Today’s post is by way of David DePaolo, on his DePaolo’s Work Comp World blog. It has been a while since I reported on anything from Dave’s blog, because most of the time he writes about California work comp, and has no bearing on the implementation of medical tourism into workers’ compensation.
But Dave’s article yesterday, ACA’s Impact on Comp – Lessons Learned, caught my eye, not because of the ACA, but because of what Dave had to say about workers’ compensation and general health care, and what lessons can be learned from it that can apply to workers’ compensation.
The article discusses the 68th Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference that was held last week in Orlando, Florida, and at which Dave was in attendance. He noted that the ACA was the topic at many of the sessions at the conference, and that the consensus of the presentations was that the impact of the ACA was uncertain.
But what struck me was the fact that Dave reported one senior executive being optimistic about the health quality outcomes based standards and reward system for general health care that could spill over into workers’ compensation.
The general health care system, Dave said, has lead the workers’ compensation system in several respects, and generally by years, in such things as treatment guidelines and protocol, billing standards, electronic records and reimbursement systems, etc.
That brought to Dave’s mind, an earlier conference some years ago, also in Orlando, where the Chief Medical Officer for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company asked the audience, if given the choice between general health care and workers’ compensation, how many would choose workers’ compensation. No one raised their hands.
If the senior executive Dave mentioned is correct about spill over, might there also be other spillovers from general health care that can improve the quality and cost of the workers’ compensation system.
Perhaps as more people are covered under ACA, and the doctor and nurse shortage leads some to go abroad for general health care, the same impulse will be felt within the workers’ compensation industry.
One thing is certain from Dave’s article, there are lessons to be learned from general health care that the workers’ compensation industry needs to learn, and perhaps medical tourism is one of them.
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