April 22, 2010

Fresh Cavalcade of Risk and other news briefs

Cavalcade of Risk #103 - Risk Management with the Stars Edition is posted at My Wealth Builder. Check it out - and don't miss Nancy Germond's post on the alarming increase in the U.S. disability rate.

Misclassification - Employers can expect a heightened focus on misclassification, with a push on both the federal & state levels. Risk & Insurance reports that the Obama administration recently earmarked an additional $25 million in the DOL's proposed FY 2011 budget for a misclassification initiative. The plan calls for hiring 100 additional enforcement personnel to address the problem and to provide grants to aid states in addressing the problem. Prior studies have indicated that more than 3 million employees may be misclassified. A 9-state study by the DOL found as many as 30% of audited employers misclassified at least some employees.

Fee schedules - Joe Paduda offers his thoughts on the role fee schedules play in workers comp: "...at best, a short term fix, and at worst, a blunt instrument that actually encourages over-treatment and extended disability." He also cites a column by Greg Krohm, Executive Director of IAIABC, who has a similar take.

New blog finds
First up - as we all watch developments in the new health care law playing out, you might add Covering Health to your reading list. It's a blog maintained by the Association of Health Care Journalists. While its mission it to keep health & healthcare journalists informed, it's a good read for anyone tracking the issues. The Association of Health Care Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization with more than 1,100 members, and is dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. In addition to the blog posts, the blogroll has a good list of health news blogs.

Reinsurance, you say? Try reinsurance girl's blog. She features a recent helpful post: Who to follow: insurance and reinsurance businesses in social media, which links to more reinsurance resources.

Death on the job - We haven't linked to the Weekly Toll in some time - it's a sobering look at recent on-the-job deaths. It puts a human face on statistics and exposes the geographic and industrial diversity of workplace fatalities. In a world that aspires to "zero defect" for product parts, can we aspire to any less when it comes to human injuries?

Hard market - Conning Research & Consulting forecasts that property and casualty insurance rates will begin to firm up in 2011 and that premium will grow modestly at about 2%. But the firm says to expect larger UW losses this year, and a deterioration in loss ratios. Meanwhile, the RIMS Benchmark Survey reports that the soft market still prevails, at least at present.

Virtual medicine - Jon Gelman has an interesting post about the trend to virtual doctors and online medical care, and speculates about whether such technological advances could benefit workers comp.

Massachusetts health care reform - "When Massachusetts's politicians designed their reform, they calculated that achieving near-universal coverage first would then give all participants in the health care system an incentive to help rein in costs. There are encouraging signs that that is starting to happen." This according to a New York Times editorial, Health Care Reform and Massachusetts. Thanks to Tinker Ready at Boston Health Blog for the pointer and for more links on Mass. reform.

Quick takes

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This page contains a single entry by Julie Ferguson published on April 22, 2010 10:42 AM.

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