News from Washington's Workers' Comp & Workplace Safety Leader
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The WSIA Weekly, 1.22.16

Great winter conference series wraps up this week
The WSIA office has been closed today as the whole team is on the way back from another successful Winter East conference yesterday, this time at the Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane. Fifty of our Eastern Washington members joined six exhibitors and an array of speakers for a great day of networking and continuing education, following our Winter West event the week before. We had a chance to tour the new Davenport Grand Hotel during our stay in Spokane, the site of this year's Annual Conference May 4th - 6th. The venue is spectacular. Be on the lookout for early Annual Conference information later this winter!

SI audit update released
The Department of Labor & Industries has released an update on the progress of the Tier 1 audits as part of the new audit reform model. The Department has touched approximately half of the self-insured employers so far with Tier 1, focused on wage calculation, and intends to finish up the remaining self-insured employers in 2016, as well as plan the next tiers of the audit project and develop the Self-Insurance Risk Analysis System (SIRAS) project to handle SI claims data. Check out the brief for more information.

Announcing complimentary Year in Review webinar
John Klor, WSIA Legal Committee Chair and partner at Wallace, Klor & Mann is back with his popular Year in Review webinar, covering all the legal and regulatory highlights of 2015. It's taking place Tuesday, February 23rd at 10:00 a.m. Registration for this free-for-members program is limited to the first 100 individual log ins. More details and link to registration here.

Another busy week in the Legislature
The Senate held a work session on Monday in which WSIA participated on the issue of self-insured IME utilization, based on concerns of purported over-utilization brought to light in the SI Ombuds' annual report. On Thursday, the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee held a public hearing on a quartet of workers' comp bills, including two major proposed changes to time loss compensation -- a 60 day absolute cap, or alternatively a cap on time loss at a worker's state of maximum medical improvement. A few new bills in both comp and safety were introduced, and more public hearings are planned for next week in both the House and Senate. These and other legislative issues are tracked in our weekly e-mail report, sent to members of our Legislative and Legal committees, and posted on our website here (member login req'd). If you're interested in membership in either committee, please let me know.

Vocational Rehabilitation "Option 2" rule formally adopted
Earlier this week the Department of Labor & Industries formally adopted its proposed rule giving effect to changes last year in the "Option 2" for Vocational Rehabilitation services, expanding the benefit and giving injured workers a longer period in which to elect it. The new rules go into effect February 19th. The language was worked on b the Vocational Improvement Project workgroup, which includes WSIA members Lori Daigle (Sellen) and Terry Peterson (Comprehensive Risk Management). For more information and a copy of the rule language, see this link.

Liaison Committee report available
The minutes and handouts from the most recent meeting earlier this month of the WSIA Liaison Committee and Labor & Industries' SI management is now available on the website. The Liaison Committee is your forum for bringing questions, concerns, or recommendations on claims, staffing, or performance issues to the attention of the SI section. The report is available here (member login req'd).

Have you claimed your member login to the new WSIA website?
When we launched our new website last Thursday, an e-mail address went out to all WSIA member contacts explaining how to complete your login, so you can access members-only content like our searchable membership directory, or register for our events. If you are in our system as a contact, an account has already been set up for you; your ID is your e-mail address. You will just want to reset your password from the default. Click here to reset your password and follow the instructions. Contact us at the office if you have any difficulty or need help.
Our annual Complex Claims training, February 18-19th at Valley Medical Center in Renton, is open for registration. Take a look and register your space today!

Check out our full Calendar of Events

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