While in Las Vegas earlier this month for the National Workers’ Compensation & Disability Conference, we shared our thoughts on the future of the industry. But, we wanted to hear from the industry too, so we asked attendees who stopped by our booth to tell us what’s keeping them up a night and what issues they are prioritizing for 2018. Here’s what we learned:

Medical and pharmacy costs

An overwhelming 46 percent of respondents feel medical and pharmacy costs are the biggest issue affecting the workers compensation industry today. Next were indemnity costs at 17 percent, followed by regulatory complexity (13 percent) and fraud and abuse (both 13 percent).

Program performance

Interestingly, 42 percent of respondents didn’t know or weren’t sure what the lowest performing component of their cost containment program was this year. However, medical bill review and PPO networks were flagged by 17 percent and 13 percent, respectively, as low performers.

Operational efficiency

Improving efficiency was selected as the number one business priority by one-third of the respondents (33 percent). Increasing profitability was the top priority for 25 percent of the survey takers, while surprisingly just 13 percent identified revenue growth as their main priority.

The results show that understanding what drive costs up – and down – in the workers compensation system remains essential to growth, profitability and efficiency.