Workers’ Compensation: Where Have We Come From? Where Are We Going?

By Richard A. Victor

November 1, 2010 Related Topics: System Overview

Significant changes in workers' compensation systems have occurred since 1983. Many jurisdictions implemented reforms to try to curtail rapidly rising costs and to improve worker outcomes, insurers responded to uncertain and cyclical market conditions, employers called for reasonable, predictable costs, and workers sought to ensure or maintain adequate benefits.

To capture the successes, lessons, and failures of the past and to anticipate future challenges, WCRI brought together prominent workers’ compensation policymakers, practitioners, and researchers at its Annual Issues & Research Conference to take stock of the progress made and the work yet to be done. The conference also marked a milestone for WCRI: its twenty-fifth year of providing useful, high quality information on significant public policy issues.

This singular collection of papers critically examines the key issues that emerged over the past twenty-five years and identifies forces that will come into play during the next decade – a must read for anyone seeking specifics about past challenges and a look into what lies ahead. Employers, labor advocates, insurers, public policymakers, managed care organizations, health care professionals, and others will be able to capitalize on this information as they confront the strategic forces that will shape the features and performance of workers’ compensation in this new economic climate.

This book, another in a series of special volumes of papers from WCRI conferences, covers the following topics:

  • Workers’ Compensation before and after 1983, by Dr. Peter S. Barth, Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Connecticut.
  • Workers’ Compensation Cost Drivers through the Years, by Barry Lipton, Practice Leader and Senior Actuary for the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), and Karen Ayres, Director and Actuary for NCCI.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance Markets and the Role of State Funds, by Robert J. Malooly, Assistant Director, Insurance Services Division, Washington Department of Labor & Industries.
  • Cost Trends and Cost Drivers: An Employer’s Perspective, by Robert B. Steggert, Vice President, Casualty Claims for Marriott International, Inc.
  • Wage Replacement Benefits, by Dr. H. Allan Hunt, Senior Economist, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  • Worker Outcomes: Recovery of Health, Access, and Satisfaction with Care, by Dr. Sharon E. Belton, Senior Public Policy Analyst at the Workers Compensation Research Institute.
  • Arc & Architecture of Reform, by Paul Mattera, Senior Vice President and Chief Public Affairs Officer, Liberty Mutual Group.
  • Medical Care in the Next Decade: What the Last 10 Years Have Taught Us, by Kathryn L. Mueller, MD, Medical Director for the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation, and Jeffrey S. Harris, MD, Methodologist and Guideline Medical Editor for Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute.
  • Workers’ Compensation Medical Management, 1983 to 2008: Innovation, Regulatory Response, and Unfinished Business, by David A. North, President and CEO, Sedgwick Claims Management Services.
  • Workers’ Compensation Administration and Adjudication 1983-2008, by Elizabeth A. Crum, Deputy Secretary for Compensation and Insurance, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
  • Social Policies of Disability Evaluation, by Alex Swedlow, Executive Vice President of Research, California Workers’ Compensation Institute.
  • The Relationship between Workplace Injuries and Workers’ Compensation Claims: The Importance of System Design, by Dr. Leslie I. Boden, Professor of Public Health in the Department of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health, and Emily A. Spieler, Dean and Edwin Hadley Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law.
  • Preventing Workplace Injuries and Illnesses: Getting More from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, by Michael Silverstein, MD, Assistant Director for Industrial Safety and Health in the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

Workers’ Compensation: Where Have We Come From? Where Are We Going? Richard A. Victor and Linda L. Carrubba, editors. November 2010. WC-10-33.

Copyright: WCRI

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