July 28, 2010

Cavalcade of Risk, Rocky Mountain Style, and other news notes

Check out the Rocky Mountain High Edition of Cavalcade of Risk. Louise of Colorado Health Insurance Insider produces a great compendium of recent "best of the web" risk posts on a variety of topics ranging from the ubiquitous health care debates to investing and long term insurance. It's a great way to get a sampling of several blogs. Plus, Louise and Jay's blog always offers a refreshing street-level view of issues related to health care. They offer a wise take on the big issues but also offer good advice on everyday health issues: If you ever get a rock stuck in your nose...".

A good man wronged - Joe Paduda has been fighting the good fight for Sandy Blunt, former North Dakota state work comp fund CEO. Blunt had a recent setback when the Supreme Court affirmed his felony conviction, but more recently we learn that the prosecutor is under investigation for prosecutorial misconduct in the case. One of the charges against her is allegedly withholding exculpatory evidence from Blunt's attorney. (If you aren't familiar with the Blunt case, see Peter Rousmaniere's article Blunting Political Vindictiveness or plug "Blunt" into Joe's search feature and catch up.) We had the good fortune to meet Blunt at an industry symposium prior to all these events - he was on fire with his commitment to overhaul the ND agency, to inspire employees and employers alike, and to ensure the best possible care for injured workers. Innovative, energetic, creative - by all accounts, he was making a significant positive impact. Then came a series of surprising charges resulting in his ouster. As we've noted before, most of these charges were minor, trumped up administrative issues, such as spending a few hundred dollars on lunches and gift certificates to motivate staff - practices that were not uncommon in other state departments. Other more serious charges were dismissed or shown to be erroneous - and now we have potential prosecutorial misconduct being investigated.

ADA at 20 years - It's been 20 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, a groundbreaking initiative which afforded unprecedented public access and workplace protections to the disabled. All those parking spots, wheelchair ramps, wider doorways, and sloped curbs? They didn't exist a few decades ago. For a commemorative featuring recent news stories, commentary and employer resources, see HR Web Cafe: The ADA at 20 Years.

Calling Uncle Sam - Is the workers comp system broken for occupational diseases such as the ones that are likely to result from the BP oil spill cleanup? Peter Rousmaniere thinks so - the feds have had to bail the system out in two prior catastrophes within the past decade. He makes the case for federalizing occupational disease in his column at Risk and Insurance.

Walking the walk when it comes to obesity - Employees at Total Medical Solutions are taking their role as health care providers to heart and taking a leadership stance when it comes to doing something about obesity. In the last three months, 25 employees have shed a total of more than 400 pounds, and achieved good local press for their accomplishments. We were reminded of seeing this story when we read Roberto Cenicero's post on the biggest loser, corporate edition, which talks about a competitive challenge several of Minnesota's largest corporations have embarked on. His post also links to a recent study from Integrated Benefits Institute on "health and productivity management" practices at 450 U.S. companies.

Quick lesson in how to save $550,000 - Discouraging employees from filing a workers compensation claim for an on-the-job injury is a no-no. Just ask Rawley's of California how they fared in a recent criminal investigation, which revealed that some managers were routinely telling injured employees to use their own insurance rather than report injuries to the state.

In the "what else is new" department... - Mark Hoffmann of Business Insurance reports on news from the most recent RIMS Benchmark Survey: The soft market is still going strong. "The survey, based on information provided by risk managers, found that workers compensation experienced the greatest decline in the second quarter, at 3.8%, while property and D&O dropped by 3.5%."

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1 Comment

"Walking the Walk". Our hospital offers a discount on their health insurance premiums when we participate in "healthy improvement" like losing weight, smoking cessation, etc. Surprisingly, the payment assistance was quite the motivator as several people lost weight and quit smoking. Good ideas never end.

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This page contains a single entry by Julie Ferguson published on July 28, 2010 11:44 AM.

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