Thursday catch-up

Sorry folks – it’s been a very busy few days with client meetings and project deliverables. When you’re a one-person operation, it’s just not possible to keep up with posting when client stuff needs doing!

So, here’s a quick review of things you may have missed.

Debates are over…(sounds of cheering, clapping, and general relief)

And thank goodness for that.  By any objective measure, Clinton will be our next president, and the Senate may well flip to Democratic control albeit without the 60 votes necessary to avoid filibusters.

That being the case, it looks like we finally may see some much-needed fixes to ACA.  I’ll dig into these in detail next week, but for now, expect:

  • extension of the federal 100% funding for Medicaid expansion for states who haven’t expanded yet
  • remove the “family glitch”
  • perhaps offer near seniors (that’s me!) the option to buy in to Medicare.

More to come…

Customer service and taking care of employees

My two-part series on customer service got a lot of attention; a very recent story on WalMart’s decision to increase labor costs (!) speaks to much of the same.  The ginormous retailer was having problems with poor store results, unkempt aisles, shoddy appearance of displays and the like.  The solution (or at least a big part of it); pay workers more, and they’ll do a better job. While it is too early to measure results, initial reports are encouraging…

For a company that long relied on low labor costs to deliver low prices, this is a tectonic shift.

The state of the work comp industry

Oregon does a great job reporting on premium rates nationally – thanks to Mike Manley for sharing with me.  Mike  wants to “call attention to…states’ index rates expressed as a percent of median.”, not to changes from previous studies.  Listen to Mike!

Good info from NCCI on macro-factors that will affect the workers comp world: highlights from new Communications Director Dean Dimke are:

  • Employment growth to slow to 2% or less this year and in 2017.
  • Average weekly wages are forecast to increase by 2.2% this year and by 4.2% next year.
  • In 2015, workers compensation medical severity declined for NCCI states, but medical inflation—measuring the price component of that equation—increased by 2.6%.
    Low interest rates continue to constrain investment income in the P/C industry.

For those looking for a lot more detail, WCRI just released its CompScope(TM) reports on work comp medical benchmarks for 17 states.  Great weekend reading!

Break’s over – I got to get back to work!

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