Each year, the “Out Front Ideas with Kimberly and Mark” webinar series looks at the key issues affecting the Workers’ Compensation industry. From new drug treatments to a constantly changing healthcare industry, the pace of change is rapid and Workers’ Compensation professionals must be able to evolve with the changing trends. The following are the top tends to be aware of in 2018:
Evolving Healthcare Industry: Everything from pharmaceuticals to practices to technology continues to change at a rapid rate. Among other changes, consolidations and mergers are expected to continue in 2018, including hospital mergers and drug company acquisitions.
Developments in Workers’ Compensation Legislation: While there has been little push for Workers’ Compensation reforms over the past few years, significant activity is expected in certain states in 2018, including Florida, Pennsylvania, and California.
New Treatment Guidelines and Drug Formularies: Several states have established timelines for implementing new treatment guidelines and drug formularies in 2018.
Judicial Restrictions: Judges from each state may interpret Workers’ Compensation laws in a way that can either expand or restrict benefits in that state. Some states have challenged the constitutionality of the statutes and won. It is worth noting that other states can challenge a statute if they believe it is unconstitutional.
Workplace Violence: There has been a rise in violent attacks on healthcare workers, so risk managers and human resource professionals are developing programs that protect the safety of their employees.
Variations by State: Workers’ Compensation benefits can vary depending on where you live. The U.S. Department of Labor took steps towards standardizing the system, but those efforts were stopped by the current administration.
New Options in Pain Management: As the opioid crisis continues, there is an opportunity to seek a better understanding of the opioid epidemic and investigate new treatment protocols for patients suffering from pre-pain, acute pain, and chronic pain.
Natural Disasters: Natural disasters like hurricanes and widespread wildfires can impact Workers’ Compensation in many ways. First responders are at risk of becoming injured on the job whenever they face a potentially dangerous situation. Natural disasters can also disrupt the workforce and have a negative impact on the supply chain.
Cyber Threats: If a hospital’s computer system is shut down, or a cyber-attack affects a company’s ability to produce medicine or prevents a patient’s medical device to function, it can have fatal consequences.
Anticipating Rate Adjustments: Although many insurance brokers have indicated that the Workers’ Compensation rate outlook for 2018 is flat, today’s premiums must cover losses for the next three decades. As a result, there will likely be an increase in insurance rates.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Injured Workers Obtain BenefitsIf you or a loved one has suffered an injury while on the job, do not hesitate to contact the highly qualified Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. In an industry that is constantly changing and evolving, we will ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you receive the full benefits to which you are entitled. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.