NWCDC Chairman's Message

NWCDC Presentation ‘Wish List’ Released

The NWCDC speaker selection team is offering topic suggestions for those still thinking about submitting.
By: | February 12, 2018 • 6 min read
Topics: NWCDC | Workers' Comp

With the deadline approaching for submitting proposals to speak at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo, the event’s speaker selection team wants to share a list of topics it is eager to see presented.

NWCDC 2018 will take place Dec. 5 – 7 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

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In general, the two most important practices for getting selected to present at NWCDC call for including an employer who has implemented the solutions to be discussed, and has obtained outcomes they can share with the audience.

Keep in mind, NWCDC prefers practical solutions that others can implement. Theoretical and future-looking discussions may be appropriate in some cases, though, such as for the conference’s Technology Track.

Another practice that can boost the potential for getting selected to present during the event is to submit multiple RFPs. One organization submitted 16 last year. This helps by increasing the likelihood the selection group will find a topic that both stands out from other potential presentation ideas, and also fills a specific need the selection group has identified.

The conference also wants technical topics for addressing claims medical management and litigation management.

Below is a list of presentation topics the selection committee and NWCDC board members would like to see addressed at NWCDC in 2018. But keep in mind that other topic proposals are also welcome and no less valuable.

  • How do you move to quality care based on provider outcomes and value-based care? We don’t just want to know about contracting with a network of rated doctors. We want the nuts and bolts of how you actually put a program into place. How do you go about it? How do you move from a fee-for-service model to a value-based structure? Are there different forms of provider reimbursement that are preferred?
  • Addressing cyber risks when transferring employee data between vendors.
  • What are employers, TPAs and insurers doing to stop future drug addiction at the point of sale and with clinical programs. PBMs mostly fill scripts then eventually send up red flags and chase the problem after their warning signs are triggered. They essentially do retro reviews. There are, however, some pioneers doing work up front, such as patient education, before the script is filled. Those are the types of programs NWCDC wants to hear about.
  • How to avoid delays in medical treatment so the injured worker isn’t waiting to receive care.
  • The use of mobile service apps for physical therapy, telehealth and mobile health. This session could really benefit from combining service providers with an employer.
  • Managing the tail. Strategies for managing long-tail claims. What are biggest challenges and how do you overcome them? This is different from settling or closing old-dog claims. This is more about how do you manage them when you are not eliminating them, like you might try with old-dog claims. How do you manage future medical, etc?
  • Realistic emerging technology in medical treatment. This session might focus on a range of technology rather than single products as NWCDC frowns on product pitches.
  • What models of risk transfer, risk sharing and risk financing will arise? What are their differences, who is implementing them and what is getting traction? Consider organizations such as Teambrella, the bitcoin enabled peer-to-peer insurance, Lemonade and Dynamis.
  • Apps for allowing early or self-reporting and follow up with doctors. How might these lend themselves to the injured-worker advocacy approach and employee engagement?
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    How do evidence-based medicine and pharmacy formularies in different jurisdictions potentially impact claims and medical management?How might understanding these differences help employers and other claims payers operationalize programs? How do employers take advantage? There is a lot of opportunity to improve employer programs if claims payers can take advantage of states implementing evidence-based care and formularies.

  • The future of work and workers’ comp and how will robotics and artificial intelligence impact the workplace and insurance arrangements. Most of today’s discussion on this topic focuses on current robotics use. But what will it look like in the future? This session can be both practical (such as employer and insurer or broker speaking on how this is impacting insurance and claims currently) and theoretical (as in what will the future look like).
  • Improving claims outcomes through settlement practices. This could be a good technical claims topic.
  • Cost-conscious improvements in your workers’ compensation program, or how to get better at claims management without spending a lot of money.
  • Buying quality services. How to evaluate vendor quality and performance.
  • Opioid litigation risks and what to do to ovoid the exposure. This would focus on claims payers mitigating the risk of getting sued for their role in opioid prescribing.
  • Topics on employee health and safety, such as how to use predictive analytics for developing pre-loss strategies and tying those pre-loss strategies to post-loss information gleaned from predictive modeling. How organizations use preventative programs like physical therapy and safety walkarounds to prevent injuries.
  • Leading indicators.Improving safety and claims management now relies mostly on evaluating lagging indicators. But increasingly, employers want to know what leading indicators will tell them they are being effective. What do they measure to tell them they are doing things right and won’t have certain future problems? How do you identify potential leading indicators and how do you measure them?
  • There’s been a pretty big shift in the minds of workers’ compensation professionals — away from a heavy emphasis on cost reduction and toward an increased focus on the experience of various stakeholders, especially the injured worker and the employer. Why has this has happened, what does this shift mean and where is it headed?
  • A new trend in MSAs. It’s no longer just CMS that wants to recover money for Medicare eligible patients. State agencies such as unemployment departments and disability programs are also starting to get in on the act.
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    The injured worker advocacy movement says fewer investigations is a smarter strategy. So what is the value of not doing an investigation? Are recorded statements and surveillance counterproductive when you are telling employees you are adopting a worker advocacy approach? How do you measure ROI on investigations and recorded statements and limiting them.

  • And speaking of the advocacy movement. We have had presentations on what it amounts to, but do we now have results speakers can share? What has been advocacy’s impact on cost reduction? In the past, NWCDC focused on what advocacy looked like, now we want to know more about lessons learned, the challenges and the results obtained from implementing it. Who has data?
  • And finally, marijuana. What are the current challenges to understanding its impact on the workplace. What are the regulatory and drug testing challenges?

Visit the conference website for more information about NWCDC and the speaker proposal form.

Roberto Ceniceros is senior editor at Risk & Insurance® and chair of the National Workers' Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo. He can be reached at [email protected] Read more of his columns and features.

More from Risk & Insurance

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2018 Power Broker

To the Ends of the Earth

From the frozen Arctic to the inferno of a high net worth divorce, Power Brokers go to extremes to find solutions for their clients.
By: | February 20, 2018 • 2 min read

Looking for the Power Broker Winners? Click Here.

Picture this: A bitter divorce so heated that the principals are only communicating through their attorneys. Then their house burns down. Imagine walking into that situation and trying to find solutions that will please both parties.

But that’s exactly what 2018 Power Broker® Jeff Kaplan, family office practice leader, Risk Management Strategies, did.

Kaplan, who won in the Private Client category, negotiated the sale of the property — forget the rebuild, let the new owner take that on, he counseled his clients — orchestrated a 30-day auction for its sale, and achieved a profitable result for every party in the transaction, each half of the feuding couple and the developer of the sold property.

To the client, Kaplan’s work, including his high degree of emotional intelligence, released him from the “seventh circle of hell.”

From that doused inferno, let us now cast our eyes to the frozen north.

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The owner of a barge learned their property sank off of Nome, Alaska, (average temperature 27 degrees Fahrenheit). With an approaching freeze threatening to seal off the harbor, the owners, Phoenix Marine, risked losing valuable equipment.

Into action sprang George Andersen, a 2018 Power Broker® in the Marine category. With precious little time to lose, Andersen negotiated the claim and communicated proactively with the U.S. Coast Guard and other officials. Then he commissioned salvage divers from New York to travel to Alaska and retrieve the valuable equipment from the sunken barge.

Before we depart the Arctic, let us consider another 2018 Power Broker® from Aon, Christian Wise. To arrange cover for a defense contractor’s radio installations in a remote Arctic location, Wise dispatched a loss control engineer, complete with instructions on the use of a shotgun should polar bears interlope in temperatures that registered negative 29 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of the radio installations had already burned to the ground due to scant local fire protection, culminating in a $20 million loss. Despite that, working with London underwriters, Wise and his team were able to shave $1.3 million off an initial property premium cost of $1.8 million.

Power Brokers are judged by a team of Risk & Insurance® editors and writers over a three-month period each year. After interviews with hundreds of sources, winners are picked for their creativity and resourcefulness, their excellent customer service and their industry knowledge.

Not every Power Broker® required one of their associates to tote a shotgun. But many of them went to extremes for their clients; some of them waded into hurricane ravaged neighborhoods to document damage; others put their personal lives on hold, including one Power Broker® who delayed his honeymoon to attend a meeting on behalf of his client.

This year, 158 Power Broker® winners were chosen, as well as 55 finalists, spanning 25 industry categories. Congratulations to every one of these exceptional individuals. Click here to begin reading the profiles of this year’s winners. &

Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected]