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

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December 3, 2010

A meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioners was held on Friday, December 3, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. at the Office of the Chairman, 21 Oak Street, 4th Floor, Hartford, CT.

Agenda Topics

  1. Settlements/Annuities
  2. Preclusion in the wake of Harpaz and Donahue
  3. Chairman’s Update
  • Executive Session

Minutes

A meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioners was held on Friday, December 3, 2010 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 Marvin Smernoff, Nancy Bonuomo, Vincent Flynn, Madeleine Lemieux, Connie Rue and Tara Ashe of the Workers’ Compensation Commission; Linda Passanisi and Gardner Wright of the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board; and Elizabeth Krueger of CBIA.

  1. Settlements/Annuities
    1. The Commissioners reviewed information provided by Attorneys Sevarino and Duhamel concerning the Commissioner’s role in educating parties regarding annuities in settlements. Options include: (a) modify the “Stipulation and What It Means” form and Stipulation Commissioner’s Notes to include a question that the Claimant acknowledges that he/she has adequately reviewed the life-only language of the stipulation; (b) require language in the stipulation explaining whether the annuity is life-only versus estate eligible; (c) require a pre-conference between the Claimant and Respondent if the Claimant is unrepresented; (d) discuss the new procedure with the Legal Advisory Panel and Workers’ Compensation Section of the Connecticut Bar Association; (e) require the Claimant to seek a professional opinion or waive his/her right to same. It was determined that further information is needed before a procedure can be established.
  2. Preclusion in the wake of Harpaz and Donahue
    1. The Commissioners discussed how the Connecticut Supreme Court decisions in Harpaz and Donahue interact with the “payment without prejudice” statute and “no lost time” claims. Discussion included whether the Commission should develop a new form separate from the Form 43 to allow Respondents an avenue to respond on “no lost time” claims for which the incident itself is not being denied, but the Respondent wishes to retain the ability to contest the extent of the claim in the future. It was decided that the present Form 43 will continue to be utilized at this time.
  3. Chairman’s Update
    1. The Chairman discussed the following:
    1. NCCI
      1. NCCI recommended a significant insurance premium increase which has been partially approved by the Insurance Department. Overall claims frequency has leveled off, but indemnity and medical payments have increased. The increase is primarily because of an aging workforce that earns more and requires more medical treatment to recover from their work-related injuries. Costs are rising due to an increased number of visits for medical treatment, expansion of pharmaceutical distribution through physician’s offices, and the rising costs of hospitals and surgical clinics.
    2. Medical Advisory Panel
      1. A subcommittee has been formed to review the medical protocols as they have not been updated since their publication in 1996. The pain management group has suggested guidelines dealing with pain management procedures only which are presently being reviewed.
    3. Gallagher Bassett
      1. Gallagher Bassett has acquired GAB Robins (all claims - including State). The Commissioners will continue to monitor cases involving Gallagher Bassett and advise Marilou Lang of this office if any problems occur.
    4. Commissioner’s Practice Book
      1. Commissioner Salerno reported that she, Chairman Mastropietro, Nancy Bonuomo and David Sims are in the process of editing the Practice Book.
    5. Chairman’s Task Force
      1. The Chairman reported that he has established a task force to identify short and long range goals of the Commission. The Commissioners were urged to submit suggestions to the Chairman.
    6. E-Filing Committee
      1. The Chairman has received correspondence regarding a webinar, “Document Automation for Case Management in Dispute Resolution Courts”. Commissioner Barton will review same.
    7. Insurer Parent Company List
      1. The Chairman has received a list of insurance companies with their respective parent company names from the Insurance Department. This list has been distributed to all districts.
    8. Budget
      1. The Chairman provided an update on the status of the budget for this current fiscal year.
    9. Middletown
      1. The Chairman discussed the status of the Middletown office.
    10. New Britain
      1. The Chairman provided an update as to the status of the hiring of a District Administrator for the New Britain office.
    11. Payor and Medical Provider Seminar
      1. The Chairman reported that two seminars are in the process of being scheduled in order to inform workers’ compensation doctor’s offices about the new payor provider guidelines. It will be required that all doctor’s offices send a staff member to attend a session. A session has been scheduled for March 4, 2011 at the Department of Transportation in Newington. Another will be scheduled in the southern portion of the state. Commissioners are welcome to participate in either session.

A motion was made by Commissioner Stephen Delaney to adjourn to Executive Session. Commissioner Nancy Salerno seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned to Executive Session at 11:35 a.m.

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: September 6, 2011

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/public-meetings/wc-commissioners/2010/12-03-2010.htm

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