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PAST MEETING INFO
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November 8, 2010
A meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board was held on Monday, November 8, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. at the Office of the Chairman, 21 Oak Street, 4th Floor, Hartford, CT.
- Opening Remarks
- Chairman Mastropietro’s Update
- Approval of Minutes
- New Business
A regular meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commission Advisory Board was held on November 8, 2010, in the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s CRB Hearing Room, 21 Oak Street, Hartford, Connecticut.
The meeting convened at 10:05 a.m. with the following Board Members present: Chairman Gardner Wright; Members Rocco Calo, Benedict Cozzi, Greg Nokes, Linda Passanisi, and Don Shubert. Also present were Chairman John Mastropietro, Marvin Smernoff, CAO; and Michael Petosa of the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Chairman Mastropietro’s Update:
- Employer Incentives to Reduce Workers’ Compensation Claims:
- Chairman Mastropietro discussed an increase in incentive programs by certain employers attempting to reduce workers’ compensation claims. Numerous factors were discussed including how such incentive plans intimidate and deter injured workers from filing injury claims. Chairman Mastropietro has contacted specific companies regarding the illegal aspects of this practice. The Commission has the authority to penalize an employer who is deterring an employee from filing a claim by revoking self-insurance certifications and managed care plans. Chairman Mastropietro advised that employers are being put on notice that their incentive policies cannot be used to intimidate their employees from filing workers’ compensation claims.
- NCCI’s Announcement of Increased Premiums
- NCCI reported on October 15, 2010 to the State Insurance Department that workers’ compensation premiums may increase by 5+% in the private market and 12+% in the risk market. Chairman Mastropietro commented that he has never seen this type of increase before. Some of the reasons for these increases are higher medical and indemnity costs. The Commission’s recent Payor-Provider Guidelines will help address the timeline aspect of the problem by providing payors and providers a definitive period in which they are required to respond to a request for treatment. Discussion was held about the three areas not regulated by the Commission which include hospital fees, ambulatory/surgical center costs, and physician-provided pharmaceuticals.
- Vocational Rehabilitation Program:
- Chairman Mastropietro announced that the Rehabilitation Services program currently has only $2000 to spend for the remainder of the fiscal year which ends on June 30, 2011. This shortage is directly related to recent cuts in the program’s budget. The counselors continue to meet with injured workers to provide counseling, resume writing assistance, and job seeking skills.
Advisory Board Member Benedict Cozzi announced that he is retiring from the board effective December 31, 2010. The group extended their appreciation and best wishes.
There being no further business, on a motion made by Benedict Cozzi, seconded by Linda Passanisi, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 11:05 a.m. The next meeting is scheduled on February 7, 2011.
The next meeting will be held on February 7, 2011.