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Friday catch-up

Just two things today – Let’s start with the CorVel – Fort Worth PD incident.  After a police officer was shot, CorVel sent a nurse to the hospital, where the nurse was accused of asking “inflammatory” questions by an outraged Mayor.  This hit the print and video media, and CorVel has been pilloried by some for “insensitivity”.

My take is this appears to be blatantly unfair to CorVel and the responding nurse.

According to a piece in WorkCompCentral this morning, an internal investigation at CorVel indicates the nurse acted appropriately; CorVel is supposed to send a nurse immediately upon notice of a catastrophic injuries – standard practice across the industry. The nurse has a list of questions to ask, including the condition of the injured employee.  Evidently the nurse asked the family these questions, and the family was upset.  According to CorVel, the police liaison person mishandled the nurse’s visit.

I’m no CorVel fan, but they are getting a raw deal here.  CorVel has apologized to the family; from what I’ve read it looks like the Mayor is the one who should be doing the apologizing.

Bob Wilson has a slightly different perspective; he notes timing is everything.  True indeed, altho in this case CorVel would have been damned if the nurse wasn’t doing what s/he was supposed to when s/he was supposed to.

Coming on the heels of a not-favorable earnings report – with lower overall earnings driven by declining profits on the TPA and network businesses – this must make for some unhappy execs at CorVel HQ.

Maryland’s dropped the ball on doc dispensing in work comp

I’ve got to take state legislators, a few insurers, and the regulators to task here.  A number of stakeholders signed a letter agreeing to not propose legislation to address doc dispensing for the next two years.  They based this decision on data provided to the Workers’ Compensation Commission, data that – according to the Commission’s Chair – showed a decrease in physician dispensing from 2011 to 2014.

The Chair – Karl Aumann – is a good man, but I have to challenge this assertion.  I haven’t seen the report that Chairman Aumann is referring to, but hope to get a copy.  In the interim, I defer to WCRI, which reports an increase in doc dispensing in Maryland.  For some reason Aumann doesn’t trust WCRI’s information, which makes him one of the very few people who take issue with that august institution’s findings.

What’s most troubling is the letter  – and the logic for the legislative hiatus – completely ignores the biggest problem with doc dispensing; medical costs are higher, disability is longer, and indemnity expenses are higher.  The “it isn’t as bad as it used to be” logic is faulty at best.

I’d also note the letter misstates AIA – the American Insurance Association’s “position” on the legislative hiatus.  My sources indicate that AIA did and does have a position; they were NOT in favor of a hiatus and wanted a bill that would address the core issue.

This is a big weekend – it’s the opening of the college lacrosse season – here’s hoping your team does well…unless it’s Siena…

One thought on “Friday catch-up”

  1. Joe: Corvel is a competitor but I agree with you. It’s a shame to see them raked across the coals for what most in our industry would describe as a “best practice”. Another reminder that it’s best to get all the facts before passing judgment.

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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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