Senior executives from some of the top California workers’ compensation carriers identified emerging trends that are of great importance to California employers at the 2015 California Workers’ Compensation and Risk Conference. Panelists were: Moderator: Pamela Ferrandino, national casualty practice leader at Willis North America Mike Mulray, chief underwriting officer at Everest National John Dickey, regional president at Liberty Mutual Mike Hessling, chief client officer at Gallagher Bassett Glen-Roberts Pitruzzello, vice president of workers’ compensation, group benefits claim strategy and clinical operations, at the Hartford The WCIRB projects the estimated average medical cost-per-claim will be the lowest since 2007. What do you think are the key drivers behind this improvement? The independent medical review (IMR) process. IMRs are being upheld in favor of the employer – around 90% of the time. That is showing that evidence-based protocols are being followed. Medical inflation has decreased. Effective utilization review (UR) programs have had a positive effect on controlling medical costs. Will the greater use of generic drugs in the California drug formulary materially lower workers’ compensation costs? Texas is a good example. We have not seen any major pushback from what Texas has done. Texas communicated to the providers, so they know how [...]
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Examining a national database of health insurance claims, researchers found that 91 percent of patients who suffered a nonfatal overdose of prescription opioid painkillers continued getting prescriptions for opioids following the overdose. The findings, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, follow news earlier this month from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that drug overdoses, opioid overdoses in particular, have reached epidemic levels. Read Full Story