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The value of work: A case study

In a recent case, I helped an injured employee overcome anxiety and return to work.  It turned out that going back to work was its own kind of cure.  Ryan was off work due to a lower back injury.  His claims examiner contacted me because Ryan was not following the course of physical therapy he needed and it was delaying his recovery.  I talked with Ryan and learned that he was afraid of getting better and going back to work because he feared reinjury.  Staying off work

Blog
Curbing compounding

With its new rule requiring preauthorization of compound prescription drugs, Texas has become the latest state to attempt to curb the unnecessary use of compound drugs in workers’ compensation. The Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) drafted the rule to stop prescribers from continuing to exploit a loophole in the state workers’ compensation drug formulary, one which allowed compound prescriptions to be filled without first obtaining preauthorization to confirm medical necessity for th

Blog
Personalizing return to work management

The power of the process Consistently using the Official Disability Guidelines (ODG) in workers’ compensation return to work management is a good industry practice, but there’s power in taking a step beyond. Investing additional time to fully understand important factors about the person impacted by injury – and then using that information to foster the right experience tailored for the individual within guidelines – is a best practice and shows how caring counts in the recovery process. Rec

Blog
4 key risk management strategies to help improve results for employers

During my career, I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to spend several years with Walmart. They allowed me to grow, learn and develop. Working as senior director of risk management for the largest private-sector employer in the U.S. presented many different points within the risk management industry overall. It also prepared me well to move into a career with Sedgwick and to help other employers continue to enhance their programs. In my first Sedgwick blog article, I’d like to discus

Blog
Sedgwick partners with medical directors on opioid management

It is possible that 2015 will be the year remembered as the turning point in addressing the opioid and narcotic epidemic in the United Sates. This year, almost every conference, publication and industry expert has addressed the topic. Just last month, Jim Harvey of Sedgwick blogged about this pressing societal issue: Opioid medications: Gateways to heroin use? Yet even with all the information available, it is still difficult to know where to start being proactive and creating appropriate inte

Blog
Creating a culture of health

Communities and companies alike are on a mission to create a culture of health. Obesity, chronic disease and diabetes management have long been a wellness focus for employers. 25 years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed and its intent, along with other programs designed to help employees with disabilities, illnesses or injuries, was to create a more engaged workforce through better work solutions and accommodations. Resulting programs have had questionable impact on production a

Blog
Zohydro ER gets FDA approval…but will it really help prevent abuse?

On January 30, 2015 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a reformulated version of Zohydro ER (a long-acting, single-entity hydrocodone product) that is designed to possess abuse-deterrent properties. When the FDA originally approved the medication in October 2013, it was one of the more controversial medication approvals in some time. Yet, despite the objection of over 28 state attorney generals, addiction treatment providers and even the FDA’s own advisory committee, the medi

Blog
The impact of the ACA on workers’ compensation

Learn more: Click above for additional Sedgwick perspective on the ACA in our Foresight for '14 or watch our Foresight for '14 video at youtu.be/hXt7Z8bGa44 The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is bringing many changes to the healthcare system in America – and some of the same changes will affect the workers' compensation industry. With millions of newly insured individuals joining the healthcare system as a result of the ACA, access to care for workplace injuries is a major concern. Hospital consolid

Blog
Outcomes-based networks: Are they all created equal?

With the buzz around outcomes-based networks in healthcare and now in workers' compensation, many are trying to understand what these are all about and if they are all created the same. In workers' compensation, one of the main goals for risk managers is of course to control costs, but of more importance is to provide programs and resources to help injured workers regain their health in order to get back to work as quickly as possible. For years, our industry has been providing employers with

Blog
Four keys for employer action: Illinois workers' comp

Employers face multiple pressures when considering ways to advocate and care for injured workers and manage costs in complex state workers' compensation systems. One of the keys to balancing these needs is to take advantage of all available resources and tools embedded in state systems. When employers consistently apply available solutions, the systems strengthen and better case law is made. This is to both protect the injured worker and to allow for caring for them in an affordable way. The ne

Blog
Better with age? How are you managing your aging workforce?

Do you have a family member who is still working well past retirement age? You're not alone. A recent AARP study reported that 70% of U.S. workers plan on working past retirement age. In 2008, there were 28 million workers in the American workforce over the age of 55. By 2016, studies show there will be 40 million workers in this category – a 43% increase, when our younger workforce is only expected to increase by 5-7%. Some of the reasons for the increase in this age group are: Baby

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