NWCDC Chairman's Message

NWCDC Presentation ‘Wish List’ Released

Update: The deadline to submit speaker proposals for the 2018 National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo has been extended to March 9th.
By: | February 12, 2018 • 6 min read

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. The extended deadline is March 9, 2018.

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

Advertisement




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?
  • Advertisement




    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.
  • Advertisement




    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

More from Risk & Insurance

2018 Risk All Stars

Stop Mitigating Risk. Start Conquering It Like These 2018 Risk All Stars

The concept of risk mastery and ownership, as displayed by the 2018 Risk All Stars, includes not simply seeking to control outcomes but taking full responsibility for them.
By: | September 14, 2018 • 3 min read

People talk a lot about how risk managers can get a seat at the table. The discussion implies that the risk manager is an outsider, striving to get the ear or the attention of an insider, the CEO or CFO.

Advertisement




But there are risk managers who go about things in a different way. And the 2018 Risk All Stars are prime examples of that.

These risk managers put in gear their passion, creativity and perseverance to become masters of a situation, pushing aside any notion that they are anything other than key players.

Goodyear’s Craig Melnick had only been with the global tire maker a few months when Hurricane Harvey dumped a record amount of rainfall on Houston.

Brilliant communication between Melnick and his new teammates gave him timely and valuable updates on the condition of manufacturing locations. Melnick remained in Akron, mastering the situation by moving inventory out of the storm’s path and making sure remediation crews were lined up ahead of time to give Goodyear its best leg up once the storm passed and the flood waters receded.

Goodyear’s resiliency in the face of the storm gave it credibility when it went to the insurance markets later that year for renewals. And here is where we hear a key phrase, produced by Kevin Garvey, one of Goodyear’s brokers at Aon.

“The markets always appreciate a risk manager who demonstrates ownership,” Garvey said, in what may be something of an understatement.

These risk managers put in gear their passion, creativity and perseverance to become masters of a situation, pushing aside any notion that they are anything other than key players.

Dianne Howard, a 2018 Risk All Star and the director of benefits and risk management for the Palm Beach County School District, achieved ownership of $50 million in property storm exposures for the district.

With FEMA saying it wouldn’t pay again for district storm losses it had already paid for, Howard went to the London markets and was successful in getting coverage. She also hammered out a deal in London that would partially reimburse the district if it suffered a mass shooting and needed to demolish a building, like what happened at Sandy Hook in Connecticut.

2018 Risk All Star Jim Cunningham was well-versed enough to know what traditional risk management theories would say when hospitality workers were suffering too many kitchen cuts. “Put a cut-prevention plan in place,” is the traditional wisdom.

But Cunningham, the vice president of risk management for the gaming company Pinnacle Entertainment, wasn’t satisfied with what looked to him like a Band-Aid approach.

Advertisement




Instead, he used predictive analytics, depending on his own team to assemble company-specific data, to determine which safety measures should be used company wide. The result? Claims frequency at the company dropped 60 percent in the first year of his program.

Alumine Bellone, a 2018 Risk All Star and the vice president of risk management for Ardent Health Services, faced an overwhelming task: Create a uniform risk management program when her hospital group grew from 14 hospitals in three states to 31 hospitals in seven.

Bellone owned the situation by visiting each facility right before the acquisition and again right after, to make sure each caregiving population was ready to integrate into a standardized risk management system.

After consolidating insurance policies, Bellone achieved $893,000 in synergies.

In each of these cases, and in more on the following pages, we see examples of risk managers who weren’t just knocking on the door; they were owning the room. &

____________________

Risk All Stars stand out from their peers by overcoming challenges through exceptional problem solving, creativity, clarity of vision and passion.

See the complete list of 2018 Risk All Stars.

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