The title of an annual conference I attended last week says a lot:  Diving Into Risk.  It speaks volumes about what has the attention of the National Retail & Restaurant Defense Association (NRRDA).

The presentation that made the biggest impact on me was the one given by Joyce Ho, MD, a physiatrist in Irvine, Calif., affiliated with the UCI Medical Center. Among the take-aways I got from her presentation ­­– Navigating the Rip Current of Future Medical Care ­­– were about the impact of opioid addiction, with Dr. Ho noting that 60% of patients taking an opioid at 90 days still need to take an opioid five years later.  The good news is that the trend has leveled off with a very minimal down turn, that physicians are more aware, that standards have improved and that other support methods are available.


The NRRDA describes itself as the “…country’s premier association dedicated to advancing the interests of legal and claims experts working in tandem with professionals in the retail and restaurant industries.”

The 2020 NRRDA conference program also included panels and presentations on other key, emerging issues of interest to the industry…

  • Uninvited Behavior
  • Impact of Marijuana Legalization 
  • Rising Tides in Employment Law: 2019 in Review
  • Taking the Edge Off—A Pain Management Perspective on Opiates and Alternative
  • Facing the Future: What to Expect When Our Members Start Using Facial Recognition Software
  • Allegations of False Arrest

The roundtable discussion on telemedicine addressed how this technology could greatly enhance medical care for injured workers and simplify the Workers’ Compensation claims for the employer. As the conference program put it, “Whether it’s an employee that is injured while working an overnight shift where, historically, the emergency room was the only option, or a traveling employee that is injured while on the road in a remote location; telemedicine may very well be the best option.  It is clear that telemedicine has the potential to transform the current challenges associated with workers’ compensation claims by providing injured employees with a viable alternative to traditional on-site medical care.”

KARI