The first two sessions at the 35th Annual Workers' Compensation Research Institute Conference, being held in Phoenix, AZ are behind us, and it is clear that the issue of Opioids is not close to being resolved for us either as an industry or a nation. WCRI presenters offered a plethora of facts and figures related to the still growing challenges of opioid use and abuse. I'll discuss more on this in a moment, but want to take a moment to acknowledge the coverage you will see on this issue.
I am sitting on “press row,” a table at the front of the room reserved by WCRI for members of the media. To my right sitting several people down from me, our editor and Director of Media Services, Nancy Grover, continues typing furiously on her laptop. To my left, Safety National's Mark Walls is busy writing missives for his company's Conference Chronicles blog; articles that are republished automatically on this site under our Workers' Comp Blogwire. James Moore is also here. His excellent blog, CutCompCosts.com, was just added to our Blogwire publisher list, so his content will likely appear as well. Elsewhere in the room is WorkersCompensation.com Columnist Peter Rousmaniere, who will no doubt have his own unique analysis and reporting on topics discussed here over the next day and a half.
Even Joe Paduda, a stalwart of WCRI media at this event, lets us republish his blog. Unfortunately, Paduda's flight this morning was delayed, so he missed the whole morning. Good thing he can read about what he missed on our site.
Bottom line, I realize that my website is going to be covering the crap out of this event, and I am extraordinarily proud of how relevant our news and media center has become. We have more direct and indirect representation here than any other media outlet, which really means my presence here is completely irrelevant. Don't tell WCRI that, as they let me come free and I really like learning what their latest research reveals.
Besides, most of the other articles will accurately convey the facts and figures reported here. I, on the other hand, will probably be far less accurate, with the added bonus of telling you what you should think about whatever it is I am discussing.
So, there is that.
As for opioids, let us suffice it to say that, while we've made progress, we have a long way to go. Opioid related deaths have surged the last two years, with almost 50,000 deaths in 2017. That number now exceeds the number of motor vehicle related deaths in that year. One of the unique points mentioned was a 2018 study conducted by Schnell & Currie that revealed doctors who come from lower ranked medical schools prescribe more opioids than those from higher ranked schools.
I guess those online medical degrees aren't all they're cracked up to be.
For the record, you shouldn't be enthused about that.
Stand by for more information – in this column and other areas of our media center – we're gonna be all over this…..
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Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
Bob has a couple unique personality characteristics. He firmly believes that everyone has the right to his (Bob's) opinion, and while he may not always be right, he is never in doubt. Enter at your own risk, and like all of our blog areas, we encourage you to read the disclaimer at the bottom of the page.
We're not responsible for this guy.....
Bob is an accomplished speaker for the workers' compensation industry. He is available for conferences, corporate events, children's birthday parties and Bar Mitzvahs. You may access his Speakers Brief here.