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

March 6, 2009  ›

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March 6, 2009

A meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioners was held on Friday, March 6, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. at the Office of the Chairman, 21 Oak Street, 4th Floor, Hartford, CT.

Agenda Topics

  1. Hearing Cancellation Procedure
  2. Docket Changes (initiating new procedures)
  3. Commutations
  4. Structured Settlements
  5. Seminars
  6. Chairman’s Update
  • Executive Session

Minutes

A regular meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioners was held on Friday, March 6, 2009 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 except Commissioner Walker. Also present were Marvin Smernoff, Nancy Bonuomo, Vincent Flynn, Madeleine Lemieux, Connie Rue and Nancy Cowell of the Workers’ Compensation Commission; Gardner Wright and Linda Passanisi of the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board; and Kia Murrell of CBIA.

  1. Oath of Office
    1. Chairman Mastropietro administered the oath of office to Commissioners Vargas and Salerno for their new terms.
  2. Legislative Concerns
    1. The Chairman discussed the concerns expressed by certain claimants who testified at a recent Labor Committee public hearing regarding the efficiency of operation of the Commission, e.g., the number of hearing cancellations, the timeliness of hearings, the number of informal hearings held to resolve an issue, etc.
  3. Procedures
    1. Hearing Cancellation Procedure
      1. The Chairman reiterated the need for the Commissioners to uniformly enforce the hearing cancellation policy which requires parties to appear if a cancellation request is received less than three business days prior to the scheduled hearing. Discussion was held concerning the practice of some Commissioners to accept reports from the party who is not the cause of the late cancellation request.
    2. Proposed Docket Changes
      1. Discussion was held concerning proposed procedures to achieve greater efficiency, e.g., the utilization of a complex litigation docket, a short calendar docket; a non-commissioner docket, a pre-formal blitz, docket administrators, etc. The role of fines and sanctions was also discussed. A table of those most frequently used was provided to the Commissioners for further reference.
      2. A sub-committee of Commissioners will be established to continue the discussion in depth with individual Commissioners in an effort to identify (1) areas of agreement that exist where uniform procedures can be implemented and (2) areas to be further debated. Any Commissioner interested in serving on this sub-committee should notify the Chairman.
  4. Commutations
    1. Given the current economic climate, an increase in commutations and structured settlements is expected. To ensure uniformity, the calculation of commutations will be addressed with the District Administrators at their next meeting. The majority of Commissioners agreed that a hearing concerning the commutation should be held with the claimant’s presence required. For out-of-state claimants, a hearing by telephone is permissible.
  5. Structured Settlements
    1. The Chairman advised the Commissioners to review structured settlements closely to make certain that they are not being conveyed by the insurance carrier to another entity. The ultimate objective of the Commission is to ensure that the responsible entity is a party to the proceedings so that the claimant is protected at a future date if need be.
  6. AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment
    1. The Chairman advised that it is Commission policy to encourage but not require the use of the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. Physicians are not limited to a particular edition of the AMA Guides but are expected to be able to objectively justify the basis for their rating.
  7. Seminars
    1. Stop & Shop has requested a workers’ compensation presentation at their office in Quincy, Massachusetts. Commissioner Barton volunteered to accompany the Chairman.
    2. A company has offered to give a presentation to the commissioners on their MSA product and services. The Commissioners agreed that this would be inappropriate.
  8. Project Updates
    1. The Chairman reported on the status of the following projects:
    1. Pain Management
      1. A meeting will be held in late April with the University of Connecticut Health Center and members of the Pain Management Committee.
    2. Payor-Provider Task Force
      1. The Payor-Provider Task Force has identified nine areas of concern to be addressed and is in the process of formulating an outline for its handbook, “Payor Provider Workers’ Compensation Recommended Practices.” Commissioners Senich and Salerno will be representing the Commissioners on this committee.
    3. Hospital Reimbursement
      1. A meeting will be held on March 13th to discuss the hospital reimbursement issue and potential solutions.
    4. Commissioner’s Practice Book Committee
      1. The Commissioner’s Practice Book Committee will be meeting this afternoon.
  9. Budget Update
    1. The Chairman discussed the state’s financial crisis and its impact on the Commission.

There being no further business, Commissioner Mlynarczyk made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Truglia seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 12:20 p.m.

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: August 31, 2011

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/public-meetings/wc-commissioners/2009/03-06-2009.htm

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