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

March 6, 2009

June 5, 2009  ›

September 4, 2009

December 4, 2009

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June 5, 2009

A meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioners was held on Friday, June 5, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. at the Office of the Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Commission, Capitol Place, 21 Oak Street, Hartford, Connecticut.

Agenda Topics

  1. Weekly Benefit Tables
  2. Structured Settlements/Medicare Set-Asides
  3. Social Security Numbers
  4. Delayed Openings
  5. Settlements – Minor Children
  6. Professional Demeanor
  7. Commissioner’s Examinations – Medical Packets
  8. Physician Reimbursement when a Contested Case is Later Accepted
  9. WCC Medical Authorization
  10. Chairman’s Update
  • Executive Session

Minutes

A meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioners was held on Friday, June 5, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. at the Office of the Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Commission, Capitol Place, 21 Oak Street, Hartford, Connecticut. All Commissioners were present except the Honorable Donald H. Doyle, Jr., the Honorable Peter C. Mlynarczyk and the Honorable Michelle D. Truglia. Also present were Nancy Bonuomo, Madeleine Lemieux, Connie Rue, Marvin Smernoff and Tara Ashe of the Workers’ Compensation Commission; and William Lawler and Chris Bellizzi of the public.

  1. Weekly Benefit Tables
    1. There was a small change to the Federal Income Tax. As there is going to be another change in the fall, the benefit tables will not be reissued at this time.
  2. Structured Settlements/Medicare Set-Asides
    1. Attorney’s Fees
      1. A discussion was held. Comments from the Legal Advisory Panel were distributed to the Commissioners. It was brought to the Commissioners’ attention that Attorney Steven Embry may have more pertinent information and an inquiry will be made of him regarding same. Once a response is received, it will be distributed to the Commissioners for review as it may resolve questions.
    2. Stipulation Language
      1. Commissioner Cohen raised the issue of structured settlements with Medicare Set-aside language where liability is being transferred to a third party removing the respondent from all responsibility. Further research is being conducted.
  3. Social Security Numbers
    1. The Commission no longer requires social security numbers on its forms, even in an optional capacity. Date of birth will be required to differentiate between persons with the same name and to eliminate security risks.
  4. Delayed Openings/Early Closings
    1. As the Workers’ Compensation Commission is part of the Executive Branch, any delayed openings are at the direction of the Governor. Any hearings scheduled prior to the designated start time will be rescheduled on an expedited basis. If an office is required to close before its scheduled time due to inclement weather, any hearing not reached will be rescheduled on an expedited basis.
  5. Settlements – Minor Children
    1. Discussion was held as to a stipulation approval involving a surviving spouse wishing to settle a claim where dependent children are minors. The Commissioner should: (a) if there is no estate open, require that an attorney be appointed to protect the rights of the minor children; (b) if there is an estate open, obtain the permission of the Probate Court before finalizing the settlement.
  6. Professional Demeanor
    1. The Chairman has received complaints from claimants that they have been shut out of the hearing process by their attorney. Discussion ensued. It was suggested that the following statement be posted on the website or in the Information Packet: “As a claimant, you have the right to attend hearings involving your case.”
  7. Commissioner’s Examinations – Medical Packets
    1. Discussion was held as to how the Commissioners handle medical packets for Commissioner’s Examinations and the need for a standard procedure. Commissioner Salerno and the Commissioner’s Practice Book Committee have written a section on Commissioner’s Examinations. A draft of this section will be forwarded to the Commissioners for review.
  8. Physician Reimbursement when a Contested Case is Later Accepted
    1. The issue of physician reimbursement was discussed. If initially a case is contested, the physician is usually paid through group insurance rather than the workers’ compensation insurer pursuant to the Workers’ Compensation Fee Schedule. Once the case is accepted through the issuance of a voluntary agreement, the physician is eligible to re-bill through the workers’ compensation insurance carrier at the fee schedule or contracted rates.
  9. WCC Medical Authorization
    1. Correspondence from Attorney Richard Jacobs regarding language on the WCC Medical Authorization form was discussed. It was decided by the Commissioners that the Commission will continue to use the current form.
  10. Chairman’s Update
    1. Pain Management Protocols
      1. The agreement with the University of Connecticut Health Center to study the pain management protocols is in place.
    2. Practitioner Fee Schedule
      1. The fee schedule is expected to be issued on July 15, 2009. The Commission is in the second year of a three year process implementing the Medicare methodology. The fee schedule will be issued again on January 1, 2010 to be in line with the issuance of Medicare’s CPT codes and fees.
    3. Payor-Provider Task Force
      1. The next meeting of the drafting committee will be held on June 23, 2009.
    4. Commissioner’s Practice Book Committee
      1. Commissioner Salerno reported that she has received the drafts for various sections of the Practice Book and thanked those who contributed. Upon completion, she will distribute a draft to the Commissioners.
    5. Injured Worker’s Bill of Rights
      1. The Commission has been working with the Injured Worker’s Project, which is affiliated with ConnectiCOSH, in an effort to provide greater information to the injured worker. An easy reference “What you need to know” is being developed.
  11. Commissioner’s Attendance Reports
    1. The Chairman reminded the commissioners that attendance reports are to be submitted at the end of each month to Nancy Cowell and thanked them for their continued cooperation.
  12. Gallagher Bassett
    1. A minimal response was received from the district offices regarding issues with Gallagher Bassett. A letter will be sent to Gallagher Bassett asking them to review same.
  13. Client Security Fund
    1. The fee for the Client Security Fund is due on June 15, 2009.
  14. Connecticut Bar Association Dues
    1. Commissioner Engel reported that a voucher for a discount for a CLE class will be given to any attorney who pays their CBA dues by June 8, 2009.
  15. Supreme Court’s Opinion in Donahue
    1. The Commissioners reviewed and discussed the decision rendered by the Supreme Court in Maura Donahue v. Veridiem, Inc., et al (SC 18237) 291 Conn. 537.
  16. Changes due to staff retirements on July 1st
    1. Security Coverage (state police, local police)
      1. Several Commission employees are planning to retire on July 1, 2009. As Walter Pollard is one of the retirees and the Commission is unable to rehire for the foreseeable future, alternatives for security coverage are being researched. After June 30th the Chairman should be contacted directly regarding security issues.
    2. Retirement Gathering (June 26)
      1. Krista Mingo of the Middletown office has put together a gathering to wish the retirees well. The Chairman encouraged the commissioners to attend if possible. A list of the retirees with specifics as to date and time of the gathering was distributed.
  17. Quebecor
    1. The commissioners were provided with information regarding the status of Quebecor, whose Letter of Credit has been called and forwarded to the Treasurer’s Office. Claims should be handled as usual.
  18. Budget
    1. There is no budget at this time. The Legislature will go into special session regarding same. The Commission is facing potential suspension of programs as well as a possible restructuring of the Agency.

A motion to adjourn was made by Commissioner Amado Vargas at 11:57 a.m. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Nancy Salerno. The motion to adjourn was unanimously accepted.

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: August 31, 2011

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/public-meetings/wc-commissioners/2009/06-05-2009.htm

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