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Sep
10

Predictions for work comp; how am I doing?

Way back in January I posted my 10 predictions for work comp in 2015.  Usually I do a mid-year review how things are going; it was such a busy summer I haven’t had time till now.

So, here we go…

1.  Aetna will NOT be able to sell the Coventry work comp services division.  In fairness, doesn’t look like the huge healthplan has tried.

2.  Work comp premiums will grow nicely. There’s been some states where premiums have increased and a few have seen reductions, but bigger states seem to be experiencing more of the increases.

3.  Additional research will be published showing just how costly, ill-advised, and expensive physician dispensing of drugs. Yes indeed.  WCRI has continued to help regulators and others understand just how costly and damaging this practice is.

4.  Expect more mergers and acquisitions; there will be several $250 million+ transactions in the work comp services space.

5.  A bill renewing TRIA will be passed. Yes.

6.  Liberty Mutual will continue to de-emphasize workers’ comp. Yes again.

7.  After a pretty busy 2014, regulators will be even more active on the medical management front.  Work comp regulators in several more states will adopt drug formularies and/or allow payers/PBMs to more tightly restrict the use of Scheduled drugs. Yes times three.

8. There will be at least two new work comp medical management companies with significant mindshare by the end of 2015.  Well, not quite yet.

9. Outcomes-based networks will continue to produce much heat and little real activity.  Actually, haven’t seen much of either this year.

10.  Medical marijuana will be a non-event. So far, not much smoke or light here!  (sorry, that’s a terrible pun)

We’ve got about a hundred days till the ball drops and I have to deliver the final verdict.

We shall see!

 


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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates

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