Alternatives to Opioids in Chronic Pain

At the 2017 WCRI Annual Issues and Research Conference, a panel discussed alternatives to opioids in chronic pain. The panel included: Kathy Fisher – WCRI (moderator) Dean Hashimoto, MD – MA Department of Industrial Accidents Paul Sighinolfi – ME Workers’ Compensation Board Paul Tauriello – CO Division of Workers’ Compensation Dawn Ehde, MD – University […]

How States are Combating the Opioid Epidemic

At the 2017 WCRI Annual Issues and Research Conference a panel discussed the latest WCRI research on the opioid epidemic and the steps states are taking to counter this epidemic. The panel was: Dr Vennela Thumula – WCRI Dwight Lovan – formerly of Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims Judge Omar Hernandez – Massachusetts Department of Industrial […]

California’s Post-Reform Outcomes

At the 2017 WCRI Annual Issues and Research Conference, Alex Swedlow from the California Workers’ Compensation Institute discussed the impact of California’s workers’ compensation reforms. The highlights: The SB 863 reforms in California have resulted in declines in medical costs and overall claims costs for California employers. Average medical costs per claim at 24 months […]

Worker Outcome Surveys and the Importance of Communication

At the 2017 WCRI Annual Issues and Research Conference, Bogdan Savych of WCRI and Glenn Pransky of Liberty Mutual Research institute for Safety talked about the importance of worker perceptions and communications its injured workers. WCRI presented research on their worker outcome surveys. WCRI started injured worker surveys because the voice of injured workers is […]

Impact of the 2016 Election on Health Care, Labor and Workers’ Compensation

At the 2017 WCRI Annual Issues and Research Conference, former US Representative Henry Waxman and former US Senator Tom Colburn discussed how the 2016 election is impacting a variety of issues. The discussion was moderated by WCRI CEO John Ruser. Healthcare The Affordable Care Act was complex legislation and changing it is changing it. By […]

WCRI Annual Issues & Research Conference

Conference Chronicles will be blogging from sessions at the 33rd WCRI Annual Issues & Research Conference on March 2-3, 2017, in Boston, MA. The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is an independent, not-for- profit, research organization that provides objective information about public policy issues involving workers’ compensation systems. The Institute’s work helps those interested in […]

Physician Dispensing and Opioid Use

At the 2016 WCRI Annual Issues & Research Conference, Dongchun Wang and Vennela Thumula from WCRI discussed physician dispensing and opioid use. The studies they discussed have not yet been published, so the results are subject to change. Physician Dispensing In the last few years, 20 states have implemented reforms targeting the pricing of physician […]

Sharing Economy, Technology Advances, and Workers’ Compensation

At the 2016 WCRI Annual Issues & Research Conference, Dr Robert Hartwig from Insurance Information Institute presented a session focusing on the impact the sharing economy is having on workers’ compensation. The sharing economy is transforming the American workforce and will transform the property/casualty insurance industry across all lines. Technology provides a unique opportunity to […]

Why Surgical Rates Vary

At the WCRI Annual Issues & Research Conference, Dr Olesya Formenko from WCRI talked about a  study into why there are variations in surgery rates for patients with back injuries. In the WCRI study, spinal surgery rates on back injury claims varied from a low of 7% in California, to a high of 19% in […]

State of the States (Kentucky and Georgia)

At the 2016 WCRI Annual Issues & Research Conference, a panel discussed the CompScope findings on system differences in indemnity and medical payments. CompScope is an annual benchmarking study produced by WCRI that analyzes the workers’ compensation benefits in 18 states.  The focus of this presentation was information from Georgia and Kentucky. It should be […]

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