State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, Stephen M. Morelli, Chairman
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Public Meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board

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March 6, 2017

A regular meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commission Advisory Board was held on March 6, 2017 in the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s CRB Hearing Room, 21 Oak Street, Hartford, Connecticut.

Agenda Topics:

  1. Opening Remarks
  2. Chairman Mastropietro’s Update
  3. Approval of Minutes (Nov. 7, 2016 and Jan. 9, 2017)
  4. New Business
  5. Adjournment

Minutes

A regular meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commission Advisory Board was held on March 6, 2017 in the Workers’ Compensation Commission’s CRB Hearing Room, 21 Oak Street, Hartford, Connecticut.

The meeting convened at 10:15 a.m. with the following Board Members present: Acting Chairman Rocco Calo, John Adamson, Michael Dimenstein, Theodore Duarte, Ross Hollander, and Gregory Nokes. Also present from the Workers’ Compensation Commission were Chairman John Mastropietro, Michael Petosa and Connie Rue-Stange.

  1. Opening Remarks
    1. Acting Chairman Rocco Calo welcomed the group.
  2. Chairman Mastropietro’s Update
    1. Hearing Statistics. Waiting time for scheduling first hearings continue to remain under 28 days. These are positive results, but concern was raised whether it will continue with the upcoming vacancies of two Commissioners.
    2. Mediation Program. The Mediation Program has been very successful. However, due to the shortage of one Commissioner and the number of mediation hearings being cancelled without sufficient time to schedule another hearing, the Commissioners agreed that a new policy needs to be implemented. This policy will require that any mediation hearing must be cancelled prior to 14 days of the scheduled date. Any mediation hearing cancelled in less than 14 days will not be rescheduled, absent unforeseen circumstances. Discussion ensued after which the Advisory Board members agreed with the new policy. Chairman Mastropietro will issue a Chairman’s Memo to explain the new policy and procedures.
    3. Medicare Set-Aside Agreements. Chairman explained the federal Medicare Set-Aside program and how recent changes are impacting the settlement of workers’ compensation claims. A committee has been working on a policy which will provide guidance to employers and insurers.
    4. Seminars. The Commission plans to hold another seminar in October or November of 2017 to continue its role in educating medical and insurance personnel. The plan is to schedule two levels: basic and advanced. Chairman asked the board members to suggest topics for the curriculum.
    5. Opioid Protocols. The Commission is issuing revised Opioid protocols to guide medical practitioners in their use of prescribing Opioids to workers’ compensation claimants.
    6. Protocols for Foot and Ankle Injuries. The Foot and Ankle protocols are near completion. This will be last body part protocol issued by the Commission. Protocols for (1) Psychological Pain Assessment and Treatment, (2) Opioids, (3) Cervical Spine (neck), (4) Lumbar Spine (back), (5) Shoulder, (6) Hand (hand, wrist, elbow) and (7) Knee are available on the Commission’s website: http://wcc.state.ct.us/download/acrobat/protocols.pdf
    7. Medical Marijuana. Discussion was held about the possibility of creating protocols for the use of medical marijuana for medical treatment of workers’ compensation claimants. Chairman shared that he is working with the Medical Advisory Panel members on this subject and that no determination has been made.
    8. Pending Legislation. Chairman distributed the current list of pending legislation involving the Commission. He discussed a few of the bills including Senate Bill No. 882, An Act Expanding Remedies and Potential Liability for Unreasonably Contested or Delayed Workers’ Compensation. The Advisory Board members agreed that the Commission will not take a position on Senate Bill No. 882. He also discussed the two bills addressing PTSD (Senate Bills No. 27 and 763).
    9. Budget Update. Chairman will be meeting the Appropriations Subcommittee on March 10, 2017 and will report back to the Advisory Board.
    10. Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board Reappointments. Theodore Duarte and Rocco Calo, terms ended on December 31, 2016. They are both seeking reappointment. Discussion was held about the vacancy which remains on the Board for a person representing employees.
    11. Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Reappointments. The five-year terms of Workers’ Compensation Commission Commissioners Jack Goldberg, Peter Mlynarczyk and Charles Senich will end during the 2017 Legislative session. Gubernatorial reappointments are expected soon.

  3. Approval of Minutes
    1. A motion to approve the minutes of November 7, 2016 and January 9, 2017 was made by Ross Hollander and seconded by Michael Dimenstein. The motion passed unanimously.
  4. Adjournment
    1. A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by John Adamson and seconded by Ross Hollander. The motion passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 11:15 a.m.
  5. Next Meeting
    1. The next regular meeting will be held on April 3, 2017.

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: February 21, 2018

Page URL: http://wcc.state.ct.us/public-meetings/wc-advisory-board/2017/03-06-2017.htm

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State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, Stephen M. Morelli, Chairman
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