What trend in workers’ compensation is the most challenging, and why?

Safeway's Denise Zoe Algire is one of four CLM members who answered this month's question.

April 27, 2015 Photo

“Louisiana has moved from the middle of the states in terms of workers’ compensation insurance costs in 2010 to the 10th most expensive state, according to a 2014 Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services study. The change is due in large part to virtually unregulated charges for outpatient treatment.”

1. Denis Juge, Attorney, Juge, Napolitano, Guilbeau, Ruli & Frieman. CLM Member since 2007.

“Medical costs have shifted significantly from medical treatment to prescription drugs. Not only is this a huge cost driver, it also delays the employee’s return to work and can be detrimental to health and quality of life.”

2. Andy Condrey, Claims Operations Manager, The Gray Insurance Company. CLM Fellow since 2009.

“One of the biggest challenges is the over utilization of prescription drugs, particularly the unprecedented increase in opioid use, physician dispensing, and compound drugs. The impact has resulted in poor health and functional outcomes for workers and a substantial increase in large claims severity for employers and insurers.”

3. Denise Zoe Algire, Director, Managed Care & Disability, Corporate Risk Management, Safeway Inc. CLM Fellow since 2012.

“The ‘grand bargain’ between employees and employers that is the basic premise of workers’ compensation—no-fault wage replacement and medical treatment in exchange for exclusive remedy protection—is under increasing assault nationally and finding increased sympathy among courts and legislators throughout the United States.”

4. James Poerio, Attorney, Poerio & Walter Inc. CLM Member since 2009.

$40 Billion

Annual cost of benefits that worker’s compensation insurers provide injured workers and the families of those killed on the job. 

Source: Insurance Information Institute


Days-away-from-work cases for nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in 2013.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics


California’s position in the 2014 Oregon Workers’ Compensation Premium Rate Ranking report.

Source: Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services


Percent of baby boomers who say they’ll work past age 65.

Source: Deloitte


WC magazine, the fourth and newest CLM publication, is dedicated to workers’ compensation education.

Source: CLM

About The Authors
Bevrlee J. Lips

Bevrlee J. Lips was managing editor of Claims Management magazine (now CLM Magazine) from January 2012 until March 2017.  blips@claimsadvisor.com

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