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Leaving Las Vegas

After 2 1/2 days of nonstop meetings, change encounters, and talks, it is a relief to be heading out.

What was notable

Loved the way the conference planners set up the sessions in “rooms” surrounding the exhibit hall. Exhibitor attendance has been…declining for some time, with exhibitors rightly bemoaning the lack of traffic.

This generated more traffic – as did locating lunches and beverage consumption opportunities.

Newbies – lots of tech-focused entities on the floor this year. I’m not sure they all entirely understood their value proposition, what drives workers’ comp buyers, and exactly how they fit it. But hey, great to have them and their cool stuff on the floor.

Coolest premium – myMatrixx’ charger. Now, I didn’t spend a lot of time trolling for freebies – but this was far and away the best I saw. (disclosure – mM is a consulting client)

Biggest disappointment

Attendance at the session on impact of climate change on workers’ comp.

Aren’t you paying attention?

Every day there is more news about floods, fires, droughts, blazing heat and devastating storms – all of which have direct and major import for work comp.

And more regulations about heat exposure, polluted air, and employee safety.

And more discussion of unforeseen impacts of climate-change driven weather – from flesh-eating bacteria in the swampy waters inundating Florida communities to new regulations addressing exposure to smoke-filled air in western states.

Two claims professionals all-too familiar with hurricanes, floods, and wind (Jill Leonard of LWCC) and fires, heat, and drought (Jeff Rush of California Joint Powers) spent a ton of time preparing to help you handle what is coming. They know all about preparation, planning, the impact on injured workers (where’s my check!!?), dealing with new “employers” that flood an area after a hurricane, and all the things you can only learn from decades of experience.

As Jeff noted, Mother Nature doesn’t care about your opinions on human-caused climate change.

But your boss sure will when the stuff hits the fan and you aren’t ready.


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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