Hotel Interurban

Winter West Conference 2019

Ethical Leadership in Claims Management 

Hotel Interurban

223 Andover Park E
Tukwila, Washington

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

This year’s Winter Conference series will take a multidisciplinary look at some challenging issues in the handling of workers’ compensation claims, organized around the theme of ethical leadership. As we convene around and communicate the self-insured community’s commitment to do the right thing, at the right time, in claims management, we’ll hear from experts in law, medicine, psychology, claims management, return to work, and more on just how best to do that when difficult or potentially controversial issues arise in our day to day work.

Want to attend Winter East in Spokane? Click here for our companion conference taking place on January 24, 2019.

Program Details:

- Registration and breakfast at 7:30 a.m.

- Introduction of Sample Ethical Scenarios, Lloyd Brooks, Training & Member Services, WSIA

Four sample claim scenarios will be introduced for attendees to contemplate over the course of the day. At the end of the day, each breakout group will be assigned one scenario for discussion of ethical considerations and insights and then report back to the audience through a facilitated discussion with a multidisciplinary panel of conference speakers.

- Managing Disability or Supporting Recovery?, Trish Leimbach, Sage Risk Management

Ever wonder why we call it workers’ comp “disability”? In this system we reward benefits for “disability” with little deliberation about our own role in facilitating and enabling worker recovery.   Using 20+ years of “boots on the ground” experience, Trish will talk about ways to shift our focus from workers’ comp “disability” to workers’ comp recovery.  

- BIIA Appeals: Managing Claims with the End in Mind, Deborah Flynn, Attorney, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP

It's Important to manage every claim with the end in mind but many adjudicators don't see themselves as part of the process beyond the final adjudicative order. Deborah will illustrate how quality and ethical decisions in the beginning of any claim will make for a less complex resolution at the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals.

- Ethical Independent Medical Examinations, Dr. Daniel A. Brzusek, DO, Northwest Rehabilitation Associates and Irene Suver, President, Panel of Consultants

What advice would your IME provider tell you if you asked? Dr. Brzusek will help adjudicators understand the situations that can often make examining physicians uncomfortable and provide insights on how to write appropriate cover-letters and exam questions that allow the examiner to provide a quality report.

- Compassion Fatigue in Workers' Compensation, Jeremy Senske, PsyD, Pacific Rehabilitation Centers

Is all your compassion used up before you go home to your friends and family? Psychologists from Pacific Rehabilitation Centers will share healthy coping skills developed for the healthcare industry and tailored for the workers' compensation professional. Attendees will receive a Compassion Fatigue Manual tailored to the workers' compensation profession.

- Ethical Decisions and Conflicts of Interest in the Vocational Process, Julie Busch, Vocational Consultant, Strategic Consulting Services

Julie will help us understand some of the conflicts of interest that arise in the vocational process and how vocational counselors are held to a specific Code of Professional Conduct.

- Contended Conditions: Does Allowance Equal Acceptance?, Brett Schoepper, Attorney, Gress Clark Young & Schoepper

If you authorize and pay for the medical treatment of a condition that is unrelated to the claim, have you implicitly accepted responsibility for the condition? Brett will walk us though examples of conditions commonly added to claims and how to appropriately adjudicate the decision to treat unrelated conditions for the sake of worker recovery and sound claim resolution.

- Review of Sample Ethical Scenarios, Lloyd Brooks, Training & Member Services, WSIA and panel of other conference presenters

Each breakout group will be assigned one of the scenarios introduced at the beginning of the day to discuss the realized ethical considerations and insights and then report back to the audience.

- Adjourn at 4:30 p.m.

Hotel Information:

Hotel Interurban
223 Andover Park E
Tukwila, Washington 98188

A limited number of room shave been reserved for overnight attendees. The WSIA group rate is $139 per night. Must book prior to Monday December 17, 2018 to receive the group rate.

Click here to reserve a room online or call 1-877-768-8668 using code INSURERS.

Hotel Interurban 2

Continuing Education Credits:

WSIA will award 7 CEC units with 2 being statutory 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 7 Claims Management Credits
  • CRC - Applied for 7 Credits
  • SHRM recertification credits - Approved for 7 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 January 11, 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 January 11, 2019.