Legislative session starts Monday; stay tuned for workers' comp updates
Monday, January 9th marks the start of the 2017 legislative session in Washington. The overwhelming big ticket item confronting the Washington Legislature is court-mandated education funding. Still, workers' comp promises to be in the mix as the employer community plans to propose a series of workers' compensation reforms, including additional self-insured claims management authority and the Department of Labor & Industries brings forward some legislative and budget proposals. Check our blog and this newsletter next week for a more in-depth legislative forecast.
Did you know: Members of our Legislative Committee are provided a weekly legislative update and bill tracking sheet for both workers' comp and workplace safety to follow the action throughout the session, and are frequently called upon by e-mail to comment on legislative proposals as we develop positions. If you'd like to be on the WSIA Legislative Committee e-mail list, drop me a line.
Last chance approaching for Winter West registration
We're looking forward to seeing many of you next Thursday in Gig Harbor for our day-long Winter West Conference, Claims Management 360°, which engages a multi-disciplinary panel of experts to follow a complex workers' comp claims from beginning to end, sharing case studies, tips, and insights -- and 7 hours of claims management and other recertification credits. There's still time and room left for registration -- click here for details. If you can't make the program next week, you can catch it later in the month in Spokane at our counterpart Winter East Conference.
Health policy news for self-insured employers
The Department's occasional newsletterette, "Health Policy News for Self-Insured Employers," is out again, chronicling the recently completed and upcoming work of the Health Policy program which operates under the Office of Medical Director and engages on treatment guidelines and coverage decisions for workers' compensation, among other related topics. Click here for the latest edition.
Latest Liaison Committee report up; new SI contact list included
WSIA's Liaison Committee, our Board's claims management leads who meet bi-monthly with self-insurance program leadership to represent membership issues and concerns, and discuss ongoing operation and oversight of self-insurance, met yesterday. The minutes from that meeting, including the latest updated contact list for SI program personnel at the Department, is now up on our website at this link (member login req'd).
Department still needs firms to sign up for mandatory Medical EDI data submission
One of the topics brought up at the Liaison Committee meeting was the Department's challenges in getting compete self-insured employer registration for testing and ultimately reporting medical bill data to the new Electronic Data Interchange, which becomes mandatory July 1 of this year. Of 353 firms, the Department has only received registration from 133, the vast majority of which are putting off testing until April or later. If your self-insured program has not yet registered, or if you are a Third Party Administrator who has not yet registered your client companies, please take a look at the Department's latest Medical EDI registration info & links.
Get your RSVPs in for Regional Meetings this month
We have two Regional Meetings on the events calendar for later this month - one in Vancouver and one in Spokane - 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.
Safety Committee meeting cancelled
In light of our Winter West Conference taking place next Thursday, our Safety Committee's regularly scheduled monthly meeting for January is cancelled. The next meeting will take place as planned on February 9th. More info about the meeting and its agenda will come out before then. For more information about WSIA's Safety Committee and its activities, contact committee chair John Shervey.