By DAN REYNOLDS, senior editor of Risk & InsuranceŽ
At first glance, seating 13 people at a table for a discussion on workers' compensation might be construed as overkill. But an inaugural Annual National Workers' Compensation and Disability ConferenceŽ & Expo executive roundtable in Las Vegas Thursday afternoon brought some well-received frankness into the debate not only on how best to produce good outcomes in workers' comp but how to measure such outcomes.
Moderator Mark Walls, an assistant vice president of claims for Safety National, set the tone when he used a mock professional wrestling announcer's voice to encourage the participants to rumble, because rumble they did.
In the first 20 minutes of the discussion, vast swaths of the workers' comp industry got socked in the face, figuratively speaking. Claimants' attorneys took it on the chin first, of course, with Robert Rassp, an attorney in the law firm of Robert Rassp, gamely trying to dissuade a jaded audience from buying into the notion that attorneys persuade their clients to prolong claims and increase costs.
Other professions followed Rassp in taking one in the kisser. Doctors who mishandle cases were a favorite target, as were carriers who couldn't find their own data with a bloodhound. Judging from the passionate reaction from the audience, which was even combative at times, this roundtable notion is one that bears duplicating next November.
November 11, 2010
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