Spring Conference 2019

Medical Management 2019: Trends & Updates

Embassy Suites Bellevue

3225 158th Avenue SE, Bellevue, Washington

8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Registration and Breakfast at 7:30 a.m.)

Spring Conference traditionally focuses on medical management and disability prevention in workers' compensation, and this year's program explores a multidisciplinary spectrum from physical rehabilitation and fatigue in the workplace, to complex medical syndromes and traumatic brain injuries. We’ll also hear updates from the Office of the Medical Director on the pilot programs allowing acupuncture and master-level therapists, as well as the work being done in the provider review and credentialing process to improve outcomes and reduce risk of harm. We'll focus some time on current events in workers' comp public policy and the implementation of Rules Modernization. Join our panel of medical experts and public policy leaders for a day of high quality continuing education and networking!

Program Details:

Friday, March 15 2019

7:30 a.m. — 8 a.m.
Registration & Breakfast
8 a.m. — 9 a.m.
Returning to Work and Back to Life

Lee Caton, PT and Nathanial Duris, OTR-L will describe and contrast physical evaluations and treatment goals in physical therapy and occupational therapy for workers recovering and returning to work and life after injury.

  • Lee Caton, PT (Peoples Injury Network Northwest)
  • Nathanial Duris, OTR-L (Peoples Injury Network Northwest)
9 a.m. — 10 a.m.
Syndromes Galore: Demystifying Complex Medical Syndromes

Dr. Dennis Chong, M.D. will untangle the medical evidence from the common misconceptions on some of the more controversial diagnoses in the treatment of injured workers in Washington.

  • Dr. Dennis Chong, Physiatrist (OMAC - A Division of Genex Services)
10 a.m. — 10:15 a.m.
Networking Break
10:15 a.m. — 10:45 a.m.
IME Quality Improvement Initiatives & Provider Review

The Department is responsible for enforcing quality medical care and addressing complaints about IMEs and medical providers from various stakeholders in our workers’ comp system. For all complaints, there is a specific and methodical process to collect and address them. This presentation will share data and insights, and describe the various actions including the legal process that may take months or even years to resolve in some cases.

  • Kelli Fussell, Manager, HSA Provider Quality & Compliance (Department of Labor & Industries)
10:45 a.m. — 11:30 a.m.
Independent Medical Examinations in Self-Insurance

IMEs can be controversial, and many regulatory and legislative initiatives have been introduced in recent years to address their use. Kelli Zimmerman will share data and insights on the use of IMEs in self-insurance and some best practices when using this important risk management tool in the management of injured workers’ claims.

  • Kelli Zimmerman, SI Training Supervisor (Department of Labor & Industries)
11:15 a.m. — 12:15 p.m.
Regulatory Initiatives and Updates from the Office of the Medical Director

Historically, both acupuncture and the involvement of masters-level mental health therapists have been categorically unauthorized in the treatment of injured workers in the Washington workers’ compensation system. This presentation will detail the new pilot programs in place to explore these treatment options as well as the latest guidelines on neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome and new opioid rules from the Department of Health.

  • Gary Franklin, M.D. (Medical Director)
  • Joel McCullough, M.D. (Associate Medical Director)
  • Zach Gray, Epidemiologist (L&I Health Policy Unit)
12:15 p.m. — 1 p.m.
Networking Lunch
1 p.m. — 2 p.m.
Fatigue in the Workplace

Orthopedic surgeon Darin Davidson, M.D. will explore the high cost of medical issues stemming from fatigue in the workplace and how to recognize and manage the various barriers to worker recovery.

  • Dr. Darin Davidson, M.D. (ExamWorks)
2 p.m. — 3 p.m.
Neuro-Ophthalmology and the TBI Exam

Neuro-ophthalmologist Craig Smith, M.D., will discuss the role his discipline plays in the disability exam for traumatic brain injuries.

  • Craig Smith, M.D. (MES Solutions)
3 p.m. — 3:15 p.m.
Networking Break
3:15 p.m. — 4 p.m.
Rules Modernization Update

The claims management and certification requirements brought by the Department's Rules Modernization changes to WAC 296-15 go into effect July 1, 2019. Find out the latest on the required forms, templates, and other implementation news about this significant change to Self-Insurance claims administration in Washington.

  • Jim Nylander, SI Program Manager (Department of Labor & Industries)
  • Kris Tefft, Executive Director (WSIA)
4 p.m. — 4:30 p.m.
WSIA Legislative Update

March 15th will be just past the mid-point of the 2019 legislative session, where big-ticket workers' comp issues are already surfacing. What is still moving? How might it impact you?

  • Kris Tefft, Executive Director (WSIA)
4:30 p.m.
Wrap-Up and Closure

Thank you, Sponsors!

Hotel Information:

Embassy Suites Bellevue
3225 158th Avenue SE
Bellevue, Washington 98008


Continuing Education Credits:

WSIA will award 6.5 CEC units for the Washington Workers' Compensation Professional (WWCP) requirements. The following additional credentials will be applied for and noted when awarded:

  • L&I CEU - Applied for 6.5 Credits
  • CRC - Applied for 6.5 Credits
  • CDMS - Applied for 6.5 Credits
  • SHRM recertification credits - Approved for 6.5 Credits


WSIA Members - $225, full breakfast and lunch included

Additional members from same organization - $150 each

Non-members - $350 (Interested in becoming a WSIA member? Click here for more info!)

Cancellation Information

A cancellation fee of $75 will be charged for cancellations received by March 8, 2019.  This is to offset the cost of room rental, reserved meals, and conference material production.

No credit will be given for cancellations made after March 8, 2019.