Health Wonk Review & a roundup of other noteworthy news

February 27th, 2015 by Julie Ferguson

David Williams has posted Health Wonk Review: Happy 10th anniversary edition at Health Business Blog. There’s a great crop of articles – plus, kudos to David, he is celebrating his 10-year blogging anniversary. If you’re interested in the business of health, his blog should be on your short list. He covers everything from medical devices and pharma to health care services and breaking business stories. Check it out!
“Out Front Ideas with Kimberly and Mark” – Two of our respected colleagues, Kimberly George and Mark Walls, just announced a new initiative that we think is worth sharing. They’ll be teaming up to host a complimentary webinar series and interactive forum called “Out Front Ideas with Kimberly and Mark.” The series – sponsored by Sedgwick and Safety National – will be dedicated to covering important workers’ compensation-related topics that are not receiving enough attention in the industry. You can follow along and register for selected events here: Out Front Ideas.
Time to Act on Diversity – Roberto Ceniceros, Risk & Insurance: “I have heard at least one CEO for a major third-party administrator discuss the potential advantages of meeting an increasingly diverse U.S. workforce with claims managers who can navigate cultural variations. And the title of “chief diversity officer” has been around for a few years at some major insurers.
Recognition has spread that the insurance industry and workers’ comp service providers need to respond to our country’s changing demographics, but where are the strategies for moving forward?”
King V Burwell and the Supremes’ view of “standing” – Joe Paduda, Managed Care Matters – “The suit, funded by the Koch-backed Competitive Enterprise Institute, is ostensibly being brought by four plaintiffs who, in theory, have to prove they were harmed in order to have “standing”. In a nutshell, “standing” means that if you aren’t harmed by an action, then you can’t complain about it. I may not like the speed limit in Hawaii, but since I never go there I have no standing to sue.”
Record Snow-Related Worker Deaths And Injuries Prompt Immediate Calls For Employer “Two workers died this past week in Canton and two more were hospitalized in Avon and Burlington in separate incidents from falls while clearing snow from roofs. Two weeks prior to these tragedies, 60-year-old Cesar Moya, a Whole Foods employee, was hit and killed by a snow plow that was clearing the Medford supermarket parking lot.”
Workplace mental health stigma persists – Matt Dunning, Business Insurance: “More than 24% of employers polled in July and August of 2014 said they believe workplace stigma surrounding diagnosed psychological or psychiatric disorders has increased, compared with just 7% of employers polled in 2012, according to findings released last week from the San Diego-based DMEC’s “2014 Behavioral Risk Survey.”
Additionally, between 20% and 25% of employers polled said they perceived a rise in workplace stigma in 2014 surrounding the treatment of mental and behavioral health conditions — including consultations with mental health professionals, use of mental health-related prescriptions and utilization of employee assistance programs — compared with just 3% in 2012.”
Bad Faith Followup – Dave DePaolo, DePaolo’s World: “Nevertheless, I was still surprised that every single response, regardless of perceived orientation, was that exclusive remedy should NOT protect the payor, and that if egregious behavior was committed then liability for bad faith claims administration should be applied.”
Manufacturers Looking at a Big Shortfall of New WorkersIndustry Week: “The manufacturing industry is looking at shortfall of more than 2 million workers over the next decade, according to new reports from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute.
The shortage is led by the expected retirement of nearly 3 million Baby Boomers and fewer young people who see the industry as a career destination. A study survey showed while nine in 10 Americans believe manufacturing is essential to the U.S. economy, only one in three parents would encourage their kids to pursue a career in the industry.”
Study Provides Reasons for Increasing Hospital Costs in Workers’ Comp – “A new study from Mass.-based Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), updates a recently published 33-state study with an extra year of data and the early impact analysis of major regulatory changes in North Carolina.
The study, Hospital Outpatient Cost Index for Workers’ Compensation, 4th Edition, compares hospital outpatient costs across states, identifies key cost drivers, and measures the impact of reforms.”
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