Living Between Vegas and Seattle and Colorado Springs and Whatever This Live-Streaming Thing Is

I have not written much in the last couple of weeks. It’s not that I don’t have much to say. In fact, I rarely “don’t have much to say.” It is just that the last few weeks have been extraordinarily busy, and I just haven’t found the time to pound out any of those words on the keyboard.  At least in some semblance of order anyone could understand. I have…

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Abbie

There were several possible titles for this post. One was, “Bidding Abbie a Fond Farewell.” Another option was “Abbie Hudgens and Her Enormous Feet” (I’ll explain that one in a minute). But in the end, simply “Abbie” ruled the day. Because most people active nationally in workers’ comp will immediately know who I am talking about. Abbie Hudgens, the Administrator of the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation for the past…

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For Workers’ Comp, 2022 Will Be the Year of the Human Asset

It seems that as the years come and go, each one, for the workers’ compensation industry, ends up being defined by one or two dominant topics. 2015, for example, might have been the year of medical marijuana. 2019 was the year of presumptions. It is no surprise that 2020 was the year of Covid. That topic carried over for 2021, in the form of presumptions for “front line workers” and…

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What is the Most Common Outcome of a Work Injury?

What is the most common outcome of a work injury? That is a question that psychologist Dr. Les Kertay likes to pose to audiences when he speaks about workers’ compensation. He did so earlier this week during a presentation before the National Association of Workers’ Compensation Judiciary (NAWCJ), which gathered for their educational track at the Orlando Workers’ Compensation Institute 76th Annual Conference. The answers he received included “depression,” “litigation,” and…

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Putting Humpty Together Again

Workers’ Compensation, as an industry, has a marketing problem. It is probably better described as a messaging problem. It has long been true that the industry has been broadly defined by the negative stories that find their way into local and national press publications and media outlets. We have been generally ineffective at countering that public perception, even though the vast majority of workers’ compensation claims go through the system…

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From the Regulators Toolbox: The Carrot or the Stick?

Every craftsman needs the proper tools with which to complete their tasks. Each tool has a different scope and purpose, intended to perform a function within the overall mission at hand. Knowing what tool to use and when to use it is as much a part of a master’s skillset as the use of the tool itself. Selecting the wrong tool at the wrong time often slows the project and…

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Could a “Council of States” for Standardization Actually Work?

Last week, I attended the 74th Annual Convention of the Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators (SAWCA). As I have done for the past 8 years or so, I moderated the event's closing session, called “Things That Make Bob Go, Hmmm.” It is a panel where I am allowed to select the guests and discuss, well, anything that makes me go “hmmm.” At an earlier point of the conference, during a Regulators…

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The Danger of I Don’t Know

It is safe to say that we do not know that which we do not know. However, intelligent people tend to recognize there are things they do not know, they just have not yet had the opportunity to learn what they have yet to know at some point. Or something like that.  Ok, it was a long holiday weekend and there has been a lot going on. You’ll have to…

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Displaying Disapproval of the “Dis” Mentality

At the California Coalition of Workers' Compensation Conference in Anaheim a couple of weeks back, one of the presenters made a comment that resonated with me. The topic was related to innovative claims management practices and had shifted to discussions of return to work and the role of physicians. One of the panelists made an emphatic point of being tired of being given a list of restrictions related to the…

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The Art of the Tumble

Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, as can other mistakes in the workplace. A recent minor mishap reminded me that when an error or accident occurs, the best thing you can do is accept the reality and roll with it as best you can. Sometimes, literally. It is a maneuver based on something I call “the art of the tumble.” I traveled to Wisconsin this weekend to…

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