Welcome to this month's # Cavalcade of Risk. In keeping with a "train wreck" theme, I wanted to focus this month on some escalating liability trends, comp doom and gloom, then follow up with some excellent post by our Riskateers in a variety of areas from health care to liability concerns to medical management trends.
If you wonder why I use a "train wreck," theme, it may be because I find it hard to get past my sociological training. If you ever want to become seriously depressed, have dinner with academic sociologists. I don't know too many who hold much hope in improving our society. Nor do most believe much in the future, despite a bright crop of kids (one who nearly ran me off the road with a horn blast this week as he exited Brophy Preparatory School in his daddy's big black SUV) snapping up college degrees and MBAs faster than, well, SUVs driven by rich kids. I am digressing, however, from the task at hand: Hosting the 105th edition of the Risk Cav.
I want to remind you to click on your browser's "back" button to return to Cav after you surf away to read a post. Soon I move my blog to my website and hope that Wordpress can handle this better than Blogger does.
So, fasten your seat belts (do trains have seat belts?) and let us visit the top risk management blogs of the past few weeks. And now, to quote Rocky from Rocky & Bullwinkle fame, it's "On with the show."
From Lawyers USA Online, I wanted to bring you this blog covering Jury Verdict's top ten verdicts of 2009. The top-ten highest verdicts rose from an average of $112 million in 2008 to nearly $145 million in 2009. Now see why I'm slightly less than optimistic?
Nina Kallen presents a blog on the downsides of failing to purchase optional motor vehicle insurance at Insurance Coverage Law in Massachusetts. Of course, her advice is good anywhere, isn't it Hulk Hogan?
Next, Tred R. Eyerly presents an interesting look at business interruption law with a review of a recent court decision in Hawaii. And who says gambling and insurance don't have anything in common?
Surety is well-covered in Hank Stern's InsureBlog. Kevin Kaiser guest blogs and explains,with an easy to understand example, just what a surety bond will do.
In an example and succinct post, Jon Coppelman at Workers Comp Insider discusses the cost of risk transfer: how much businesses pay for workers comp depends upon the states in which they operate. In one very low-cost state, Massachusetts, politics plays a big role in deflating the cost of insurance. My editorial comment: attend your state's NCCI update this year. It's free and very informative. NCCI officials will state, in my opinion, what they said last year: Frequency down, severity up. Where else can rates go but up? Frankly, I've been preaching this for several years but no hardening has appeared. Eventually, though, the market will harden. This is when safety and e-mods will make a huge difference.
Next, I tackle the politics of workers' compensation fraud and tactics to help reduce fraud at my Allbusiness column, Risk Management for the 21st Century. I'm sure this post will exponentially increase my popularity in the fraud prevention industry.
Jaan Sidorov asks the important question: Do physician office process improvements lead to patient quality improvement? Dr. Sidorov reviews one study showing that improvements at the individual office level do not lead to measurable improvement. It depends on the measurement unit. If the unit is a physician or clinic, it is not detectable. No wonder physicians, much like sociologists, are a dispirited lot.
How will health care actually impact the breakdown of individual versus group health insurance? That remains to be seen, according to Louise Norris at Colorado Health Care Insider. Currently, there are far more people with group coverage than with individual policies. The balance might shift a bit as health care reform takes effect, but she doubts there will be a mass exodus away from group plans in favor of individual coverage. The Norris family are so down to earth, like so many agents I have met over the years. If you've never cruised their website, take a moment to read about them.
Jenny Stowe gives us ten facts about health care reform here. I will add my own spin. I work primarily in communications with the property & casualty (P&C) industry. Here is one trend I predict yet I haven't seen explored yet in the insurance trade magazines. If health care reform is not derailed by politics and legal maneuvers, the P&C industry will be competing with the health care insurance sector for intellectual talent like a wolf pack over an elk bone. Good luck with that, with other industries far outstripping the insurance industry in pay and benefits. Take a look at the benefits Google offers its employees here.
Steven Ambrose of Claim Catcher offers a look at a tool that can find missed subrogation in health care here.
The Silicon Valley Blogger presents a depressing look (there seems to be a theme here, doesn't there?) at the European Sovereign Debt Crisis and how is might impact your investments.
The Healthcare Economist Jason Shifrin, Ph.D. compares fiscal stimulus with antidepressants, an apt topic for this Cav given the tone.
Just for Fun
I enjoy dog stories with happy endings. Finally, if you'd like to track North American earthquakes, click on this link.
That's all for another exciting Cavalcade of Risk. See you in the blogosphere!