Is Your Hair On Fire Yet?

Joe Paduda

Posted 4/5/12 on Managed Care Matters

The single biggest crisis facing workers comp is NOT the market cycle, employment, rate adequacy, or regulatory changes.

It is opioids. As Gary Franklin MD, Washington state fund’s Medical Director says, this is a “hair on fire” issue.

I’m not talking about the $1.4 billion employers spend on these drugs, nor am I referring to the other medical costs incurred by claimants on opioids or the dollars wasted on diverted drugs or the hundreds of claimants dead from opioids prescribed for their injury; not even the disastrous personal impact on claimants and their families.

Continue reading “Is Your Hair On Fire Yet?”

Workers’ Comp Medical to be Federalized

And For Our April Fools Edition!

Joe Paduda

Posted 4/1/12 on Managed Care Matters

While all of Capitol Hill was focused on the hearings on ObamaCare at the Supreme Court, the Administration was quietly proceeding with plans to federalize the medical portion of workers’ compensation. The effort has reportedly been led by Assistant Deputy Secretary A. Pryl Pfuelle who has been working closely with the Executive Secretariat on policy implications and coordination efforts. Details on timing, rollout, reimbursement levels and other critical matters are still to be worked out, but the Secretariat is likely looking to FECA as the regulatory agency that will be tasked with oversight responsibilities.

Continue reading “Workers’ Comp Medical to be Federalized”

Physician Dispensing in Florida – Can Money Buy Bad Policy?

Joe Paduda

Posted 1/24/12 on Managed Care Matters

One of the most powerful firms in the physician dispensing business is sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to elected officials in Florida. [sub req] The donations, to individual politicians and their affiliated organizations, come as the Florida Senate is considering a bill that would limit reimbursement of physician-dispensed drugs to the cost of the underlying (non-repackaged) drug.

This morning Mike Whitely of WorkCompCentral reported Automated Healthcare Solutions “gave more than $32,500 to Florida state lawmakers and more than $500,000 to committees associated with conservative causes and candidates in 2011…”, most of it in the last three months of 2011.

Continue reading “Physician Dispensing in Florida – Can Money Buy Bad Policy?”