Another National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference is behind us, and the industry once again takes a bottle of aspirin, shaves its tongue, packs up in Las Vegas and heads home to deploy all the new information it learned. But first it will take a long Thanksgiving weekend. It will get around to deploying its new skill sets next week.

First off, I must stop to applaud, make that APPLAUD this year’s move to Mandalay Bay. What a fantastic facility; one quite worthy of the record breaking attendance conference organizers have announced. I checked in Monday, and did not step outside until Friday – and I still didn’t see it all. I did manage to walk across the Shoppes at Mandalay Bay “sky bridge” to end up in the Luxor Casino, where I found San Diego’s Greg Gitter tethered to a wall, but that was as far as I got (that incident is one of those, that in the absence of detail, sounds far more salacious than it really was, but I will leave it at that. Those who know Greg would realize he prefers it that way).

Once again I participated this year in the National Bloggers Panel, with David Depaolo of workcompcentral.com, Joe Paduda of ManagedCareMatters.com, Rebecca Shafer of WCManual.com, and Roberto Ceniceros, newly ensconced Workers’ Compensation Grand Poobah at Risk and Insurance Magazine. Ceniceros is also the new co-chair for this conference. I appreciate that he did not have me removed mid-session. The bloggers panel spent a good deal of time on both innovation and consolidation within the WC space (more on that tomorrow) as well as other minor issues like Obamacare and Opt Out. We had a lot of fun, and I maintain, as last year, Paduda learned a thing or two, even if he is not aware of it….

This was a very busy conference, and I did not get to as many sessions as I usually do. Still, it remains extremely valuable to me, simply because so many people are here, and important face to face meetings can easily fill your schedule. This is not just “a” relationship conference; it is “the” relationship conference for the workers’ compensation industry. Meeting old friends and new contacts remains a top priority for many who attend.

I must take a moment to thank MyMatrixx, who kindly ferried me to and from Mandalay Bay in their complimentary limo service. It was a good reminder that I have not yet blogged about their killer mobile app serving clients and injured workers (I must do that soon, as it is quite innovative). Dinners courtesy of Sedgwick and Ametros Financial were also quite enjoyable and greatly appreciated. Also, receptions by Sedgwick, MedRisk, Broadspire, CCMSI, NWCDN, and PMSI-Progressive Medical were all outstanding. I am told I behaved respectably at most of them.

Wish I could say the same for Mark Walls. Even though I am in it, I have no idea what is happening in this picture – taken with the newly formed “New Mexico Posse”, and a dude named Bill from Wisconsin.

Must be the Hatch Chili’s. Some Midwesterners just can’t handle spicy food. Either that or he thought he’d been pulled over in Lordsburg.

If you were at this year’s annual event, produced by LRP Publications, then I hope you found it equally useful and had a safe trip home. If you didn’t make it, mark your calendar for next year. It is scheduled for the same great location, November 19-21, 2014.

I assure you, I will be there as well.

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