News from Washington's Workers' Comp & Workplace Safety Leader
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The WSIA Weekly, 10.2.15

WSIA analysis of Labor & Industries' rate announcement posted
As we noted last Friday, the Department of Labor & Industries has released its 2016 workers' compensation rate proposal, a two average increase for Washington employers, including a 6.25 proposed hike in the Supplemental Pension Fund assessment that self-insurers also pay. Why is the Department proposing what it is proposing, what are the key cost drivers, and how does it compare to rate filings around the country? Take a look at our detailed commentary posted on the WSIA blog.

New Workers' Compensation Advisory Committee materials available
Last Friday, while we are at our Fall Conference, the state's Workers' Compensation Advisory Committee met to hear about the financial health of the state's workers' comp system, an update on the 2016 rates, the latest data on return to work initiatives, and more. The full meeting materials are available at this link.

Self-Insurance Ombuds annual report released
Yesterday, Donna Egeland, former president of WSIA's Board of Directors and current incumbent of the office of self-insurance ombuds, has released her annual report to the Governor, detailing activities and findings of the office, and major initiatives over the last year and planned for the future. Take a look at the report at this link.

Switch to DSM-V for psychological conditions adopted
Yesterday, the Department of Labor & Industries formally adopted rules switching from the DSM-IV to DSM-V for diagnostic criteria governing psychological or psychiatric issues. The rules also clarify how the DSM-V will be implemented within workers' compensation, including new language related to exposure to traumatic events. The adopted rule language is available at this link.

No minimum wage increase in Washington for 2016
Washington's minimum wage rises if there is a year-over-year change in the Seattle-area Consumer Price Index. Yesterday, the Department of Labor & Industries reported there was no change from August, 2014 to August, 2015, and so the minimum wage stays the same next year at $9.47. For more, read L&I's press release at this link.

Now registering for Introduction to Claims
"Intro to Claims," our Industrial Insurance University's "101" course, is now open for registration. Happening November 4th and 5th at Valley Medical Center in Renton, this two day class provides a comprehensive introduction to workers' compensation in Washington, from history to basic claims handling matters, including building a claim file from scratch. It's ideal for professionals new to Washington's unique system, or those looking for a refresher on the fundamentals. Taught by experts in claims management, legal defense, and vocational rehabilitation, Intro to Claims is accredited for 15 WWCP CEU, and L&I CEU are pending. Get details and registration info at this link.

Two new webinars slated for October
We're happy to announce two new webinar programs coming later this month -- "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: What Every Claims Manager Needs to Know" on October 15th at 10:00 a.m. (details at this link), and a complimentary safety webinar, "Workplace Safety: Active Shooter on the Loose" on October 22nd at 10:00 a.m. (details at this link).

Fall Conference pics up on WSIA's Facebook page
We had a great time with some great speakers and attendees at last week's Fall Conference. Take a look.
Click above to check out our calendar of events, now including the 2015 Legal Issues Workshop, and new October webinars!
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