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What I missed, and fashion statements for safety professionals

Back from a week’s holiday with my wonderful wife in France; Paris, Mont St Michel and Normandy.  A few not-surprising impressions…

  • it’s awfully hard to find a bad meal in France
  • public transit is really, really good
  • what is “old” here in the States…isn’t in Europe
  • you can find a bar to watch the Eagles game
  • a day touring Normandy makes me even more grateful there wasn’t a war for my mini-generation
  • France’s fashion industry must be targeting you risk managers and safety professionals!

OK, here’s what I missed while marveling at all things French.

WCRI’s annual conference is back in Boston March 5 and 6. It sells out every year, so sign up here.

More less-well-off folks in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid are going to die. Patricia Powers is a minister living in non-expansion Missouri across the river from Illinois, which did expand Medicaid. If she’d lived a few miles further east, her breast cancer would likely have been diagnosed much earlier.

NCCI opined on the impact of a recession on workers’ comp. Key takeaways –

  • frequency drops off sharply at the beginning of a recession, then bounces up as things start to improve
  • as there are fewer people working in manufacturing or construction these days, actual injury counts likely won’t decline as much as they did in past recessions.

(I wrote on this a couple weeks ago, noting past recessions have had a couple other characteristics not discussed in NCCI’s piece.)

In DC, a bill to reduce drug spending is progressing thru the House. Among other measures, it would require the Feds negotiate prices on 35+ drugs with manufacturers. (I would encourage readers to focus on the actual components of the bill and not get caught up in critics/supporters’ use of inflammatory language.)

Key takeaway – it would reduce Medicare costs by $345 billion over the next six years (that sound you hear is taxpayers clapping…)

Other key takeaway – the public is really focused on drug prices.

Non-medical use of opioids will cost our economy about $200 billion this year.

The finding came from the Society of Actuaries’ report (available here). Almost half of the costs are from health care expenses and lost productivity, issues that are key concerns for workers’ comp.

Have any work comp insurers sued the opioid industry?

What does this mean for you?

Drug pricing and opioid litigation should have a major impact on workers’ comp. Note emphasis on “should”.

4 thoughts on “What I missed, and fashion statements for safety professionals”

  1. Joe, just wanted to say thank you for your regular publications. I enjoy reading and look forward to them. I work with Homelink and lead teams that coordinate care in work comp and commercial lines for complex rehab and prosthetics. I am new in the industry and your information has been helpful in the development of my understanding. Have a great Friday and a wonderful Fall!

    1. Hello Kyle and welcome to the industry. Thanks for your kind words; I’m glad to hear MCM has been helpful.
      cheers Joe

  2. Hi Joe. Along with DC negotiating drug prices, they should be looking at how the AWP/Average Wholesale Price is being manipulated by manufacturers creating drugs by combining 1 or more lesser priced drugs to create a ‘new’ drug or NDC /National Drug Code at a 10,000% mark up, as illustrated in the Coventry article 10/15/19. Two individual components that would cost about $9 and $50 are combined to create a new NDC with an AWP of $5170!!! This practice is becoming a very common these days.

  3. Mr Paduda If the pain Management specialists can’t or won’t prescribe opiates any more they will turn to medical marijuana watch out it going to happen and will be back where we started! Further moer there are no well done RCS to justify there use for pain control

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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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