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Workers Comp Hot Buttons Top 10 Recycled Again


Workers Comp Hot Buttons Recycled Every Few Years – Yawn!

The Top 10 Workers Comp hot buttons never seem to be new.  The topics are recycled again and again as newfound topics of the press and in most WC conversations.

Top 10 Workers Comp Hot Buttons Recycle Logo
(c) 123rf

If one thinks about it for a few minutes, has there really been a new topic of discussion on Work Comp in the last 20 years?

Let us look at the recycled topics aka workers comp hot buttons:

  1. Opioids – this was a major concern now and 15 years ago.   The title for it then was Pharmaceutical Management.  It is the same topic with a new moniker.  People overdoing medications in Workers Comp has been a hot button item for decades.
  2. Fraud – this one is recycled like beverage cans.  Employer fraud, employee fraud, provider fraud – the list goes on and on.  This topic recycles every few years.   News articles are still published as filler on an employee that ran a business while receiving workers comp checks.
  3. Alternative insurance coveragesCaptives, PEO’s, Large deductible, small deductible – these will be back in the news as newfound topics within five years – trust me on this one.  There are a few viable ways to cut your workers comp costs using the alternative markets.
  4. Senate or House Bill <fill in the blank> – this one seems to be concentrated more in California.  A new bill becomes the topic of conversation and is the buzz in the press for weeks to months.   Then along comes another one and the last one fades in the rearview mirror.

    Picture Red Of Workers Comp Hot Buttons
    Wikimedia – włodi
  5. An unfair Workers Comp System – a reporter or news organization pulls together a few injured workers that were shorted by the system and tried to make it the slippery slope method – one therefore all are mistreated – even though Workers Comp is still the best delivery method for healing and benefits available.
  6. Workers Comp is Dead – I have forecasted this one myself – however I was talking about more of a warning for the WC community  to be flexible as sitting behind your desk and waiting for the other shoe to drop will not cut it nowadays.  After the current Presidential election, many so-called pundits said that WC is doomed – not so fast.  Flexibility is the key. 
  7. Decentralization/Centralization – also known as expansion/retraction.   This area is two-fold; one from the carriers/TPA’s and one from vendors.  We are in a centralization phase as carriers/TPA’s are buying each other up at an accelerated pace as are the vendors who are absorbing competitors.  This phase has happened at least 4 -5 times in my WC career.   Tech may sustain a decentralization to a point.

    Hand Emphasizing Workers Comp Hot Buttons Risk Management
  8. The Big Safety Push vs. Eliminating Safety/Risk Management – this is the area where companies hemorrhage funds.  Employers will all of a sudden push safety very heavily – usually right after a spate of accidents or a visit from OSHA. The other side of the coin is the companies that have eliminated all of their safety or risk management efforts as a way to save short term cash.  The bottom line here is eliminating safety and risk management in any organization will always cost more in the long term.  I have seen the financials of many companies that back up having a safety department even if it is an outside safety consultant. 
  9.  The Big Work Comp Tech Push – WC is 10 – 15 years behind even health in most areas of tech.  I have jumped down into the proverbial rabbit hole many times to look at tech.  I have a very heavy tech background.  Tech improvements seem normal to me.  However, I am still on the lookout for a decent WC app or any tech outside of medical devices.
  10. Work Comp Gurus – Workers compensation soothsayers come and go once or twice a decade.  The blogosphere has many including myself.  Look at their backgrounds heavily before you make a decision as to whether they know their subject.  This part of the insurance world is too complicated for one person to say they know “the industry.”    My twitter handle is @workcompguru.  I actually started the name as a happy hour joke, no really as one of my long-time friends would always call me Mister Guru when we discussed WC.   The old saying “If I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I do not know” fits well.


Next week I will cover how to combat these recycled changes in the Workers Comp markets from  the workers comp hot buttons.

Also Read: Workers Comp Decentralization – The Good, Bad, and Ugly

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4 Responses

  1. One new topic that they are ignoring and have for four years, is medical travel. It has been ridiculed as “ridiculous, a stupid idea, and a non-starter”, but all the other topics mentioned above point to trying it out for no other reason that it might just work and save employers money, and return workers to work faster, especially if the workers are foreign born, and they receive their treatment in their home country or region, where the language and customs are more familiar. But like you said, they will just repackage the same old topics year after year without exploring new ones.

  2. Thanks for commenting. I agree that medical travel will be a new way to possibly cut comp costs in the future. Solving the logistics puzzle will be tantamount on this issue. If the state Workers Comp systems will approve the out-of-country treatments, then I think it is a viable option.

  3. Hello to every body, it’s my first go to see of this weblog;
    this weblog contains remarkable and in fact good information for readers.


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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