Yvonne Guibert. Twitter @buzzystreet WorkCompCentral’s First Seminar in Austin! If you know me then you should know I love putting together educational events. When I can do that and they are fun and engaging…well, it makes me feel like a Gazillionaire! I have been doing this for quite some time and I still enjoy seeing it all come together. This happened recently when WorkCompCentral hosted it’s first-ever educational event in Austin at the University of Texas campus on April 19. Our moderator, defense attorney Stuart Colburn did an amazing job, as did our entire speaking panel: Rob Mikesh of Texas Mutual, Hiawatha Franks of Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), Melissa Steger of University of Texas System, Stephen Norwood, MD, Bobby Stokes, defense attorney, Matthew Lewis, plaintiff attorney, Erin O’Neill of MEDVAL, Rafael Gonzalez of Flagship Services, Brian Allen of Mitchell, Anna Ansari, attorney, Francesca Di Troia, assistant attorney general. This seminar offered 6 CEUs / CLEs for claims adjusters, attorneys and nurses. Topics included the panel’s review of 3 very interesting hypothetical scenarios; as well as Intoxication in the Workplace; Conditional Payments and the Designated Doctor program. We had over 50 attendees who asked lots of great questions and were engaged right to the last moment! Many thanks to Texas Mutual and MEDVAL for partnering with us to bring this seminar to Austin; and huge thanks to Rob Fields of myMatrixx for sponsoring breakfast, Exam Works and Centre for Neuro Skills for sponsoring lunch, ISO Claims Partners for break refreshments and to One Call, Review Med, Genex, MCN, and Mentis for exhibiting. We appreciate your support very much! Seminar details here…course will be available online soon!

Joe Paduda. Twitter @Paduda Reed’s attack on WCRI. Reed Group‘s current attack on WCRI is unwarranted, misguided, and out of line. Several Reed employees have publicly chastised WCRI for a variety of sins ranging from poor quality research to a lack of concern about worker outcomes. [excerpt from JoePaduda.com with Joe’s permission]. Read WorkCompCentral’s article by Elaine Goodman here, then read Joe’s full commentary on why he does not agree with Reed’s attack on WCRI. Be sure to read all the comments…

Linda Van Dillen. Twitter @CompAllianceRN True Impact of Case Management. Why is it that the role and impact of case management is so often misunderstood or minimized? We don’t set policy or protocols; we don’t write the checks. Yet without an experienced case manager to connect the dots and ensure timely and effective communication, scheduling and review of all information available, many a workers comp case has gone south.

David Langham. Twitter @FLJCC What will we do about Medical Inflation? Comp is a subset of American medicine generally. Medicaid has morphed into a broader program. States are expanding the entitlement to Medicaid. Spending is said to be “ballooning,” with the total increasing from “$576 billion in 2016” to an anticipated $958 billion in 2025. The state budgets are feeling this spending commitment, with growth from 19% of state budgets in 2000 to 26% in 2014, according to Forbes. And, the care outcomes seem to lag behind the infusion of dollars. One study concluded “Medicaid patients fare worse than those who have no insurance coverage at all.”

I recently sought to explain the math that is driving the process of medical care consuming an ever-increasing share of wealth, personal and public. See my post The Conundrum of Medical Inflation at WCC’s Work Comp World, a blog published by WorkCompCentral. The American medical inflation rate exceeds the overall inflation rate consistently. Medical costs are growing faster than other costs. Throwing more money at the problem isn’t working. We need a critical eye, a balanced and focused approach, and a commitment to improving outcomes. We have proven that spending more is not the solution and so we must figure out a real solution. Sure, it will be harder than throwing money around, but people deserve it.

Rafael Gonzalez. Twitter @GonzalezRafael P & C Industry: 2017 by the Numbers. The numbers are in, and the US property and casualty insurance industry had another big year in 2017. As reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissionerson March 26, 2018, the total US property and casualty direct written premium in 2017 was $638.51 billion. The largest lines were auto premiums at $266.61 billion, homeowners premiums at $94.1 billion liability, liability premiums at $68.49 billion, and workers compensation premiums at $57.98 billion. The top 25 writers accounted for $421.8 billion in premiums, holding 66.06% of market share. Rafael digs deeper into the P&C market share numbers here.

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