October 3, 2012

News roundup: Risk, Dispensing Docs, Costs for Employees, Litigation & more

Risk roundup - Our Down-Under friend Russell Hutchinson of Chatswood moneyblog posts this week's Cavalcade of Risk, with a global roundup of posts. Check it out.

Costs for Employees - Insurance Journal reports on the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report on the cost of U.S. employees, noting that the nationwide average cost for private industry employers was $28.80 per hour worked in June 2012. "The costs ranged within each region, with total compensation costs of $24.44 in the East South Central division to $33.47 in New England." The article offers more detail on the report, noting that costs were collected from a sample of 47,400 occupations from about 9,500 establishments in private industry. Data excludes self-employed and farm and private household workers.

Physician Dispensing - Joe Paduda looks at potential conflict of interest issues in a post about ABRY Partners, he asks, "How is it that an investment firm owns stakes in a TPA, MSA company, subrogation firm - and a physician dispensing and billing company?" Is one company cleaning up a mess that another company makes? In other repackaging news, he notes that Miami-Dade Schools has taken a stand on physician-dispensed repackaged drugs - they are refusing to pay the markups, a move that saved more than half a million dollars. Employers take note: Is this a potential area of savings in your comp program.

Narcotics Studies - Rita M. Ayers reports on a recent study by Accident Fund Holdings and Johns Hopkins University that links opioid use to an escalation in overall claim cost in the Tower MSA Blog. She notes that the study reveals that 55% to 85% of injured workers receive narcotics for chronic pain. She says that the study, "...examined the interrelationship between the utilization of short- and long-acting opioid medications and the likelihood of claim cost escalating to a catastrophic level (> $100,000). Analyzing 12,000 workers' compensation claims in Michigan during a four-year period, the study focused on whether the presence of opioids alone accounted for the cost increase or whether costs increased because opioids were associated with known cost-drivers, such as legal involvement and injury severity." Related: WCRI: Nearly 1 in 12 Injured Workers Who Started Narcotics Still Using 3-6 Months Later.

Worst States for Lawsuits - "Lawsuit Climate 2012″ is a study evaluating how fair and reasonable states' tort liability systems are perceived by businesses in the U.S. It was conducted by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. According to those surveyed, Delaware has the best legal climate for businesses.See respondents' picks for the Top 10 Worst States for Lawsuits, along with more on the study's results.

High Costs for Police Dept. - The LA Daily News reports that Los Angeles spends more on LAPD workers' comp claims than for all others combined - some $65 million in 2010-2011 alone. The department averages 250 claims a month. Authorities say that it is "...one of four drivers of the city budget deficit. Others include the costs of salaries, pensions and health care."

News Briefs

Addendum As a follow-on to yesterday's post about Shackleton's Medical Kit, we found more information and a photo of Shackleton's medical kit at The Science Museum of London, and a related post from NPR's Health Blog: 'Cocaine For Snowblindness': What Polar Explorers Packed For First Aid.

shackleton-medical-kit.JPG

| No Comments

Leave a comment

Due to a huge flood of comment spam, we have adopted a sign-in system for comments. You can sign-in using your existing account for Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, AOL, etc., or you can create a new account for blog comments.

Subscribe

Submit your email to be notified when this site is updated

Need help with your workers' comp program?

Monthly Archives

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Julie Ferguson published on October 3, 2012 9:18 AM.

Lessons from Ernest Shackleton's Medical Kit was the previous entry in this blog.

Entrustment: Risk on the Road is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID