Insight, analysis & opinion from Joe Paduda

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The stuff is hitting the fan

COVID19 is morphing, affecting different regions differently, infecting a different age cohort, and perhaps mutating.

What should workers’ comp service providers do?

  1.  Pay attention to the facts.
    Not the politicized nonsense from people who should know better, but the facts. Where is COVID19 spreading, what populations are being affected, what mitigation measures are and are not working.
  2. Pay attention to experts’ predictions – not politicians.
    Epidemiologists, Anthony Fauci, objective data scientists, and credible sites e.g.  COVID Forecast Hub. This last is particularly helpful as you can see predictions for infection rates and deaths based on aggregating carefully evaluated models.
  3. Understand that COVID’s impact will vary greatly by state, and even within individual states. For example, infection rates are exploding in many southeastern and southern states, while they’ve leveled off and are declining in most northeastern states.
    Death rates trail infection rates by 2-4 weeks; the COVID Forecast Hub’s excellent and fully transparent model will help you project what the next few weeks will bring in each state. (click on specific states for their data)

    For predictions of infection rates, go here to select individual states. The graph below compares New York and Texas…

    That’s great – and what do I do with it?

A few thoughts.

Compare different states to determine where your clients are going to need resources, help, staff – and what kinds. For states on the downslope (NY for an example), plan to reduce staffing while prepping those staff for work in states where infection rates are on the rise (e.g. TX).

Have your compliance staff research and prepare information for clients and your product development people. This a) helps your branding, and b) ensures your staff are working within state regulations.

Using infection predictions, track presumption laws and changes thereto, share that information with your clients, and develop services specific to each state.

Using death rate predictions as a proxy for severity and potential facility overload, devise ways to help find facilities for patients, perhaps even out of state. Contract with transportation entities to move patients when required.

I’m quite sure your front-line staff have a lot more and a lot better ideas than these; ask them for their thoughts on what they would have done differently

Finally, the elephant in the room. In what can only be described as a self-inflicted tragedy, idiots have politicized COVID19 and in so doing done incalculable harm.

COVID doesn’t care about your political ideology or party affiliation. Managing a business requires allegiance to facts based on data and decisions based on logic.

What does this mean for you?

Your competitors hope you listen to idiots.

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.



© Joe Paduda 2021. We encourage links to any material on this page. Fair use excerpts of material written by Joe Paduda may be used with attribution to Joe Paduda, Managed Care Matters.

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