6/21/2017

Reinventing Workers Comp

CLM’s partnership with Business Insurance yields results.

By Eric Gilkey

Signaling a new partnership approach to education, CLM and Business Insurance combined efforts last month in Chicago to reinvent a workers compensation event that tackled some of the biggest issues facing the industry.

The pros and cons of telemedicine, how 3-D imaging is affecting the litigation landscape, using captive insurance programs as an alternative to traditional workers compensation, and new approaches to addressing the opioid epidemic were just some of the topics that dominated the agenda of the 2017 CLM & Business Insurance Workers Compensation Conference. 

In particular, the session “Pain, Pot, and the Consequences of Powerful Prescription Drugs,” was spotlighted in Business Insurance, where reporter Joyce Famakinwa highlighted some unsettling statistics and facts as conveyed by panelists Teresa Bartlett, Albert Randall (Franklin & Prokopik P.C.) and Jennifer Saddy.

Famakinwa wrote that “the cost of the opioid epidemic exceeded an estimated $55 billion in 2011, including workplace, health care, and criminal justice costs.” The response from American Airlines Director of Workers Compensation Jennifer Saddy? “My guess is you could probably double that in terms of what the cost is today in 2017.” 

Famakinwa’s article also detailed a $10 billion plan by the U.S. government that Sedgwick Senior Vice President and Medical Director Teresa Bartlett said involved buying up poppy farms in Afghanistan in order to reduce opium supplies. Bartlett said it backfired when yields instead grew by 30 percent. 

Members of CLM’s Workers Compensation Community were aided in the agenda planning process by Joanne Wojcik, head of event programming for Business Insurance. Conference planners anticipate a return to Chicago in 2018



Eric Gilkey is executive editor of Claims Management magazine, a publication of the Claims and Litigation Management (CLM) Alliance. He may be reached at 513-273-8025, eric.gilkey@TheCLM.org.

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