BLOOMINGTON, Minnesota, July 3, 2018 — SFM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Scott Brener highlighted some of the major issues in workers’ compensation likely to get attention at the upcoming American Association of State Compensation Insurance Funds conference, on Mitchell’s mPower Podcast .
SFM is playing host to the international conference , which takes place July 22-25 in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Brener said he expected medical cost containment, prevention of opioid misuse and predictive analytics to be key topics of discussion.
“We’re continuing to put a lot of thought into medical cost containment and medical cost quality,” Brener said.
He mentioned that SFM is developing tools to determine which medical providers use the best courses of treatment, resulting in the best outcomes. The company is also advocating for legislative reforms to keep medical costs under control.
Opioid misuse is likely to be another big topic of conversation, he said, although the industry has taken strides in reducing the use of opioid painkillers.
“It’s an issue that has plagued our country,” he said. “I think we are starting to see a shift. At least there’s an increased awareness.”
SFM employs a full-time drug utilization nurse to help reduce usage of opioid-based narcotics among injured workers, he said, and other workers’ compensation carriers are taking similar measures.
Use of predictive analytics for both underwriting and claims management is also likely to be a hot topic, as carriers look for ways to better utilize their data to identify trends, he said.