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

December 5, 2008  ›

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December 5, 2008

A meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioners was held on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. at the Office of the Chairman, 21 Oak Street, 4th Floor, Hartford, CT.

Agenda Topics

  1. Stipulations Offered Below Commissioner Evaluation
  2. Appearance of Familiarity
  3. Hearing Cancellations
  4. Interpreters
  5. Project Updates
  6. Commissioners’ Meeting Schedule (2009)
  • Executive Session

Minutes

A regular meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioners was held on Friday, December 5, 2008 at the office of the Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Commission, Capitol Place, 21 Oak Street, Hartford, Connecticut. The meeting convened at 9:30 a.m. with all Commissioners present. Also present were retired Commissioner A. Thomas White, Jr. , Marvin Smernoff, Nancy Bonuomo, Vincent Flynn, Madeleine Lemieux and Nancy Cowell of the Workers’ Compensation Commission; and Gardner Wright and Linda Passanisi of the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board.

  1. Stipulations Offered Below Commissioner Evaluation
    1. Discussion was held. The commissioners were in agreement that if the stipulation figure offered is below the figure established by another commissioner at a previous hearing, they would contact that commissioner for his/her approval of the change.
  2. Medicare Set-Asides: Attorney’s Fees
    1. Discussion was held. The commissioners were in agreement with the following approach: As a general rule, if there is a self-administered Medicare Set-Aside (“MSA”) as part of a stipulation, the claimant’s attorney would be allowed a 20% fee based on the entire amount. If the MSA is company administered and it is demonstrated that the balance at the end would revert to the claimant or the claimant’s estate if deceased, the claimant’s attorney would be allowed a 20% fee based on the entire amount. If neither scenario applies, the claimant’s attorney’s fee would be decided on a case-by-case basis. This matter will be discussed with the Legal Advisory Panel at their next meeting.
    2. Commissioner Salerno made a motion that the following question be added to the 14 question Stipulation Questionnaire: “Is there a Medicare Set-Aside? If so, is it self-administered or company administered?” Commissioner Walker seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
  3. Appearance of Familiarity
    1. The need for Commissioners to avoid the appearance of familiarity in their interactions with attorneys and those who regularly appear before them was discussed.
  4. Hearing Cancellations
    1. Discussion was held concerning the need to strictly enforce the hearing cancellation procedure which requires parties to appear if a cancellation request is received less than three business days prior to the scheduled hearing. This matter will be discussed with the District Administrators at their next meeting.
  5. Project Updates
    1. The Chairman reported on the status of the following projects:
    1. Pain Management
      1. A revised proposal has been received from the University of Connecticut Health Center and forwarded to the Pain Management Committee, which will be meeting on December 8th.
    2. Payor-Provider Task Force
      1. The first meeting of the Payor-Provider Task Force was held on December 1st. A sub-committee has been formed to develop a handbook encompassing that which is statutorily required as well as best practices within the workers’ compensation system.
    3. Hospital Reimbursement
      1. The Chairman discussed the hospital reimbursement issue and indicated that if no resolution is achieved by January 15th, further action may be considered.
    4. Commissioner’s Practice Book Committee
      1. The Committee has been provided with copies of memoranda and minutes from 1992 to the present and will be meeting again on January 16th.
    5. EDI
      1. EDI (the electronic transmission of First Reports of Injury) will be mandatory on January 1st.
  6. Commissioners’ Meeting Schedule (2009)
    1. The commissioners were polled concerning the frequency of Commissioners’ meetings to be held in 2009. The majority voted for meetings to continue to be held four times a year. A schedule will be forthcoming.
  7. Interpreters
    1. It is the Commission’s policy to be flexible in informal and pre-formal hearings as to who may serve as an interpreter and what qualifications are necessary. At formal hearings a certified interpreter is required. However, if all parties agree and are willing to waive on the record the need for a court certified interpreter, that would be acceptable.
  8. NCCI Web Seminar
    1. Commissioner Senich discussed federal legislation effective July 1, 2009 requiring respondents to report stipulations for individuals who are entitled to Medicare. Beginning in 2010 a fine of $1,000 per day may be imposed for failure to report.
  9. Access to Restricted Websites
    1. Discussion was held concerning the software utilized by DOIT to monitor and restrict access to certain websites. To accommodate the needs of the commissioners, DOIT can provide an override ID and password permitting unrestricted access to the Internet. If any commissioner desires such access, they are to notify the Chairman.
  10. Hearing Procedure Changes
    1. The Chairman discussed the Commission’s scheduling timeframes for hearings (new cases, emergencies, etc. ). To achieve even greater efficiency he proposed the following:
      1. a complex litigation docket;
      2. a short calendar docket;
      3. a non-commissioner docket;
      4. a pre-formal blitz.
    2. Discussion was held. This will be further discussed with the District Administrators at their next meeting.

There being no further business, Commissioner Delaney made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Walker seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 12:05 p.m.

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: August 31, 2011

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/public-meetings/wc-commissioners/2008/12-05-2008.htm

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