These short presentations at the IAIABC 101st Annual Convention focused on the positive and highlighted success stories in the workers’ compensation industry.
What Went Right: Regulatory and Legislative Highlights of 2014 and 2015
- Speaker: Brian Allen – Helios
- DEA informants reap millions in workers comp benefits.
- FDA was asked to evaluate the rescheduling of marijuana.
- Florida appellate court rules the workers’ comp system is constitutional.
- A good year for the workers’ compensation industry from a profitability standpoint.
- Limitations on physician dispensing.
- California removes the word “alien” from their Labor Code.
- Ongoing decline in utilization of opioids in workers’ compensation.
- States are implementing controls on the costs of compound medications.
- State-specific medication formularies.
How to Promote a Culture of Caring and Compassion: The GB Gentle Bear Story
- Speaker: Dave Gordon – Gallagher Bassett
A law enforcement client in Australia was having a high number of stress claims, and many of these were arising from claims involving children (accidents, domestic violence, etc). The officers started carrying the stuffed bears in their cars and handling them out to children they came across in traumatic situations. As a result, they saw a decline in the number of law enforcement stress claims.
They then handed out over 1,000 of the bears at the 2015 RIMS conference. Each person who received a bear heard the story behind the bears and their origin. The focus is on demonstrating caring and compassion. Gentle Bear has a Facebook page now and is becoming part of the Gallagher Bassett culture and a symbol of the caring and compassion they want to demonstrate in their claims handling.
Taking Advantage of Opportunity
- Speaker: Jeremy Jackson – Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
The monopolistic State Fund was trying to figure out why their duration of disability was higher than most other states. They put in place an Enhanced Care Program pilot, which is designed to help identify physicians that produce the best outcomes for injured workers. These physicians are compensated fairly so that they are incentivized to treat workers’ compensation patients well. This focus on identifying physicians that produce the best outcomes is an opportunity for the entire workers’ compensation industry.
Octogenarian is Finally Drug-Free
- Speaker: Phil Walls – myMatrixx
myMatrixx is working with an 80 year-old patient who was on a morphine equivalent dose of 360mg per day. By working closely with the employer and treating doctor, they were able to significantly reduce the dosage of the medications. This not only resulted in lower costs on the claims, but it most likely saved the life of the worker.
Burning Down the House
- Speaker: Tim Erickson – Project Consulting Group
This project arose from working with the State of Minnesota to modernize their data collection and administration systems. Their findings were there no silver bullets and all options had pros and cons. You need to do thorough due diligence and the best solution for one state may not be the best for every state. They found that you could not modernize your systems without also modernizing the processes associated with those systems. It is important for the workers’ compensation industry to look outside the industry and embrace technological advances.
Do it with Soule
- Speaker: Dave DePaolo – WorkCompCentral
Dwight Johnson was a worker who suffered a severe injury that resulted in amputation of his left leg. He eventually returned to work in his regular job following this injury. Unfortunately, he was then involved in another accident that resulted in amputation of his right leg. Because of the second injury, he was unable to return to his prior occupation, which was inspecting windows on high-rise buildings.
Since people were constantly looking at his legs, he came up with the idea to develop a line of custom-made shoes that were elaborately-decorated athletic shoes. He is now in business selling these shoes. More information can be obtained on his web site: www.souleinnovations.com.