Weekly news and updates from Washington's workers' comp and workplace safety leader
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The WSIA Weekly, 12.9.16

New regional meetings announced for next month for Vancouver, Spokane
We've just put two new regional meetings on the events calendar for next month, both featuring a presentation by veteran physical therapist Joseph Noel on understanding the treatment of shoulder conditions in workers' comp. The Vancouver meeting will be taking place on January 17th from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. at the offices of ESD 112. The Spokane meeting, meanwhile, will take place on January 19th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at the ESD 101 offices, and will include a hosted lunch. Regional meetings are complimentary for WSIA members, and a great chance to earn some credits, network, and learn about a topic. We just ask that you RSVP your attendance plans so we have a headcount. Click here for the Vancouver regional details, and here for the Spokane regional details.

Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals adopts new practice rules
Last Friday, the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals formally adopted recently proposed changes to various of its practice and procedure rules. The changes, accordingly, go into effect January 2, 2017. WSIA had submitted a comment letter, in particular representing members' concerns with the ban on video perpetuation depositions. Unfortunately, the Board did not adopt WSIA's suggestion to allow them, provided they are transcribed. The rules were adopted without change from their original proposal. You can see a copy of the rules here.

State Workers' Comp Advisory Committee meets
Earlier today, the Workers' Compensation Advisory Committee held its quarterly update meeting in Tukwila. Advisory committee members and other stakeholders heard a series of presentations on the work of the Workers' Comp Finance Committee, including a reduction in the Pension Discount Rate and the purchase of re-insurance for the State Fund, as well as updates on the Department's disability prevention initiatives, the financial state of the funds, and more. Click here for a copy of the WCAC presentations.  

OSHA seeks comments on preventing workplace violence in health care
Earlier this week, OSHA released a request for information on whether to propose a standard to prevent workplace violence in healthcare and social assistance settings, indicating the agency's interest in rulemaking on the subject. While it is unclear if the incoming administration will continue the effort, folks interested in submitting a comment on the matter can do so following the instructions in the Federal Register at this link

Workers' comp reform efforts in the news
On Wednesday, Lens, an online business-oriented news site published a nifty piece on a recent Senate hearing on workers' compensation reform in Washington, noting the high cost drivers in our state. Take a look at "Washington State Aims to Get a Better Grip on Workers' Compensation Costs" here.

Insolvency Trust Board meets; no assessment necessary
Also on Wednesday, the self-insurance Insolvency Trust Board held its annual meeting in Tukwila. Fortunately, defaults among self-insurers have been rare recently. The Insolvency Trust Fund is well capitalized, and there is accordingly no assessment forecasted for the coming year.  

Dr. Franklin "Fireside Chat" accredited; now in the webinar archive
If you missed the excellent online "Fireside Chat" with Labor & Industries' Medical Director, Dr. Gary Franklin, last month, the program is now available for purchase in our webinar archive. It has since been awarded 2 claims management credits by the Department, along with the WWCP, SHRM, and HRCI credits. Titled "The Latest in Medical Policy," the two hour program covered a wide range of topics at the forefront of the Department's medical management efforts. Click here for details & purchase button.
presented by  platinum sponsor  
Have you heard? MEDPlus is WSIA's preferred vendor for hearing claims services and aids. 
Click here to learn more about your member discount.

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