State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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Public Meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board

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April 2, 2012

A meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board was held on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at the Office of the Chairman, 21 Oak Street, 4th Floor, Hartford, CT.

Agenda Topics

  1. Opening Remarks
  2. Chairman Mastropietro’s Update
  3. Approval of Minutes
  4. New Business
  5. Adjournment

Minutes

A regular meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commission Advisory Board was held on April 2, 2012 in the Workers’ Compensation Commission's CRB Hearing Room, 21 Oak Street, Hartford, Connecticut.

The meeting convened at 10:10 a.m. with the following Board Members present: Chairman Gardner Wright, John Adamson, Rocco Calo, Michael Dimenstein, Daniel Krause, Gregory Nokes, Linda Passanisi and Donald Shubert. Also present from the Workers’ Compensation Commission were WCC Chairman John Mastropietro and Marvin Smernoff. David Weil, Esquire, Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Connecticut Bar Association attended as a member of the public.

  1. Opening Remarks
    1. Chairman Gardner Wright welcomed the group.
  2. Chairman Mastropietro’s Update
    1. Chairman Mastropietro discussed the revised budget passed by the Appropriations Committee on March 29, 2012 which moves the Workers’ Compensation Commission under the Judicial Branch rather than the Labor Department as proposed by Governor Malloy. The revised budget still includes the closure of the Middletown District Office and provides the Commission with sufficient funding to redistrict the Middletown caseload by September 30, 2012.
      1. Attorney David Weil, Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, informed the Board members that the Bar submitted a proposal to the Appropriations Committee to maintain the Commission’s adjudicatory function and autonomy. He announced that the vote was unanimous against the merger of the Workers’ Compensation Commission into the Labor Department.
    2. Chairman Mastropietro discussed the problems still occurring from C.G.S. Sec. 31-294d(d) which regulates that the employers liability for hospital services are limited to the actual costs rendered by the hospital. The problem lies in the definition of “actual costs”. Currently, several Connecticut hospitals have retained third party vendors and are contesting fees paid in over 200 cases. The remaining hospitals are operating under a negotiated percentage-off billed cost. Chairman Mastropietro provided the group with the history of how hospital costs have been treated under the Workers’ Compensation Act and asked the Board for feedback on how the Commission should approach the issue. Discussion ensued.
      1. Chairman Gardner Wright recommended that the Board members speak with their allies and associates to obtain information on how hospital costs are currently charged for services rendered to workers’ compensation patients. John Adamson made a motion, seconded by Michael Dimenstein, to ask the Chairman to provide the Board with a fact sheet before the June 11th meeting. The motion passed unanimously.
  3. Approval of Minutes
    1. A motion to approve the March 5, 2012 minutes was made by John Adamson and seconded by Don Shubert. The motion passed unanimously.
  4. Discussion on March 5, 2012 Approved Minutes
    1. Discussion continued to amend the previously adopted minutes for the regular meeting held on March 5, 2012.
    2. Donald Shubert explained the actions he took following the March 5th meeting regarding the motion approved on the pending budget language to merge the Commission into the Department of Labor. Mr. Shubert spoke with Labor Commissioner Glenn Marshall. He commented that under C.G.S. Sec. 31-280a(c), the Advisory Board may bring a matter related to the operation of the workers’ compensation system to the attention of the Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Commission, and submit written recommendations to the Governor concerning the reappointment of each compensation commissioner to the Governor and the General Assembly. Discussion ensued about the Board’s role in recommending matters concerning policy to the Chairman.
    1. Mr. Shubert moved to withdraw the previously adopted motion “to submit testimony to the Appropriations Committee”; seconded by John Adamson. Discussion ensued. The motion passed unanimously.
    2. John Adamson moved that the Advisory Board issue a written statement that it is opposed to any merger, to maintain the autonomy of the Workers' Compensation Commission, and to preserve its adjudicatory function; seconded by Linda Passanisi. Following discussion, Mr. Adamson made a motion to withdraw his motion; seconded by Linda Passanisi. The motion passed unanimously.
    3. John Adamson moved to appoint Chairman Gardner Wright to prepare a motion expressing the sense of the Advisory Board with respect to protecting the autonomy and adjudicative role of the Commission; Daniel Krause seconded the motion. Said document will be circulated among the members via electronic means to obtain an electronic vote to approve the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
  5. Adjournment
    1. A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Don Shubert and seconded by Daniel Krause. The Motion passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 11:50 a.m.
  6. Next Meeting
    1. The next regular meeting will be held on May 14, 2012.

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: March 4, 2013

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/public-meetings/wc-advisory-board/2012/04-02-2012.htm

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State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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