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Opioids and Marijuana – WCRI Conference – Big Time Discussions


Opioids and Marijuana Discussed @ Upcoming WCRI Conference

The sessions will run consecutively – two interesting topics for Work Comp

Opioids and marijuana will be two of many great topics.  WCRI is hosting their annual conference on March 2 -3, 2017.   I have attended the last five meetings and will be at this one in Boston.  My main challenge in attending will be the high likelihood of Patriot fans. <<<kidding

According to a recent WCRI press release, a session on opioids will be followed by a session on marijuana as it relates to Workers Comp, specifically the control of opioid abuse, and the use of marijuana as it affects the workplace.   As you may know, many states have legalized the recreational use of  medical marijuana while a few have even legalized its recreational use – Think Colorado.

According to WCRI –

The latest opioid prescribing trends, first-hand accounts of how states are combating the opioid epidemic, and alternatives to opioids will be discussed during two exciting sessions at the Workers Compensation Research Institute’s (WCRI) 33rd Annual Issues & Research Conference, March 2-3, 2017, at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston, MA.

WCRI’s CEO John Ruser, whom I met last year at the conference made a very poignant point:

The dangers of prescription drug misuse resulting in death and addiction constitute a top public health problem in the United States and the workers’ compensation community,”

The first session discusses WCRI’s latest research on:

  • Interstate variations and trends in the use of opioids for workplace injuries across 25 states
  • Features senior policymakers from two states, Massachusetts and Kentucky, who will share initiatives taken by their states to combat the opioid epidemic
Picture Of Opioids and Marijuana Leaves
Wikimedia Commons – User:Jennifer Martin

The second session will discuss two emerging alternatives to opioids:

  • Marijuana
  • Evidence-based non-pharmacological treatments – meditation?
  • First hand accounts from senior policymakers in Maine and Colorado on what it is like to manage a program treating injured workers with marijuana, which is very new and federally illegal.

The WCRI conference is a leading workers’ compensation forum for policymakers, employers, labor advocates, insurance executives, health care organizations, claims managers, researchers, and others. It is a great  two-day program.  If you have anything to do with WC data or want to explore a very different and fresh slant on some of the rating bureau data, you may want to consider attending the conference.

For our readers, I will post some of the discussions, but there is so much good data and presentations, I may not do the conference justice.  See you in Boston.

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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