May 22, 2017

Dr. Robert Hall: Anoxic Brain Injury: An Underreported and Oftentimes Overlooked Consequence of Overdose

Dr Robert Hall

A few weeks back, a new patient of mine was accompanied into the examination room by his daughter. Although he was in his mid-50’s, he needed a significant amount of assistance due to decreased balance and unsteady walking. The reason for the referral was to evaluate the cause of his right shoulder and neck pain and hand numbness, which were ultimately found…[Continue Reading]

Michael Gavin: Behavioral Health: Bet or Investment?

Michael Gavin

When I was seven years old, I bet my uncle $20 that the New England Patriots would beat the Philadelphia Eagles in a regular season, just-another-Sunday matchup. I lost. And perhaps in an effort to warn me off of any future gambling proclivities, he demanded payment. In full. That day marked the beginning of my education in the many differences between “betting” and “investing”…[Continue Reading]

Mark Pew: Paying for the Person

Mark Pew

BioPsychoSocial is a popular buzzword in workers’ compensation. Some have recently added Spiritual (not necessarily referring to religion, but a person’s relationship with transcendence). Every conference talks about it in some way, shape or form. If the audience is listening, they’ll hear tips on how to treat the “whole person” by addressing not just the physical ailment…[Continue Reading]

Art Lynch: The Benefits and Challenges of Using Value-Based Contracting in Workers’ Comp

Art Lynch

Value-based contracting continues to attract attention through a wide-ranging dialogue focused on the need for health care reimbursements to reward outcomes over activity. Last week, we reviewed the types of value-based models that are deployed in commercial health care. While there are similarities between group health and workers’ comp there are significant differences, too…[Continue Reading]

Art Lynch: Defining ‘Value-Based Contracting’ Requires More Than A Few Words

Art Lynch

Value-based contracting is one of the most talked-about topics at conferences, in stewardship meetings and in workers’ compensation requests for proposal (RFPs). But for all the discussion around the term, one thing seems missing: a common definition. Value-based contracting seems fairly straightforward to most observers and that might be part of the problem…[Continue Reading]

Eric F. Patten: Strategies to Manage the Pandora’s Box of Comorbid Conditions

Eric Patten

Originating from Greek mythology, the phrase “to open Pandora’s box” calls to mind how a seemingly innocuous act, such as opening a box, can unleash a plethora of negative consequences. That’s how many workers’ compensation (WC) program managers feel about covering injured workers who incur relatively minor workplace injuries that quickly spiral out of control…[Continue Reading]

Kevin Glennon: Use of Medical Marijuana in Workers’ Compensation: Where Are We Today?

Kevin Glennon

If marijuana has been shown to effectively treat pain, why should injured workers be denied access to or reimbursement for it? This question isn’t easy to answer. Controversy exists because of the conflict between state and federal laws. Some medical evidence shows marijuana is effective in treating pain, but these clinical trials have been small in scale. In the workers’…[Continue Reading]

Dr. Steven Feinberg: Why Claims Go South, and How to Avoid It

Dr Steven Feinberg

In my previous post, I discussed the importance of injured workers’ empowerment and taking responsibility for their health and well-being and rehabilitation through a biopsychosocial functional restoration education approach. While this concept has been around for as long as I can remember (I learned about it during my PMR residency in the early 1970s), it is only in the last few years…[Continue Reading]

Dr. Steven Feinberg: What is the Best Approach to Preventing and Managing Chronic Pain?

Dr Steven Feinberg

The treatment of injured workers with chronic pain conditions throughout the United States is at best problematic and at worse a disaster. We continue to see individuals overtreated by well-meaning physicians with excessive opioids and psychotropic medications while undergoing numerous passive invasive interventions but with at best transient and little, if any, lasting benefit…[Continue Reading]

Thomas D. Johnson: Antifragile: How WC Organizations Can Benefit from ‘Disorder’

Tom Johnson

Volatility, disorder, uncertainty, and randomness are conditions we dislike and try to avoid. However, in his 2012 blockbuster book, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, author Nassim Nicholas Taleb paints a different picture. If something is fragile, it breaks easily. Think of a crystal goblet or Fabergé egg — neither would do well if dropped onto a concrete floor…[Continue Reading]

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