By now, many of you may be wondering why I have not been doing much writing of late. The reason for my absence from the blogosphere is that one month ago, I was offered and accepted a position with a software company here in South Florida, that works in the Insurance industry. I waited this long to tell you because I wanted certain family members to know first.
Many years ago, before moving to Florida from New York, I worked for a small, retail insurance brokerage firm on New York’s Long Island that handled what is called a “wrap-up” insurance program for a very large public agency in the metropolitan area, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
I administered the claims reported to our office by contractors and subcontractors working on construction and non-construction contracts with the Port Authority. My new employer sells software that manages the administration portion of construction wrap-up programs, also known as Owner Controlled Insurance Programs (OCIP) or Contractor Controlled Insurance Programs (CCIP).
For the past month, and for the foreseeable future, I am in training, as their system is very complex, and the administration side of the business is new to me. Eventually, I will be going out on business trips to train clients, but that is a few months from now.
Many of you probably did not know that while I was writing my blog, I was unemployed. I kept my personal situation quiet because at the same time, I was looking for work, and hoping that my idea for medical travel and workers’ comp would lead me into another direction.
Reasons that has to do with issues I have raised in the past, from the medical travel industry and the workers’ compensation industry, have frustrated my efforts to get this blog noticed. I have also been trying to get FutureComp Consulting up and running, as well as providing me with an income.
Since the death of my father, and the placement of my mother into a nursing home for her dementia, I have been living hand to mouth, with eventual homelessness staring me in the face, as well as mounting debt my father assured me would be taken care of. While I am very grateful and appreciative of all the attention my blog has gotten from around the world these past four years, not being able to make a dime from this activity has forced me to make this decision.
Therefore, I have decided to end my blog, shut down FutureComp Consulting, and focus on the job at hand.
But before I do, I want to address both industries on where you are failing your markets, your customers, and what the recent US election means for both industries moving forward.
First, the medical tourism industry. Many of the people I have met are good people, but there are a few rotten apples in the barrel, and we know who they are. They are a pair of lawyers based here in Florida who proport to represent the industry to the world, but only represent themselves and their cronies.
Their sham conferences and certifications are part of the reason this industry has a black eye. They are nothing more than a means to make money for the organizers and not to influence decision making that will improve and expand the industry.
The industry’s focus on the boutique medical treatments, legitimate or not, plastic and reconstructive surgery, breast surgery, dentistry, and so on, which only a few well-off people can afford to access, is one reason why medical travel for the middle and working classes is overlooked.
I am rather disappointed that with so many viewers around the world these past four years, none of you ever reached out to me offering assistance for my idea, to have me come visit your countries (all expenses paid, naturally), etc. To quote a friend of ours, “WHAT AM I, CHOPPED LIVER?”
I have laid out my criticisms in previous posts, so you are welcome to read them before the site is shut down permanently.
Next, the workers’ compensation industry, that I have given much of my life and effort in, has from nearly the beginning, ignored me, insulted me, and dismissed me because I did not have an executive title after my name.
Why did I get this treatment? Because there are too many stakeholders, too many dinosaurs, and too many wise guys who think they know everything, and no one like me could ever have a better idea, so why listen to him, Mr. R. Wilson, the workers’ comp blogosphere’s answer to Rush Limbaugh. Attack anyone and any idea you don’t agree with or like, all the while telling your readers you don’t know the person you viciously attacked and never apologized to, or gave the time of day to.
Also, the industry is just too conservative to grasp the changes that the global economy is having on all industries, and that is because the laws, rules, and statutes that govern workers’ comp are nearly one hundred years old, and were written for a horse and buggy world, not a world of instant communication and supersonic and even suborbital flight, that Richard Branson and the US Air Force are experimenting with that will cut travel time around the world, bringing us closer together.
Third, they have lost sight of who the industry serves. It does not serve the employers, the lawyers, the physicians, the rehab centers, the pain management centers, the bill reviewers and the pharmacy benefit managers, et al. It is supposed to serve the man or woman who gets hurt on the job, and is not a burden to be disposed of ASAP.
Here too, I have listed my objections to the ways of the industry, and while there are many people trying to correct these problems, there are many others who are taking advantage of this broken system for their own personal gain, or ideological biases. Opt-out is one example of this. David DePaolo, who was tragically lost, and Joe Paduda are two of the good guys.
The workers’ comp system needs to be opened to new ideas, from new people, and if you don’t want federal intervention, you better get organized now nationwide to lobby every state legislature to change the laws and regs to open it up. Otherwise, as some have suggested, workers’ comp will disappear.
Finally, what does last week’s disastrous US election mean for medical travel and for workers’ comp. The incoming, neo-fascist administration of a reality TV show host, whose top advisor is an avid racist and anti-Semite, will no doubt go after NAFTA, CAFTA, and the TTP, and his promise to build a wall on the Mexican border, to register Muslims, and his appeal to xenophobic nationalism, will mean that it will be harder to get regular Americans to travel abroad for medical care, which will certainly slow the growth of the industry and may even increase domestic medical travel, but if that man guts the ACA, many people will lose what health care coverage they recently obtained under the plan.
As far as workers’ comp is concerned, that all depends on what happens with the ACA. If it is repealed and replaced with nothing, look for case shifting back to health care from work comp.
While I was deciding to write this article, I thought I might ask for your opinion on whether I should end writing and shut down the blog. This will give you a chance to read past posts, and to be fair to you, my loyal readers. Let me know your thoughts.
If not, it has been a real pleasure, even if it has not been financially rewarding, or has helped in my career.
Thank you and goodbye.