Posts Tagged ‘lists’

Out with the old & in with the new

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

To usher in the new year, we’re posting recaps of 2011 and prognostications for 2012 that we’ve gathered from some of our regular sources around the web.
Top 10 Stories of 2011
Catastrophes 2011: The Top 10 — Revisited
2011’s Headlines Set 2012’s Course
Risk & Insurance
OSHA announces top workplace violations for FY 2011
POINT: 2012: A Bang-Up Year for Risk Managers
COUNTERPOINT: 2012: Another Challenging Year for Risk Managers
Business Insurance (registration may be required)
The Year in (Insurance) Cartoons
Business Insurance’s top stories of 2011
Risk Management Magazine
Year in Risk
Joe Paduda
Predictions for 2011 – how’d I do?
Jon Gelman
(Gelman’s) Top 10 Workers’ Compensation Blog Posts for 2011
Larson’s Spotlight: Top 10 Cases for 2011 That You Should Know About
The Year in Review: Top 10 Workers’ Comp Fraud News Stories
Workers Comp Zone
Top 10 Developments in California Workers’ Comp in 2011
OSHA Law Update
Top 5 OSHA Developments to Look Out For In 2012
Top 10 safety stories of 2011 – reader’s choice
Tech Decisions
Top Tech Feature Articles of 2011
HR Daily Advisor
Year in Review
Human Resource Executive
A Look Back: At Employment-Law Issues
A Look Back: At the Workplace

Greatest hits – 20 popular posts from 2011 and 20 all-time faves

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

All of us at Lynch Ryan hope you are enjoying the holiday season. As our year end wrap-up, we are revisiting some of our popular posts, as indicated by post clicks. Thanks for your interest and support in 2011, and we’ll see you around the bend!
Top 20 posts in 2011
Have you protected your employees from this seasonal peril?
Medical Marijuana: Walmart Wins! (Walmart Loses)
Cool work safety tool from WorkSafeBC – “What’s wrong with this photo?”
John T. Dibble’s Sympathetic Ear
Dangerous jobs: window washing at extreme heights
Health Wonk Review: the heatwave edition
The wacky world of workers comp
Managing Chronic Pain, Revisited
Health Wonk Review: Stormy Weather
Social media and workers comp
Independent Contractors in Pennsylvania
Experience Modification Alert: NCCI Changing the Rules
Are nurses and health care workers facing more on-the-job violence?
Low clearance: truckers, this one is for you
The “here’s a guy doing stupid things” safety photo genre
The Not-So-Hidden Cost of Obesity
Record number of grain bin fatalities in 2010; OSHA cites employers

NCCI suggests a “precarious outlook prevails” for the workers comp market

Medical Marijuana in the Workplace: Dude, Lock Me Out!

Managing Chronic Pain

All time greatest hits
We’ve been blogging for more than 8 years, but our stat counter has only been tracking for about half that time. In that time, we have recorded 1,356,748 visits. Below, we’ve posted the all-time favorites over the 4+ years we’ve been tracking, along with the number of visits to each post. There are no duplicates with the above list. Since about 85% of all visits come from search engines, the list gives you a pretty good window into what types of things people are searching on for worker’s comp topics.
26,766 – You’re fired! Should you terminate an employee who is on workers compensation?
21,138 – Independent Contractor or Employee?
18,180 – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Who Should Pay?
11,100 – The history of workers compensation
7,607 – Can You Terminate an Employee on Workers Comp?
6,607 – Exception to the “going and coming” rule: operating premises
6,309 – The AIG Saga: Joe Cassano’s Performance-Based Compensation
5,349 – Cavalcade of Risk #113 and a scary work scenario
5,320 – Pre-existing conditions and second injuries
5,258 – Heart attacks on the job: are they covered by workers compensation?
4,922 – Workers comp costs and benefits – Current state rankings
4,726 – Controversial Canadian workplace safety ads unveiled
4,550 – Workers’ compensation reform in a New York minute
3,825 – You think your job is tough?
3,693 – Measuring Success 2
3,671 – Poppy Seeds and Drug Testing: False Positives?
3,596 – Underwriting for Dummies?
3,540 = The Comp Success Story in Massachusetts: Who Pays?
3,484 – The Cost of Volunteers
2,870 – Swine Flu Meets Workers Comp

WCRI Conference: Shifting Paradigms in Workers Comp

Monday, November 21st, 2011

I spent two very productive days last week at the Workers Comp Research Institute (WCRI) conference in Boston. WCRI plays a unique role in the comp system. Their annual conference, devoid of the usual hucksterism, focuses on the fundamental paradigms of insurance and poses the toughest questions. Some of the answers provided by conference speakers (most of whom are not from WCRI) are both radical and surprising. I find myself relentlessly jotting down notes from topic to topic.
Here are ten paradigm-shifting propositions that I have extracted from my time at the conference. A number of these propositions address the issue of opiate use, perhaps, along with back surgery, the most important cost drivers in the treatment of workplace injuries.
[VERY IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: These are my interpretations and should not be attributed in any way to WCRI]:
1. Pain is hard to objectify, expensive to treat, and absolutely the wrong focus for treating workplace injuries. Treatment should focus instead on behavioural approaches to pain and the relentless encouraging of maximum feasible physical activity.
2. The comp system, a wonderful success story celebrating its 100th anniversary, is poorly designed to confront the problems in today’s fractured and highly unstable economy.
3. Monopolistic systems for comp (only 4 remain) have unique leverage to solve intractible problems such the cost of drugs in the comp system. Washington state has solved the pharma problem through the aggressive use of generic drugs, the limiting of opiate prescriptions and the imposition of a favorable fee schedule. Alas, these solutions are unlikely to work in states with competitive systems.
4. Most prescriptions for opiates in the comp system are unnecessary, ill-advised and poorly managed. [See below.]
5. Virtually all injured workers prescribed opiates should be evaluated for dependency issues prior to beginning an opiate regimen, drug tested prior to receiving opiates and throughout the course of treatment. Without these pre-conditions, opiate use is full of uncertainty and fraught with danger. (Dr. Janet Pearl has a compelling and well-structured approach to the use of opioids in treatment.)
6. Opiates should come with a written contract and a User’s Manual. Workers should be tested on their knowledge of the benefits and the risks.
7. Most doctors who prescribe opiates have no idea what they are doing, no idea how to manage opiate-based treatment and no clue about the potential for harm. Medical schools simply do not address these issues.
8. Back pain is virtually universal, the inevitable result of aging, and generally is unrelated to workplace trauma. (You might want to read that again for full effect.) To be sure, this is a controversial assertion and involves a complete paradigm shift. Nonetheless, the idea is well worth scrutiny by all parties involved: doctors, payers, injured workers and their families. Conference speaker Dr. James Rainville asserts, among other things, that exercise is the best treatment for back pain.
9. Medical fee schedules lower costs, except when they don’t (e.g.Connecticut, where the schedule appears to be set too high).
10. There is an enormous disconnect between the workers losing their jobs in this recession and the severely limited number of jobs projected for creation over the coming decade. This bodes poorly for the 25 million injured or unemployed workers with obsolete skills who are struggling to return to productive employment.
I recognize that these ideas require much more in the way of detail and documentation. I offer them as a Monday morning stimulant. Consider this posting as a micro-conference on some of the major issues facing the time-worn workers compensation system. I hope it’s a list worth a few moments of your time, as you sip your coffee and prepare for the holiday-shortened week ahead.
Special thanks to Andrew Kenneally, WCRI’s able communications director, for recognizing that bloggers have a role to play in disseminating information about workers comp research and who invited me to attend the conference. I would also acknowledge Dr. Richard Victor, whose penetrating insights animate the entire WCRI world and whose conference-concluding talk (“The Elephant in the Room”) made it well worth the time to stay to the end (see # 10 above).

Recapping 2010 and looking ahead to 2011

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Here’s a compilation of top news stories in 2010, encompassing workers comp, insurance, risk, general business, and more:

And here are some predictions for the year to come: