The WSIA Weekly, 4.22.16

Countdown to #WSIA16 begins: Conference program now online
We’re just under two weeks ‘til our Annual Conference in Spokane starts on Wednesday, May 4th with a golf tournament, wine tasting, and welcome reception before sessions get underway May 5th and 6th. There’s still time to register – click here for all the details. The conference program is now available online and can be viewed here. Look forward to seeing you in Spokane!

Industrial Insurance Medical Advisory Committee meets next Thursday
The Industrial Insurance Medical Advisory Committee (IIMAC), the medical-business-labor advisory body to the Department of Labor & Industries, meets next Thursday April 28thfrom 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Beijing Room at SeaTac airport. The discussion contains a series of updates and discussions on Department initiatives, as well as a committee vote on the Department’s treatment guideline for knee surgery as well as its bylaws. A copy of the agenda and meeting materials is available here. IIMAC meetings are open to the public.

Draft language released for Preferred Worker Program rules – comments due 5/24
Part of last year’s House Bill 1496 addressing vocational rehabilitation benefits was a bulk-up of the state’s Preferred Worker Program, granting employers under certain circumstances access to incentives and reimbursements for employing preferred workers for jobs within their medical limitations. The program applies to self-insured employers of injured workers with a state fund claim. The Department of Labor & Industries has just released proposed rule language for comment on this issue. You can view the proposed rules here. Any comments on them must be made in writing by May 24th, according to the instructions here, or at the public hearing at L&I headquarters at 1:00 p.m. that same day.

Labor & Industries announces rulemaking on DOSH/OSHA recordkeeping
Earlier this week, the Department of Labor & Industries announced its intention to issue rules to clear up a mistake regarding injury reporting left over from a prior rulemaking. The Department stated that when it updated WAC ch. 296-27 to conform to OSHA requirements, it left some information in that contradicts other Department requirements. A copy of the notice is here; language will be forthcoming later this spring.

Labor & Industries announces intent to adopt rules for the Medical EDI
Rounding off this busy week of rulemaking activity, the Department also filed a notice of intent to issue rules related to its adoption of a uniform national electronic data interchange for collection of medical bill data on claims. The rules are necessary to spell out reporting standards and requirements that will come on line next year for self-insurers. Self-Insurance program personnel will be expanding on this topic more during their breakout at our Annual Conference. A copy of the rule notice can be seen here.  

DOSH Talk coming up next Wednesday
Our Safety Committee’s online DOSH Talk presentation on safety regulations for work in confined spaces takes place next Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., featuring DOSH consultant Mary Yakawich. Participation is free and encouraged of WSIA members, it just requires registration at this link. Questions for Mary to address can be submitted in advance by e-mail to John Shervey or Patrick Koenig.