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The WSIA Weekly, 10.23.15

Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals chair recruitment announced
The Washington State Labor Council and Association of Washington Business, jointly charged with submitting nominations for the chair of the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, has just put out a position announcement for the chair. The turnaround for interested individuals to apply for consideration is tight, with resumes required in-hand at AWB and the Labor Council by 5:00 p.m. next Friday, October 30th. The recruitment for this six year appointment follows the expiration of current chair Dave Threedy’s term earlier this summer. Take a look at the link above for details, and please pass word along to qualified individuals who may be interested.  

Public hearings occurring next week on L&I’s proposed 2016 rate increase
The Department of Labor & Industries is taking public testimony next week on its recent proposal to increase workers’ compensation rates 2 percent overall next year for State Fund premium payers. The proposal includes a 6.25 percent hike in the Supplemental Pension Fund premium which self-insured employers also pay via assessment. WSIA state fund or self-insured members interested in commenting on the proposal can do so at locations around the state, as set out in this link, or provide written comments to L&I by e-mailing by 5:00 p.m. on November 3.

 ACHIEV meeting materials available
The Department of Labor & Industries’ Advisory Committee on Healthcare Innovation and Evaluation (ACHIEV), the business-labor-health care group that advises on the state’s medical provider network and health services delivery, had its most recent meeting yesterday. The committee focused in particular on issues related to the provider network’s top tier criteria, and received an update on the Department’s RFP for a catastrophic care management pilot. If you’re interested, you can take a look at the meeting materials at this link. WSIA is represented on the committee by Lisa Vivian of Eberle Vivian.

Members of Congress seek federal oversight of workers’ comp
A group of ten members of the US House and Senate Democratic caucuses sent a letter this week to the US Department of Labor seeking greater federal oversight of state workers’ compensation programs, in response to recent highly publicized reports by National Public Radio and ProPublica about perceived defects of various states’ programs. While Washington’s generous benefit and eligibility structure has usually spared the state from criticism by these pro-labor efforts, it is worth noting that one of Washington State’s US Senators, Patty Murray, is among the signatories urging federal oversight. We’re monitoring this development.     

Six spots left for Intro to Claims – get registrations in!
Intro to Claims,” our Industrial Insurance University’s two-day “101 level” class on Washington’s unique workers’ compensation system is next taking place November 4-5 at Valley Medical Center in Renton. There are only six spots left, so if you or colleagues plan to attend, get registrations in right away! This course, equally applicable to new or new-to-Washington state fund and self-insured claims staff, brings attendees up to date on all the basics. Details and registration at this link.

New November webinar explores work-relatedness and medical causation  
We’re happy to announce Dr. Stephen Fuller, Medical Director for Lake Oswego, Oregon-based impartial will join us online Thursday, November 19th from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. to present “The KEY Link: Understanding the Complicated Relationship between Work and Medical Diagnosis.” This will be a great presentation for claims handlers dealing with difficult causation, aggravation, injury vs. occupational disease, and IME issues. WWCP credit is available, and L&I claims management CEU have been applied for. More details and registration at this link.