Throughout my career, I’ve learned to lean on a couple of very rudimentary, yet highly effective, elements to help keep me focused and composed in times of high anxiety and uncertainty. I hope this column will edify you and help you cope with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM)
California’s Assembly Insurance Committee is having a public hearing on AB 1107 on Wednesday April 24th. Is the bill a step in the right direction in promoting prompt, adequate medical treatment for injured workers in the State of California? Fortunately, we have a material amount of data to help inform the answer to this question. Here is my take on the issue.
Irrespective of overwhelmingly positive data published on appropriate UR decisions, the UR process becomes a target of criticism. Largely driven by a lack of understanding, a push to unravel this layer of protection for injured workers persists. The overutilization of unnecessary medical care is not a benefit, it is a risk. Here are my thoughts on how the King case may motivate this movement come next year’s legislative session.
Tragedy has a way of spurring unexpected outcomes bringing people together from all walks of life and disciplines. Here are my observations on the paradigm shifts happening throughout workers’ compensation partly due to the global tragedy that is the opioid epidemic.
Another important July 1st deadline has come and gone for the California workers’ compensation community. As of mid-June, nearly half of California’s Utilization Review Organizations had yet to complete the accreditation process required by newly modified Labor Code section 4610(g)(4). Is the crawl to compliance due to a complacent system culture or a costly and complex accreditation process?
The crux of the opioid crisis is in unchecked, inappropriate prescribing habits. Absent of comprehensive medically responsible prescribing standards, today’s opioid issue has the potential to evolve into another prescription drug crisis. Are narrow legislative bills enough to keep injured workers safe and encourage a paradigm shift among prescribers?
Health care information technology may be making the world smaller in many ways, but wide divides remain in the care and claims continuum. Bridging the gaps in the workers’ compensation space requires a conscientious focus on collaboration, human to human. Collaboration effectively creates an interactive and adaptable system capable of delivering improved patient health outcomes.