Is Being Too Conservative a Good Thing for Workers’ Comp?

Conservative: disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.

A friend suggested to me this evening that the industry has not moved as quickly as they had hoped, and I began to think about this with regard to the more than one hundred articles I have written on the subject of implementing medical tourism into workers’ comp. My friend was commenting on the lack of speed to move forward with a proposal they presented to a client. It then occurred to me that I needed to say something about this, because of late, I have refrained from my usual habit of passionately advocating and defending the idea of medical tourism for expensive surgeries in workers’ comp.

So the title of my article does not refer to the political definition of the word conservative, although, there are some political conservatives in the industry who in the past have attacked this idea as ridiculous and a non-starter. Yet, I have heard from a few small voices out there, many of whom are much more knowledgeable and wiser than I, that this is not the case and that it is a good idea, if not for the rules and regulations that have limited change and preserved the existing order. So the question must be asked, is being too conservative a good thing for the workers’ comp industry?

You have read many of my articles about the issues of opioid drug abuse in workers’ comp, about the fraud and abuse many have suffered at the hands of those in the industry who are supposed to help them, but who instead only seek to line their own pockets, and those of the service providers and hangers-on of the gravy train called workers’ compensation. And you have read about all the other issues plaguing workers’ comp that never seem to be solved, but only require more money, more new programs and “solutions” to be adopted that only scratch the surface of the real problem.

I have, in the past, railed against doing the same things over and over again, and expecting different results, and yet, day after day, week after week, month after month, the conservative mindset in this industry, as the definition above states, is disposed to preserving existing conditions, and to limiting change. Change which the industry needs to realize is necessary and required for the continuation of the workers’ comp system, otherwise it will either cease to exist or will break down from its own failures and ineptitude.

My good friend Joe Paduda this morning gave us a preview of the upcoming WCRI conference through an email interview with the WCRI Executive Director, Rick Victor. One of the questions Joe asked Dr. Victor was the following: “what has been the most surprising result that will be discussed at WCRI?” Dr. Victor replied, that “an underappreciated, but likely very significant unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act is shifting cases from group health to workers’ compensation.”

If this assessment is correct, then the workers’ comp industry’s problems just got a whole lot worse, and failure to change and adapt to new ideas and new means of providing the best quality medical care at the lowest cost, will only make things even more dire. But when the conference is over in a couple of weeks, all the attendees will go home, report to their superiors, and go about their business as usual, while the orchestra plays on the Titanic (or Nero fiddles while Rome burns, if you are a history buff).

My last two posts touched upon the subject of globalization and the globalization of health care. Maria Todd rightly points out that it will take some time to achieve. Yet, this industry has closed its mind and its eyes to the changes all around them, pretending they do not exist or are not happening.

That is why being too conservative is not a good thing for workers’ comp, because any system that fails to adapt will become extinct. Being too conservative, too cautious and too afraid of change can be very deadly, not only to people, but to institutions and systems such as workers’ comp. So all you dinosaurs out there, keep ignoring what is staring you in the face. They will be digging up your “bones” far into the future.

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This entry was posted in Medical Tourism, Medical Travel, Workers' Comp, Workers' Compensation and tagged , , , , , on by .

About Transforming Workers' Comp

Have worked in the Insurance and Risk Management industry for more than thirty years in New York, Florida and Texas in the Claims and Risk Management spheres, primarily in Workers’ Compensation Claims, Auto No-Fault and Property & Casualty Claims Administration and Claims Management. Have experience in Risk and Insurance Business Analysis, Risk Management Information Systems, and Insurance Data Processing and Data Management. Received my Master’s in Health Administration (MHA) degree from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida in December 2011. Received my Master of Arts (MA) degree in American History from New York University, and received my Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Liberal Arts (Political Science/History/Social Sciences) from SUNY Brockport. I have studied World History, Global Politics, and have a strong interest in the future of human civilization in all aspects; economic, political and social. I am looking for new opportunities that will utilize my previous experience and MHA degree. I am available for speaking engagements and am willing to travel. LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardkrasner Resume: https://www.box.com/s/z8rxcks6ix41m3ocvvep

5 thoughts on “Is Being Too Conservative a Good Thing for Workers’ Comp?

  1. Patrick Pine

    While I agree generally with your contention, there is a major factor that makes change even more difficult and further protects the status quo. Many of the state laws and regulations favor the existing interests and practices and inhibit change. Thus, ideas like telemedicine or medical tourism are not often allowed under laws and regulations and there are considerable pressures on legislators and regulators to be “conservative.”

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  2. Rhonda Shuter RN

    Thank you Richard. Extremely well thought out and articulated. Please know We are here to help. The only way to prove you right is for the workers/patients to have their own stories to tell. Let’s get them on board to the most spectacular care available at the San Javier Hospitals group where I preside. It will be ” no contest”.
    Thank you and best regards ,
    Rhonda J. Shuter R.N.
    Director International Patient Program
    San Javier Hospitals , Guadalajara. Mexico. 416 801 6019. (Toronto, Canada)

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    1. Transforming Workers' Comp Post author

      Rhonda,

      Thank you for your comment and support. Please know that it is because of people like you that I continue to write. I need more medical tourism people to recognize me, to invite me to speak, and to work with me to get the message out to both industries, the medical tourism industry and the workers’ comp industry. I was in Mexico in November at the Reynosa event where I spoke about implementing medical tourism into workers’ comp. I need all the help I can get, as I am one person with no sources of revenue at the present time.

      Thank you again.

      Richard Krasner, MA, MHA
      Principal Consultant, FutureComp Consulting – The Future of Workers’ Comp
      Blogger-in-Chief, Transforming Worker’s Comp Blog
      richardkrasner.wordpress.com
      (561) 738-0458
      (561) 605-1685, cell

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