Friday, March 18, 2016

Spilled Coffee

At about 3:30 a.m. PT yesterday I bumped my coffee all over my 5 year old Mac Air notebook computer. It got thoroughly soaked.

The battery on that MacAir had gone south about 8 months ago. For non-MacAir people, the batter is not replaceable by an ordinary human being, and truthfully it's about as cheap to just get a new computer.

But two things got in the way of replacing it: I'm cheap and I'm lazy.

To the first point - the computer still worked; I just had to keep it plugged in all the time (well, it would last about 30 minutes without external power).

To the second point - moving to a new computer, particularly after 5 years of use, is a huge pain in the tucus even with Apple's fantastic migration technology.

Alas, circumstances are going to force the issue now.

Kind of like Los Angeles and workers' compensation.

At yesterday's California Workers' Compensation Institute's annual meeting a presentation by Rena David, CWCI's Sr. VP, and David Bellusci, Chief Actuary of the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau, went into a little deeper about the Los Angeles phenomenon.

If you don't know already, the Greater Los Angeles area bucks state and national trends in frequency, severity, loss expenses, and just about every other "bad" metric that we look at in this industry.

It turns out that the diagnosis codes for many maladies in the LA area include mental health issues as a comorbidity in a significant way.

Of course attorney involvement in the LA area is much greater than in the rest of the state too, which begets the questions: do LA claimants go to attorneys for mental health issues? Or are the LA area attorneys assisting injured workers find their "whole selves"?

Well, it turns out that the LA area is also king of continuous trauma too, comprising some 18% of all indemnity claims in the state.

There are some interesting characteristics of these LA area CT claims.

For instance, they are nearly always reported "late" - 70% of these claims aren't reported until at least 6 months after date of injury (for those not from California, the date of injury for a CT claim is, by statute, the last date of "injurious exposure"). On average, a specific injury claim is reported within 14 days of incurrence; CT claims on the other hand average 124 days.

76% of CT indemnity claims have "attorney involvement" compared to 20% of the non-CT cases, and attorney representation is by far the first notice that an employer gets about the claim. Which probably explains why 39% of CT claims are disputed, versus the 4% average for specific injury claims.

In addition, the researchers found that post-termination CT claims are back, despite the legislative attempt a dozen years ago to constrict them: 40% of all CT claims are filed post-termination, and of those attorneys represented the injured worker in 98%, and 90% of those were in the LA area...

The final damning statistic was that CT claims cost 56% more than specific injury claims with the same primary diagnosis.

California  basically invented the CT claim, and it is sacrosanct in the work comp culture. But there is a movement afoot to either get rid of CT or significantly constrict its application.

The report by David and Bellusci is going to fuel that movement.

Kind of like coffee on my computer. The coffee in the morning is part of my ritual, but when I'm not careful it become part of my malaise.

Now I have to replace my computer at an expense and hassle that I don't want to incur. I knew I was going to have to get a new computer. The coffee spill is just forcing the issue.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles is also forcing the issue.

1 comment:

  1. David,

    When you are sitting in FortyOne Mike, you are sitting on the Yiddish word "tuchas", not tucus. The 'ch' should sound like you are spitting up phlem.