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The WSIA Weekly, 12.4.15

Labor & Industries adopts 2 percent State Fund rate increase; Supplemental Pension Assessment to rise 6.25 percent
On Tuesday, the Department of Labor & Industries formally announced an overall average rate increase for State Fund premiums of 2 percent for 2016. Some State Fund-insured employers’ rates will go up by more than two percent, some less. The rate decision includes a 6.25 percent increase in the Supplemental Pension Fund (SPF) assessment which is also paid by self-insured employers to cover the cost of living increases for pensioners. Part of the SPF increase is due to wage inflation, part of the increase is due to the effects of last year’s Crabb decision by the Court of Appeals. Check out L&I’s announcement here, the 2016 rates by industry classification here, and an in-depth assessment we did when the rates were first proposed in September here.        

WSIA Safety Committee to meet next Thursday
WSIA’s Safety Committee is holding its monthly online meeting, using the GoToMeeting platform, next Thursday, December 10th, promptly at 2:00 p.m. Topics will include a brief review of accident investigations, tools to help novice investigators, and ways to expand use of the data. There will also be a brief overview of wash stations focusing on new rules for single-stage systems. Following the mini-training session, the committee will discuss progress on the Recognized Safety Committee project and have time for questions, answers and comments about other safety related issues, such as workplace violence programs. For more information on the Safety Committee, contact chair John Shervey, and for the registration link to join Thursday’s meeting, contact WSIA’s Patrick Koenig. WSIA’s Safety Committee is open to all WSIA members.

Workers’ Compensation Advisory Committee to meet next Wednesday
The state’s Workers’ Compensation Advisory Committee meets next Wednesday, December 9th at the Department of Labor & Industries’ field office in Tukwila starting at 9:00 a.m. The agenda will focus on financial issues confronting the Department and self-insured employers, including the potential reduction in the investment assumptions the Department uses to measure pension reserves (the Pension Discount Rate). The agenda also includes a presentation on the performance audit of claims management systems released earlier this year by the Joint Legislative Audit & Review Committee, by one of the auditors. WCAC meetings are open to the public. Take a look at the full agenda here.

Latest Self-Insurance Colloquium held yesterday
Yesterday, WSIA and the Department of Labor & Industries again teamed up to present the latest Colloquium on Occupational Health Best Practices at Safeco Field in Seattle. Presentations included an update on the Department’s efforts in catastrophic injury management, the Medical Provider Network, the Department’s “Healthy Worker 2020” strategic plan, and treatment guidelines. The colloquium always presents high caliber information, and if you weren’t able to attend, you can take a look at the various presentations at this link. And to see what happens when you stump L&I’s Dr. Gary Franklin, take a scroll through our Facebook page.

2015 Workers’ Compensation Benchmarking Study available
Each year we encourage WSIA members to take part in a survey collecting data for an annual Workers’ Compensation Benchmarking Study, sponsored by Rising Medical Solutions and advised by a number of nationwide industry leaders. The 2015 report is now out and available to WSIA members. Download it at this link.