2023 WCRI Conference – Top 10 Things I Learned – Part 2 of 2
The 2023 WCRI Conference Top 10 (Part 1) can be found here. I split a very long article into two parts for readability. One of the most popular presentations every year at the conference is the State of the States where an enormous amount of data is examined by comparing how the states compare to each other.
Please check out the session schedule page and the speaker bios here.
Day Two Sessions
6. Emergency room visits varied widely among the States with MA having the highest numbers
Massachusetts had an astonishing 44% of all workers comp accidents with hospital emergency room (ER) visits. If the injury involved a fracture, MA had 58% with ER involvement. Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, and Massachusetts had the highest number of ER visits – the one variable that could be responsible for the higher ER visits is these are all employee-choice states for the medical treatment during a Workers Comp claim.
7. Medical payments decreased during the pandemic
The yearly CompScope 23rd edition always has great data to examine how the states compare to each other and great statistics on each individual state. I had seen this same type of decrease in the file and loss run reviews that we performed during the pandemic.
I agreed with one of the comments in the presentation – medical payments likely were reduced due to the injured worker’s hesitation to attend appointments at medical facilities. I ran into this situation often in claims consulting.
8. Perfect illustration of the struggles of changing or enacting a fee schedule by the Workers Comp Commissions
The Honorable Michael J Brennan, Chairman of the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission perfectly illustrated the struggles of enacting a fee schedule and its ramifications. Too much of a cut means fewer services provided vs. too little of a cut means that employers have to pay more premiums which can have a devastating effect on business. This chart represents the tug-of-war.
I wrote this article in 2014 after IL reduced their fee schedule across the board by 30% as they were the 3rd highest workers comp medical cost state in the nation.
9. United Airlines creates a unique accident “near-miss” program
United Airlines initiated a program where an employee could report “near misses” with no penalty for having reported the near miss. This sounded like an innovative risk management program to avoid injuries. We always talk about the number one way to reduce workers comp payouts is the “accident that never occurred.”
Documenting and preventing the accidents that almost occurred is a genius concept to me. Making it “penalty-free” to the worker likely prevented that near miss from ever happening again. I liked the innovation.
10. Never assume the weather is going to be normal even in Phoenix.
Ok, so this one had to do with outside the conference. I had stayed extra time to go to an MLB spring training game. At the time I was headed to the ballpark, the weather was 59 degrees and raining. So, no baseball game in Phoenix for me this year. Below is a pic from the last time that WCRI hosted a conference in Phoenix. The weather was warmer and had no rain.
The 2023 WCRI Conference Definitely A Success
I was unable to cover all the sessions in my Top 10. As usual with any WCRI study or conference, the 2023 WCRI Conference was a great success. Thanks to Dr. Ruser and Andy Kenneally for inviting me. I learned so much great info.
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Thanks for reading the article and for your compliment. We publish a newsletter and release two article every Thursday at 2PM Eastern US time.
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You are welcome and thanks for the compliment. Check out the new posts that I wrote on ChatGPT this week.