the case for prevention may be less than it might otherwise be.”
‘Open’ in Texas Causes a Workers’ Compensation Roadblock
Joan E. Collier, wci360: “Well, here’s an interesting item from Texas. An investigative reporter with CBS Dallas/Ft. Worth radio station KRLD has uncovered what he says “may be a loophole that blocks anyone who has ever used workers’ compensation in Texas from getting Medicare claims paid.”
Workers comp controversy grows as more business owners complain of bills from the state (NY)
Jim Kenyon, “…Michael T. Berns, former Commissioner on the State Workers Comp Board, now runs a website critical of the way the Board operates. He blames the Board for allowing the self-insured trusts to run up multi-million dollar debts. “The State of New York allowed what I would call a Ponzi scheme to take place and therefore the State of New York should take the responsibility of making these people whole.” Berns said.”

Elite Doctor Network Targets Florida for Medical Tourism

“Inbound (to the US) medical tourism is a $5 billion industry with an estimated 1 million patients each year travelling to the United States to access some of the world’s best medical care. While much of that revenue has historically gone to major hospitals, new technologies – like Telehealth – have made it feasible for individual doctors in private practice to participate. HelloMD has an international strategy, with translation of its growing body of content into five languages, and strategic alliances in China and elsewhere.”
Brief Takes