October 2010 Archives
Yesterday in our nation's capital, 2010 National Disability Mentoring Day was launched with the support of national leaders who are committed to hiring people with disabilities. Click here to see a list of the DMD sponsors. All across the country, a series of events coincided with the national launch event, supported by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). This is part of a month-long awareness campaign during the month of October called National Disability Employment Awareness Month promoted by AAPD.
Watch a video about DMD...
Discover and become a part of your state's DMD Day next year! The Florida DMD celebrated it's 10th year yesterday!
The Library of Congress, has a special tribute on their website including profiles of famous Americans with Disabilities including Helen Keller, Thomas Edison and Stevie Wonder. Read a letter written in 1893 by Helen Keller to Mabel Hubbard Bell, Alexander Graham Bell's wife after her visit to the Chicago World's Fair.
Read President Obama's Presedential Proclamation.
What Can You Do? is a campaign for disability employment -- a collaborative effort to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities. The campaign focuses on educating and encouraging employers to recognize the value and talent people with disabilities bring to the workplace.
We all agree that the workers' compensation industry is incredibly complex. As is the case in many industries, the jobs we perform are sometimes highly specialized, so we may not understand the bigger picture of what we do. A thorough understanding of the big picture, though, can help you in your job by allowing you to see and comprehend the part that you play and how important it is to the "big picture" we call workers' comp.
Listed here are some tools to add to your workers' comp toolbox. You don't have a workers' comp toolbox? Well, perhaps you should start one. We certainly don't expect you to read all of this in one sitting. This is a collection of articles and resources to keep close at hand for when you need them. Whether you are a workers' comp pro, or a newbie, its a good idea to keep such resources on hand, for your own reference, or for sharing with a colleague in need.
Glossary of Workers' Compensation Terms - published by the California Department of Industrial Relations. NOTE: workers' compensation laws vary from state to state; some terms here may be specific to California, but generally this is a good overview of workers' compensation-specific terms.
Know the Difference Between Permanent Partial Disability and Permanent Total Disability available at WorkersCompensation.com
Finding the right doctor makes a big difference! Several studies have shown that getting experienced physicians involved in the claim from the onset makes a significant difference in the outcome of workers' comp claims. A Guide to High-Value Physician Services in Workers' Compensation developed by ACOEM provides a great step-by-step overview to help identify the best physicians for managing workers' comp claims.
Independent Medical Exams -- Selecting The Right Doctor by Illinois Workers' Compensation blog
Review of ACOEM's New Medical Guidelines for Workers' Compensation, an article found in Florida Underwriter Magazine
ACOEM's Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines: Evaluation and Management of Common Health Problems and Functional Recovery in Workers, Third Edition -- available early 2011. These are encyclopedia-style volumes with tons of practical information categorized by topic, available for as low as $599 if your organization is a member of ACOEM. Published by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, ACOEM's Practice Guidelines are the best practices in effective treatment of occupational injuries and illnesses. The only evidence-based guidelines that focus on returning employees to work within 90 days of an injury or illness. These guidelines focus on quality of care and a reduction in over utilization -- an issue that plagues the workers' comp industry.
Workers' Comp Insider -- a workers' comp industry blog that covers workers' compensation, risk management, business insurance, workplace health and safety, occupational medicine, and more. This is a blog we follow and a great resource of information pertaining to workers' comp issues. A good blog to follow. Named by Lexis-Nexis as a Top 25 Blog for Workers' Compensation.
Managed Care Matters -- a blog by Joe Paduda. You may or may not always agree with Joe, but few people can rival his comprehensive understanding of healthcare and workers' compensation, and how the two overlap. This blog is definitely one to follow. Not only is it full of pertinent and interesting topics, it is quite entertaining at times. Named by Lexis-Nexis as a Top 25 Blog for Workers' Compensation.
Comp Time -- a blog published by Business Insurance and written by Roberto Ceniceros. Covers recent developments in the complex world of workers' compensation. Named by Lexis-Nexis as a Top 25 Blog for Workers' Compensation.
As we come across new and updated resources, we'll post them for you here so you can add them to your virtual workers' comp toolbox. Have one to recommend? Please pass along to firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy!
According to an article that appeared in the Los Angeles Times recently, significantly higher levels of some cancer-causing oil compounds have been recorded by a research team in the waters off the Louisiana coastline. See High levels of cancer-causing chemicals recorded since BP spill. A research team from Oregon State University has been studying and recording levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, since the spill.
The article includes a statement by Kim Anderson, an OSU environmental toxicology professor, who claims she found a 40-fold increase in PAHs from May to June, after the oil spill. The results of the study are still being analyzed. The article includes statements from officials from the Louisiana Department of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency that do not show cause for alarm at this time.
Ever consider the impact of smoking and how it affects your complex claims? What about what it does to medical equipment? Zack Craft, vice president of rehabilitation technology and complex care, thinks smoking is an important element of care -- one that requires attention and consideration at every stage when managing complex claims.
See What's In A Cigarette by American Lung Association
Second-Hand Smoke Facts
- Second-hand smoke is a major air pollutant
- Second-hand smoke includes upwards to 4,000 chemicals
- Second-hand smoke includes 200 known poisons including formaldehyde and carbon monoxide
- Second-hand smoke contains 43 carcinogens
- Men (about 24%) smoke more than women (about 18%)
- About 31% of people who live below poverty level are smokers
Visit the CDC.gov website called Vital Signs for more information on Tobacco Use and Second-hand Smoke
Why is Smoking Important in Complex Care cases?
- It negatively impacts the healing process
- Wounds take longer to heal, or may never heal
- Longevity of medical equipment should be considered
- Carriers should anticipate additional claim costs
See Smoking and Wound Healing: A Guide for Surgical and Burn Patients by University of Wisconsin's School of Medicine and Public Health
Steps You Can Take
- Incorporate questions into the assessment process in order to identify and manage claims where smoking may be an issue
- Educate all involved in patient care about smoking and the health risks involved; include case managers, adjusters, home health care providers, patients and family
- Consider the impact of smoke on medical equipment to anticipate future costs of replacing equipment
- Evaluate claims where smoking is an issue regularly to assess: quality of care, treatment options and equipment needs
For more information on managing claims involving smoking, contact Total Medical Solutions, your complex care provider.
Peter Rousmaniere, well-known workers' comp consultant and writer, poses the question: "Will congress overhaul workers' compensation?" in an ongoing series titled Workers' Comp 20/20 presented by WorkersCompensation.com. In the article, Peter lays the groundwork for what is likely to happen depending on the outcome of our upcoming fall elections.
He also discusses two public policy issues -- one is the concept that employers are undercounting and under reporting work-related injuries for the purposes of OSHA reporting; and second is the concern that injured workers don't always file workers' comp claims. As usual, the article is thought provoking and raises some serious questions.
For more on Peter Rousmaniere, visit his website. Be sure to read some of his other articles. His investigative style reporting and writing and depth of workers' compensation knowledge is unique to say the least. Enjoy!