September 4, 2013

Cavalcade of Risk #191: Your Daily Shower Can Kill You

We're happy to be hosting Cavalcade of Risk #191. Risk is a topic that we think about a lot, so a recent post about risk on the group blog Metafilter caught our attention. It pointed to Jared Diamond's excellent essay, The Daily Shower Can Be a Killer. The author shares a risk management lesson that he learned in 50 years of field work on the island of New Guinea: the importance of being attentive to hazards that carry a low risk each time but are encountered frequently. He notes:

"Studies have compared Americans' perceived ranking of dangers with the rankings of real dangers, measured either by actual accident figures or by estimated numbers of averted accidents. It turns out that we exaggerate the risks of events that are beyond our control, that cause many deaths at once or that kill in spectacular ways -- crazy gunmen, terrorists, plane crashes, nuclear radiation, genetically modified crops. At the same time, we underestimate the risks of events that we can control ("That would never happen to me -- I'm careful") and of events that kill just one person in a mundane way."

The Metafilter post also included a link to this fun video on the topic of risk management. I nominate it as the Cavalcade of Risk official theme song.

With that preamble on risk management, we delve into this week's submissions.

Life Insurance - First up to bat, we offer a nod and shout out to Hank Stern of InsureBlog, our fearless leader who has been managing the Cavalcade's biweekly efforts for close to 200 issues now. Kudos and thanks, Hank. He poses the question: What if you're diagnosed with cancer while buying new life insurance? Well, as it turns out, there may actually be a decent chance of obtaining coverage. Read how in Underwriting Cancer.

ACA spin vs. reality - Louise Norris of Colorado Health Insurance Insider is on the front lines when it comes to implementing ACA in the real world so we always take particular note of her opinions on the matter. In her post
Early Renewal Provides a Good Alternative for 2014, she takes on some of the misinformation and spin from both the right and the left that can make things confusing for consumers. She cites misinformation about the Aetna plan as one example of spin not matching reality.

Technology - Our colleague Bob Wilson can always be counted on to offer a unique and often humorous take on things at his eponymously named blog Bob's Cluttered Desk. He notes that mobile technology is making tremendous advances that will speed treatment and lower medical costs, which is critical for those of us paying the bills and managing claims -- but he questions the wisdom of having Siri as a Medical provider, and whether she can be trusted to stay on the straight and narrow.

Oral Chemotherapy Parity - David Williams knows his stuff when it comes to the ins and outs of the business of healthcare, and if that is on your radar, there is no better guide than his Health Business Blog. This week, he talks about the oral anticancer parity law, noting that while it's not necessarily a bad idea to require health plans to charge the same out-of-pocket costs for oral anti-cancer drugs as they do for infused products, the law has unintended consequences, including rolling back co-pays on generic chemo meds used for other indications

Investing - At the blog Mom and Dad Money, Matt Becker says that investing in the stock market carries with it a very large risk, one that is rarely talked about in the financial media. In his post The Real Risk of Investing in the Stock Market, he challenges some of the conventional wisdom about investing, noting that success and failure may not be the only outcomes we should measure.

Risk of incarceration - Here at Workers' Comp Insider, we recently assessed the risk of jail time for workers comp lawbreakers and advise any claimants with felonious intent to steer clear of Wyoming. Corporate malfeasants, not so much...

That's it for this week's Cav. The next host -- two weeks from today -- will be Nancy Germond at Insurance Writer Blog.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Julie Ferguson published on September 4, 2013 11:33 AM.

News Roundup: Fatalities, Opioids, Extreme Heat, 33 Minutes of History & More was the previous entry in this blog.

Health Wonk Review at Boston Health News and an Interesting Challenge is the next entry in this blog.

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