Here are studies, reports and stories that caught our eye in the last month.

Return to Work: The workers’ compensation industry must focus on encouraging a timely return to work, helping employers keep a trained workforce and improving the quality of life and financial stability for people who are injured on the job, agreed most industry leaders at the third National Conversation on the Future of Workers’ Compensation. These “foundational principles” for workers’ compensation are critical as the industry faces criticism from the U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA.

Medical Fee Schedule Recommendations: The Workers Compensation Research Institute recently released a new study to help policymakers adopt, reform or update the medical fee schedule in their state workers’ compensation system. Designing Workers’ Compensation Medical Fee Schedules 2016 shows how 43 states with workers’ compensation physician fee schedules and the District of Columbia made fee schedule design decisions, which have become the focus of policy debates.

Opioids and Dialysis: A presentation during American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week linked opioid prescription with a higher mortality risk for dialysis patients. Those patients also were at a higher risk of discontinuing dialysis and hospitalization.

More Marijuana?: Now that weed is legalized in California, an article in the Insurance Journal explores the question of whether the new law will increase demand for it from injured workers. The insurance industry is encouraged to start thinking ahead.

Use or Abuse: Doctors are on the frontlines of the war against opioid addiction, but working as one of these “medical gatekeepers” is becoming more and more complicated. Steven Reidbord, a psychiatrist, covers the topic on MedPage Today.

For more great information and topics, check out our blog on MKC Medical Management.