OUR HANDS ARE TIED
You have touched a sensitive spot for us with pharmacy now accounting for 12 percent of all medical costs paid. (Risk & Insurance®, Workers' Comp, April 1, 2008, Page 14.)
Your premise that claim adjusters have the power to control drug abuse is misguided, however. Nowhere in the labor codes of the states we do business in is there authority for employer/carriers to withhold medical treatment based on the adjuster's desire or to implement drug abuse controls.
We all wish such authority existed, but absent specific legislation, the employer/carrier who implements these controls unilaterally will very likely end up paying more than the cost of drug abuse in the form of legal and penalty expenses.
Tenet Healthcare Corp.
OPPORTUNITIES OUT WEST
I read with interest the articles regarding risk education ("Replenishing the Talent Pool," In-Depth Series, Risk & Insurance®, May 2008, Page 22). While the list under the heading "Schools Get With the Program" includes a number of programs, it is certainly not comprehensive.
With financial support exceeding $1.5 million, New Mexico State University's Insurance Studies Program is making an imprint in the too often forgotten but rapidly expanding Southwest/Mountain States region of the United States.
NMSU is somewhat unique in that nearly 50 percent of our student body is composed of ethnic minorities, primarily Hispanic (many bilingual) and Native Americans (9 percent of New Mexico's population is Native American).
In addition, the Insurance and Financial Services Center has already been involved with studies for the state of New Mexico, and there is a new chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma on campus. GIS is a professional fraternity for students interested in international risk management, insurance and actuarial science. We also have an Actuarial Science Track in conjunction with the Math Department.
Only two of the 21 schools on your list are located west of the Mississippi River. NMSU and other schools in the western half of the United States are working hard to develop talent in that part of the country as well. Hopefully, our results will eventually be recognized in the eastern half of the country in the future.
Query, Ph.D., ARM, CPA
Mountain States Insurance Group Chair
College of Business
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, N.M.
September 1, 2008
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