Mitchell’s VP of Government Affairs shares his insights into workers’ comp regulations in 2018
The New Year has officially arrived and we are looking forward to all that 2018 has in store. We sat down with Brian Allen, VP of Government Affairs, to discuss what trends he sees on the horizon in regulation and compliance in workers’ compensation. Listen to our podcast below to learn what he predicts.
Here are Allen’s key points:
- Legislation and regulation in workers’ compensation will make 2018 a very busy year. Opioids are at the top of mind, with controls and stricter formularies.
- People are looking for better alternatives to opioids to treat pain. Public policy may move toward supporting physical therapy and physical intervention rather than pharmaceutical intervention for pain treatment.
- Medical marijuana is being considered as an alternative for opioids. Allen addresses anecdotal evidence that exists in support of medical marijuana along with upcoming studies on the effects of the drug, but is hesitant about laws being passed so quickly without robust clinical studies.
- Comorbidity is another hot topic. Allen points out that regulating comorbidity is difficult because it is typically a lifestyle issue. Instead, he sees 2018 policy discussions looking at incentives for employees to improve their lifestyles.
- Allen predicts a greater embrace of managed care in 2018. With this focus, he sees a more holistic care system and improved outcomes for injured workers.
- Several states are developing formularies, including California and New York. Allen discusses successful formularies, such as Texas, and upcoming formularies that focus on opioids.
- One of the biggest considerations on the horizon is the general healthcare market and cost changes. Allen discusses how these factors could affect workers’ compensation. This could include insurance and hospital costs that would create a burden on the workers’ compensation industry.
Allen is looking forward to 2018 and discussing new policies to improve care in workers’ compensation. Stay tuned for our next installment of our (m)Power Podcast and for more updates from Allen throughout the year.