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

March 7, 2014  ›

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March 7, 2014

A meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioners was held on Friday, March 7, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. at the Office of the Chairman, 21 Oak Street, 4th Floor, Hartford, CT.

Agenda Topics:

  1. Computers in Hearing Rooms
  2. § 31-308a/Earning Capacity
  3. Bill Repricing (no network approval)
  4. Suspended attorneys appearing before Commission
  5. Commissioner Exams/Objections
  6. Legislation
  7. Gaylord
  8. NCCI Report
  9. Protocol Updates
  10. Commissioner’s Enforcement of Guidelines
  11. Preclusion
  12. Budget

Minutes

A regular meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioners was held on Friday, March 7, 2014 at the office of the Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Commission, Capitol Place, 21 Oak Street, Hartford, Connecticut. The meeting convened at 9:35 a.m. with all Commissioners present. Also present were Nancy Bonuomo, Madeleine Lemieux, and Connie Rue of the Workers’ Compensation Commission.

  1. Installation of Computers in District Office Hearing Rooms
    1. Chairman Mastropietro announced that computers will be installed in the District Office hearing rooms at the same time new computers are installed across the agency later this month. Additionally, the Commissioners’ new fillable time sheet will be implemented once the computer installations are complete.
  2. C.G.S. § 31-308a/Earning Capacity
    1. Discussion was held about the process used in determining discretionary §31-308a benefits. The Commissioners will provide input to the Chairman.
  3. Bill Repricing (no network approval)
    1. Chairman reminded the Commissioners that bill repricing is allowed only under an established network. If a doctor is not in a network, they are not subject to the bill repricing process unless they have otherwise contracted for same.
  4. Suspended Attorneys Appearing Before the Commission
    1. Discussion was held about attorneys who are under suspension and their inability to practice before the Commission.
  5. Commissioner Exams/Objections
    1. Discussion was held about respondents objecting to a Commissioners’ Examiner becoming a treating physician. If the respondent objects, the consensus is that the objection will be honored.
  6. Legislation
    1. Chairman reported on legislation pending before the 2014 Legislature which will impact the Commission concerning creation of a hospital fee schedule, benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder, new authority provided to physician’s assistants, coverage for homemaker companions, and municipality and state liability for not maintaining fire department equipment.
    2. Legislative action is pending on the reappointments of Commissioners Nancy Salerno and Ernie Walker; as well as Advisory Board members Ross Hollander, Greg Nokes, and Donald Shubert.
  7. Gaylord Hospital
    1. The Chairman shared that the matter of the physicians employed by Gaylord Hospital refusing to testify has been resolved.
  8. NCCI Report
    1. NCCI reported that medical costs continue to escalate primarily due to an increase in pharmaceutical costs. The Chairman asked the Commissioners to inform him of any cases involving compound drugs. He also shared that the Medical Advisory Panel members reported an increased propensity of emergency room doctors prescribing opioid medications as a matter of course. The Opioid Protocols may have to be modified to address this concern. Discussion was held about blood and urine screening and its applicability to monitoring opioid use.
  9. Protocol Updates
    1. The Chairman announced the shoulder protocols are on the Commission’s website and are effective April 1, 2014; knee and hand protocols are nearly ready for publication; and the process for foot and ankle has just begun.
  10. Commissioner’s Enforcement of Guidelines
    1. The Chairman discussed the need for Commissioners to continue to enforce the Payor and Provider Guidelines with special attention to doctors who require prior approval for medical treatment. The Chairman plans to again emphasize to all providers of their need to follow the guidelines to facilitate treatment to the injured worker.
  11. Preclusion
    1. The Commissioners discussed the procedures in handling a pending preclusion in various scenarios.
  12. Budget
    1. The Chairman announced that the Governor’s proposed budget currently pending before the Legislature maintains the core functions and needs of the agency and its district offices.

There being no further business, Commissioner Delaney made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Barton seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 11:05 a.m.

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: September 8, 2014

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/public-meetings/wc-commissioners/2014/03-07-2014.htm

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