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

March 6, 2015

June 5, 2015  ›

September 11, 2015

December 4, 2015

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June 5, 2015

A meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioners was held on Friday, June 5, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. at the Office of the Chairman, 21 Oak Street, 4th Floor, Hartford, CT.

Agenda Topics:

  1. Vocational Rehabilitaiton Referrals handout
  2. Federal Rate for VA bills handout
  3. MediCare Set Asides
    1. Professional Adminstered MSA Annuities
    2. Revisionary language in Stipulations
    3. Hearing on the Merits handout
  4. Proposed Mediation Guidelines handout
  5. Defamatory Remarks/Commissioners’ Examiner
  6. Client Security
  7. Statements of Financial Interest
  8. Medical Protocols
  9. 31-299a(b)
  10. Roles of Physician’s Assistants and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses handout
  11. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction handout
  12. Ex Parte Comunnication re: Treating Physicians handout
  13. NCCI/WCRI handout
  14. Orthopedic Associates of Hartford
  15. Implications of Caraballo decision
  16. Medical Advisory Panel PPD Rating Committee
  17. Legislation/Budget

Minutes

A regular meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioners was held on Friday, June 5, 2015 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 except Commissioner Delaney, Commissioner Mullins, Commissioner Cohen, Commissioner Morelli and Commissioner Mlynarczyk. Also present were Nancy Bonuomo, Madeleine Lemieux, Vincent Flynn, Connie Rue and Tara Remillard of the Workers’ Compensation Commission.

  1. Vocational Rehabilitation Referrals
    1. Discussion ensued about the Workers’ Rehabilitation Program. A handout was provided to the Commissioners outlining the services provided. The program is within the Department of Rehabilitation Services. Each district office has a Rehabilitation Counselor assigned to it. The Commissioners were encouraged to make referrals as circumstaces warranted.
  2. Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital Charges
    1. The VA has required that payment be paid at the hospital rates they set as opposed to the Connecticut Fee Schedule for services rendered to Connecticut injured workers. It was decided by the Commissioners that this issue is beyond the scope of the Agency’s authority.
  3. Medicare Set-Asides
    1. Chairman Mastropietro reported that a committee of attorneys and Commissioners met to discuss MSAs and some of the language that is included in stipulations. The Committee will be meeting again in the near future and a report of their recommendations will be provided when completed.
  4. Proposed Mediation Guidelines
    1. The final draft of the mediation program was distributed. The Commissioners approved the proposed guidelines unanimously. The program will begin July 1.
  5. Commissioners’ Examiners
    1. Discussion ensued concerning objections that have been raised by some attorneys as to the Commissioner’s choice of an examiner due to the attorney’s past relationship with the doctor. It was agreed that it is the discretion of the Commissioner and the decision should be on a case by case basis.
  6. Client Security Fund
    1. Chairman Mastropietro reminded the Commissioners that the Client Security Fund due date is June 17.
  7. Statements of Financial Interest
    1. Chairman Mastropietro reported that the Commission is in full compliance with filing Statements of Financial Interests and thanked all for their cooperation.
  8. Medical Protocols
    1. Chairman Mastropietro provided a list of protocols that have been established and those that are in the process of being created. The Chairman reminded everyone that the protocols were the work product of the Medical Advisory Panel and urged the Commissioners to monitor compliance of same where appropriate.
  9. 31-299a(b)
    1. Discussion ensued concerning medical coverage for injured state employees in instances where a Form 43 is filed. As the state is self-funded for its group medical coverage, it is governed by ERISA and therefore technically subject to the 31-299a(b). Generally, this is not an issue as the group carriers voluntarily comply with the statute. However, if there is a problem, the Chairman should be notified.
  10. Roles of Physician’s Assistants and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses
    1. Discussion concerning whether the Connecticut Practitioner Fee Schedule will need to be revised as a result of Public Act 14-12. It was decided to table this topic until the next meeting.
  11. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
    1. Chairman Mastropietro provided information to the Commissioners concerning a program recently held at St. Vincent’s Medical Center.
  12. Ex Parte Communication re: Treating Physicians
    1. Discussion was held regarding correspondence received from an attorney questioning the parameters of communications with treating physicians. It was decided by the Commissioners that instances similar to what was presented should be decided on a case by case basis by a Commissioner.
  13. NCCI/WCRI
    1. An update was provided to the Commissioners about recent NCCI and WCRI webinars on Physicians Dispensing Reforms and Repackaged Rx Reforms. Connecticut fared well in these studies.
  14. Orthopedic Associates of Hartford
    1. Chairman Mastropietro has been invited to attend an educational meeting with the Orthopedic Associates of Hartford doctors concerning general workers’ compensation questions and issues. The Chairman provided the opportunity for any Commissioners to attend this with him on June 16 at 6 pm. If interested in participating, please contact Tara.
  15. Implications of Caraballo decision
    1. There are still many cases pending in the system which may be litigated by the hospital’s representatives. Once the cases are ready to proceed, a special docket may be considered to handle the cases. Mediation may be another alternative once the respondent’s attorneys have filed an appearance.
  16. Medical Advisory Panel PPD Rating Committee
    1. An update from the Medical Advisory Panel was provided to the Commissioners. A PPD Rating Committee has been formed. This may help clarify which rating to use when applying it to body parts where there is a vast difference between the 5th/6th edition of the AMA Guidelines. Dr. Gerald Becker is chairing this subcommittee.
  17. Legislation/Budget
    1. An update was provided by Chairman Mastropietro concerning Legislation passed/not passed during the session and how it impacted the Agency.

There being no further business, Commissioner Goldberg made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Salerno seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 11:25 a.m.

Workers’ Compensation Commission

Page last revised: February 21, 2018

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