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Tuesday’s goings on in work comp

Bits and pieces from around the world of work comp…

PMSI has landed the PBM business from California TPA Intercare.  Sources in the Sunshine State indicate the deal is worth around $7 million…

Drug testing firm Millennium Labs (and HSA consulting client) was awarded a contract to provide services to the Montana State Fund.

From Fitch comes news that “Property and casualty insurers’ and reinsurers’ 2013 first-half profitability grew compared to the same period in 2012, but the current pricing cycle may be reaching its peak…” [emphasis added].  The ratings guru found that the industry’s combined hit 93.5, a big improvement from just a few years ago.  And, net earned premium growth was up 4.7%, reflecting improvements in the economy and pricing.  However, there’s a troubling cloud on the horizon – the reinsurance industry is getting more competitive, increasing concerns that pricing may falter.

Here’s hoping that the industry’s leaders are smart enough to realize that we’re far from a happy place; rational pricing has to persist if we aren’t going to see another step over the stupid line and into a price war. 

Finally, kudos to Mississippi for regulations to control the latest WC scam – so-called “pain creams”. [subscription required, good work Mike Whitely] Nothing more than re-formulated Ben-Gay look-alikes, these creams are only the most recent example of profiteers’ creative efforts to suck as much money as possible out of employers’ pockets.

I’ll have to disagree with friend Ken Martino of IWP; creams are rarely used when pills don’t work; they are prescribed – and dispensed – by docs to make money.  Creams should be ordered AFTER pills have been tried and failed, yet these scam artists are using them as a first line.  There’s no evidence docs try pills first, rather they prescribe the creams for financial reasons…

Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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