Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cavalcade of Risk--Recent Posts From the World of Risk Management

Today, it's my turn to host the "Cavalcade of Risk." Every two weeks the Cavalcade offers insights into efforts to manage risk.

Having spent substantial time at a main line property and casualty company, when I hear the term "risk management" my thoughts go to the things that corporate insurance managers do to limit their "loss costs."

The popular notion of individual responsibility, and the information consumers now have available on the web, have taken the term "risk management" way past the professional risk managers I have known over the years. So, here's a list of traditional and not so traditional risk management ideas.

Lisa Emrich starts things off with a post on her new blog, "Brass and Ivory." This time she takes a very detailed look at one drug company's product whose price she calculates has gone up 1400% and questions why. Lisa's post raises questions for insurance companies that take risk for the cost of drugs and for consumers who bear a lot of that risk themselves.

"Why would a Canadian government official travel to California for health care?" InsureBlog's Henry Stern explains that this was a classic case of risk management, with her very life in the balance.

For me, the classic risk management website is, "Workers' Comp Insider." Their last "News Roundup" post covers a number of recent risk management developments including a report about the families of the recently lost Utah miners who testified before Congress that the workers were afraid to raise safety questions out of a fear of losing their jobs. This one brings the term "risk management" home.

Jason Shafrin, on "Healthcare Economist," investigates a new model of medical care where doctors make house calls and communicate with patients via instant messenger. In this model, the patient bears much of the risk from falling ill.

Joe Paduda, over at "Managed Care Matters," questions just how insurers can be managing risk by poorly serving their customers--no less than eight health insurers selling the Medicare Part D drug plan and Medicare Advantage are facing sanctions over a whole host of consumer issues.

Jack Krupansky, posting on "Fiaxyz--Finance and Economics Commentary," reminds us that risk management strategies do no good if we ignore them in his post on risk management and all the big losses being suffered by the big banks in their fixed income trading.

Car theft is a classic insurance industry risk management challenge but the blog, "Wisdom From Wenchypoo's Mental Wastebasket" (not the sort of risk manager I ever knew) makes it more personal in, "Interview With a Car Thief" that all drivers will find interesting.

When it comes to risk management, personal injury lawyers are often involved--usually after something has gone wrong. This time Eric Turkewitz, writing on the "New York Personal Injury Law Blog," is delighted to tell us he's seeing something "done right" in the construction of New York's new bike lane.

Eric also takes a look at Texas medical malpractice reform that put caps on damages and points out that while doctors have been moving to Texas the number of disciplinary actions against doctors have also jumped considerably.

Finally, Leon over at "Sox First," reports that investors are pressuring the Securities and Exchange Commission to get public companies to "come clean" on pollution risks--particularly ones associated with climate change. Just goes to show "risk management" isn't the same old risk management.
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