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 5, 2014

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September 5, 2014

A meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioners was held on Friday, September 5, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. at the 8th District Office, 90 Court Street, Middletown, CT.

Agenda Topics

  1. Stipulation Forms
  2. § 31-308a
  3. Commissioner Workshop
  4. 2015 Commissioner Meeting Schedule (ballot)
  5. Electronic taping of hearings
  6. Form 36
  7. Liberty Mutual
  8. UConn Medical Center
  9. SB 61
  10. Budget

Minutes

A regular meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioners was held on Friday, September 5, 2014 at the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Middletown District Office, Middletown, Connecticut. The meeting convened at 9:40 a.m. with all Commissioners present. Also present were Nancy Bonuomo, Madeleine Lemieux, Vincent Flynn and Connie Rue of the Workers’ Compensation Commission.

  1. Sedgwick
    1. The Commissioners discussed problems arising out of Sedgwick’s failure to appear at hearings. Chairman Mastropietro instructed the Commissioners to provide no-show information to his office for handling.
  2. Stipulation Forms
    1. Commissioner Charles Senich discussed the need to list “Social Security Retirement Income” or “SSRI” to Question #7 on the Stipulation Commissioner Notes, and to Question #11 on the Stipulation Questionnaire. The matter will be discussed with the IT department.
  3. C.G.S. § 31-308a/Earning Capacity
    1. Discussion continued about the criteria used in determining discretionary § 31-308a benefits. Chairman Mastropietro discussed the six major criteria to be utilized while still recognizing the discretion a Commissioner must use on a case-by-case basis.
  4. Commissioners’ Workshop
    1. A Commissioners’ Workshop is scheduled to be held at the Chairman’s Office at 21 Oak Street on October 8, 2014. Four major topics will be discussed: Sexual harassment training, Ethics training, Social Security/Medicare Set-Asides, and present status of the law on preclusion.
  5. 2015 Commissioners’ Meeting Schedule
    1. The Commissioners voted to hold four Commissioners’ meetings in 2015.
  6. Electronic Taping of Hearings
    1. Discussion was held about allowing parties to tape hearings. The Commissioners agreed to table the subject pending research on legalities and available equipment in the district offices.
  7. Form 36
    1. The Commissioners agreed that signatures of APRNs must continue to be accompanied by a physician’s approval on medical reports including those attached to Form 36s.
  8. Ex Parte Communications
    1. The Commissioners discussed and approved the following modification to the WCC Guidelines for Cooperation Sec. IV. B:
    2. *If respondents’ counsel seeks to reveal such information to a treating physician, the attorney should inform the patient’s counsel IN ADVANCE.* (New) Failure of respondents’ counsel to inform patient’s counsel PRIOR TO the transmission of said information may result in a decision by the trial commissioner to exclude from evidence either the material information and/or any testimony proffered in reliance upon the material information.
  9. Liberty Mutual
    1. Chairman Mastropietro shared that Liberty Mutual’s management of workers’ compensation claims has greatly improved.
  10. UConn Medical Center
    1. Chairman Mastropietro advised that UConn has identified a group of people who will be responsible for attempting to correct the facility’s inability to provide medical documentation and reports in a timely manner. He asked the Commissioners to provide specific cases that are problematic so that this group could identify where the problem originates.
  11. SB 61 re Hospital/ASC Reimbursements
    1. Chairman Mastropietro announced that the legislatively-mandated Hospital and ASC Fee Schedule will be ready to roll out by January 1, 2015. All of the cases involving Liberty Mutual have been resolved. Electric Boat and the attorneys for the hospital are presently discussing settlement.
  12. Budget
    1. Chairman Mastropietro discussed next year’s budget and the anticipated $1.5 M deficit. Information will be provided as it becomes available.
  13. Interpreters
    1. The Commissioners discussed the use of interpreters at Formal Hearings and agreed the need is infrequent.
  14. Medical Protocols
    1. Chairman Mastropietro announced that medical protocols for cervical/lumbar and shoulders are published; hands and knees will be reviewed by the Medical Advisory Panel at their September 16th meeting; and feet and ankle protocols are in process.
  15. State Auditor’s Findings
    1. Chairman Mastropietro discussed the agency’s audit for FY 2012-2013 which was recently released by the State Auditors.
  16. Guidelines
    1. Chairman Mastropietro informed the Commissioners that the Narcotics Task Force Guidelines are published. Development of guidelines for psychological assessment and urine drug testing are in process. The Commission has established a Narcotics Task Force. Discussion of physicians overprescribing narcotics ensued.
  17. Adjournment
    1. There being no further business, Commissioner Delaney made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Mlynarczyk seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: February 21, 2018

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