Fresh Health Wonk Review - David Williams has posted a packed & pithy edition of Health Wonk Review over at his Health Business Blog - get your biweekly fill of the best of the health policy blogs.
Social media - Peter Rousmaniere has a roundup of some of the best workers' comp social networking on the web at Risk and Insurance - we thank him for including us - check out some of the other resources!
Surgical implants - As Joe Paduda is consistently excellent about pointing out, when it comes to work comp medical costs, the devil is in the details. In a recent post, Joe tackles the high cost of surgical implants - a cost that is far higher under workers comp than under group health - and explains payer approaches to resolving the problem, and why they fall short. His advice? "Don't reimburse based on the invoice. Period."
Oil spill safety resources
- OSHA - Keeping Workers Safe During Oil Spill Response and Cleanup Operations - extensive resources, including safety guides and fact sheets in English, Spanish and Vietnamese
- Oil Spill Resources - the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences offers information from federal and other sources intended to protect the health and safety of workers cleaning up the spill
- Deepwater Horizon Response website - the official government sponsored site which includes news, updates, and resources
- Live Oil Spill Video Feed - watch efforts to fix the leak
State comp agencies - Roberto Ceniceros posts about struggling comp agencies on his Comp Time blog, a followup to a more in-depth article about how states' financial woes are squeezing comp systems that appeared in Business Insurance. The recession has decreased payrolls, adding further momentum to the drop in frequency and theoretically resulting in fewer claims to process. But some employers report that state work comp cutbacks are impacting their ability to resolve claims. Some risk managers say that the shortage of administrative judges means that claims take longer to resolve, hearings are delayed, and litigation costs are higher, among other effects.
EBT cards spark suit - In Ohio, the Bureau of Workers Comp is paying workers comp benefits via a Chase debit card. A class action suit has been filed by employees who say that Chase is charging fees if they make more than one withdrawal a month. Many state agencies are using such cards for food stamps and other social programs but we were unaware that they are being used for workers comp. As one of just a handful of monopolistic states, Ohio is the exclusive provider of workers comp, so it makes sense that the state would want to cut administrative costs. Check out the 2004 white paper by the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation: the Cost/Benefit of Implementing Electronic Deposit for Unemployment and Disability Benefits in the State of California.
Heat wave - If the recent record high temperatures in the northeast are any indicator, it could be a long hot summer. The Texas Division of Workers Compensation reminds employers to prevent heat related injuries and offers a good check list of safety tips to prep for extreme heat.