Healthcare Costs on the Rise in Workers' Compensation

Medical inflation in workers' compensation is back. This article in Managed Care Matters documents the trends that we have seen in our own data.  Studies in IN, VA and NJ show significant increases.  Facility and hospital costs are driving a lot of this increase.  


ASC Behavior and Payment Disparity

Outpatient surgery in an Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) costs much less than in an outpatient hospital setting or ASC owned by a hospital.  The gap has been growing due to the need for ASCs to compete and be efficient, and regulations and rates as defined by the largest payer in the country, Medicare.


Freedom: Ron Paul Farewell

America was founded and successful based on two principles.  Liberty (or freedom) and opportunity.  Actually, with pure and true liberty, opportunity is a given.  Liberty was the primary basis of America at the onset.  It was what made us great.  Unfortunately, I believe the meaning and understanding of the word has been lost on most of us over the years.


The Primal Origins of Morality and Bias

CBS' 60 Minutes aired an amazing episode Nov. 18, 2012 It was a special on what aspects of morality and bias are innate. Yale University's Baby Lab studied babies as young as three months old, as well as children of differing ages and came to some interesting conclusions:


Pay Yourself First

One of the first lessons I learned in personal finance was the principle of "paying yourself first." We all want to save ... for retirement; for a bigger house; for school; for safety; for a new toy.  The key to reaching these goals is the concept of "paying yourself first."  Before spending a dime, pull out your savings goals first.  Then live off whatever is left.  Pretend you never had it, or else you will spend it.


Leadership vs. Management

Leadership and management are two very different things. Leadership "pulls" people. Management "pushes" people.


EMRs: The Law of Unintended Consequences

The government has been pushing for electronic medical record keeping for many years.  The thought was it would drive efficiencies, reduce costs and improve care.  Billions in incentives have been spent trying to get hospitals and providers to upgrade their systems to allow for electronic medical record keeping.


Obesity: Healthcare Costs on the Rise

Obesity is growing in the US.  This has huge implications for our society and the workers' compensation industry. Some studies show that medical costs for a workers' comp injury are eight times greater for an obese person than a person of healthy weight. 


Drugged and Dangerous

Rising has focused a lot on the health issues caused by an increase in opioid prescriptions and over medication. This article shows how destructive prescription drugs can be, not just to the user, but to society in general.


A Must Read, "Fighting the Rx Epidemic: A Prescription for Workers' Comp"

I’ve done a number of blogs on how the prescription drug epidemic, particularly opioids, has taken a toll on America.  It’s an issue that’s so damaging that I wanted more in depth research so that Rising could craft an effective solution. In this newly published white paper, "Fighting the Rx Epidemic: A Prescription for Workers' Comp," experts from academia, government and industry weigh in on the state of our epidemic and how we can turn it around, together.


What to Expect with Change

This is a great article in Forbes on the process of change. It takes the "change" process and breaks it into a predictable path for adoption. As technology, society and companies evolve, things change.


Risk & Insurance Article on Rx Epidemic Features Rising's Technology

A great article on the Prescription Drug Epidemic was recently released in the September Issue of Risk & Insurance. It's written by Rising's Leslie Yeransian who attended the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit earlier this year and interviewed a number of experts who are trying to fix the epidemic.


Creating Exceptional Customer Relationships – It’s a Must

Taking the time to develop exceptional customer relationships is the most underutilized activity in business. Perfect service delivery without a great relationship leaves a person wanting...something. I recently read an insightful article on this topic. So much of what's covered in it, we're doing at Rising. 


The FDA Rejects Mandatory Training for Opioids

​The Food and Drug Administration rejected their own expert panel's recommendation that medical doctors be required to have special training before they could prescribe long-acting narcotic painkillers that can lead to addiction.


We Are Creating Another Problem

I have often written about the issues caused by our medical industry with opioids.  We are creating addicts that in turn create unsatiable and recurring demand.

As society sees the issues and takes action, some people will clean up and some will search for a way to satiate the addiction.


The Opposite of Loneliness

Many of you have heard the tragic news of Marina Keegan, the 22 year old who died in a car accident, shortly after her graduation from Yale University. If you haven't already read her final column for the Yale Daily News, I suggest you do. She writes about life, and what Yale meant to her.


North Carolina Hospital Allowances Increasing

North Carolina has long been a hot bed of expensive hospital bills. They regulate the billing through an agency for workers' compensation and allow a percentage off charges. Those of you that know me, know I find percentage off charges meaningless. 


California Implants

Implants are another hot topic for medical cost containment.  They're one of the biggest cost drivers in medical costs for workers' compensation and auto. A group in California was just indicted for fraud with medical billing.


100+ Busted in Medical Billing Fraud

The latest in medical billing fraud headlines reads: 107 people charged in healthcare fraud bust. It's a bust that's costing the government an estimated $450 million in false billings. 


Dr. Feelgood

More people are dying each year due to prescription drugs than cocaine and heroin combined. These non-illicit drugs are costing us more than $400 billion a year for healthcare, loss of job wages, traffic accidents, and criminal system costs. We no longer have a problem with prescription drugs, we have an epidemic, namely with pain killers and muscle relaxants which are considered palliative drugs -- they relieve or sooth symptoms of a disease or disorder without affecting a cure.


Crackdown on "Pill Mills"

The federal government is doing a very big push on "pill mill" opioid distribution centers, with a special emphasis on Florida. The investigators have even hit large legitimate companies like CVS and Walgreens, where a lot of people have transferred their prescriptions to since the mills are getting shut down.

Meanwhile, the sunshine state's year-old "pill mill" crackdown reports some staggering successes. I found it interesting that one of the main red flags indicative of a "pill mill" is paying for a large percentage of presciptions with cash verses healthcare cards.  This is a good example of Predictive Modeling being used to solve an issue.


Ideal Project Team Size

Studies have shown the ideal team size for maximum efficiency per person on a project is three to five people.  This assumes the highest quality of people where everyone is talented, engaged and driven.



I'm fascinated by the word "elegance."   Elegance has been described as the point of maximum results with minimal energy used.


Reframing Your Communication

The type of critical reframing that's essential to the way we communicate is depicted in this short award-winning film from the Cannes Film Festival. You'll see how a small change in language can attract people and dramatically create results. Pay close attention, the subtitles flash quickly.


Do Sweat the Small Stuff

Everyone says "don't sweat the small stuff." People tell me I worry about little details too much. I think the opposite. I need to focus on them way more than I do. Why?  It sets the expectations for what is acceptable. I just read an article on the importance of sweating the small stuff.


Impossible is a State of Mind

"The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible -- and achieve it, generation after generation." – Pearl S. Buck

I love this quote. It's true, as companies age and grow, they need to not let "experience" block ingenuity. 


The Power of Speed

I was taking a boxing lesson the other day, and when doing a combination, I asked my trainer whether he wanted speed or power. He said speed. When I was done, he told me he answered speed because he wanted power. Speed is power.

Anyone that follows boxing or football has heard the expression power thrills, but speed kills. Think about it. Mass and velocity together determine the energy behind an object. Get hit by a car going one mile per hour, not so bad. Speed it up, and it is a different story. The same holds true in the business world.


Shooting Yourself in the Foot

Would you punch yourself in the face to hurt someone else?  Shoot yourself in the foot to prove guns are bad?  Seems illogical, right?  But people use that logic every day.

I've never understood when people hurt themselves in an attempt to hurt other people.  We see it all the time with sports stars who are “hurt” because they didn't get the playing time, money or fame they desired.  As a result, they hold out, under-perform, or don’t practice.  They always end up hurting their career, making less money and being perceived as a “problem” teammate. 


Strength Comes from Overcoming Challenges

I believe confidence comes from overcoming challenges. I developed this as a core belief while training in and teaching jujitsu. I noticed a lot of new students came seeking to learn jujitsu, but couldn't perform techniques right away and quit within a few weeks. They were embarrassed by their perceived failure. Some, however, stuck with it. 

As a teacher, I was especially fascinated with the individuals who were not confident or natural at jujitsu in the beginning, but they kept on trying. Overtime, you'd see them get a technique right once, then 10 percent of the time, then half of the time, then 80 percent of the time. What I witnessed more than their ability to "kick butt" was their emotional ability to overcome failure.


It's the Start that Stops Us

I just found a note from the Inc 5000 conference I attended two years ago.  It was from the opening speech by Jill Blashack Strahan, Founder and CEO of Tastefully Simple. She started by saying that she enjoyed spending time with entrepreneurs. Why? According to Jill, entrepreneurs aren't stopped by the start.

That quote hit me hard.  It is powerful.

Most people are stopped by the start. I have watched this throughout my life with frustration.  People think about starting, and put more energy into the planning, than it could ever take to actually do something. I am not immune.  It happens to all of us. Put any legal contract or form in front of me and you can watch this phenomenon manifest.


Putting the US Debt into Household Budget Terms

The US debt has just reached 100 percent of the GDP.  This is the total of what is produced and sold in society. Unfortunately, this is a major marker in America's history, especially since a debtor nation is considered "bad off" with more than 50 percent of their GDP in debt.

Here's a
quick, funny video putting the US debt crisis into context by comparing it to a family's annual household budget.


Major Strides for Paraplegics

The military is focusing on robotic skeletons to help paralyzed soldiers walk again. The exoskeleton is a wearable robot that allows a wheelchair user to stand up and walk. It could be a game-changer for anyone who is a paraplegic.