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News from Washington's Workers' Comp & Workplace Safety Leader
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The WSIA Weekly, 3.18.16


Successful Spring Conference wrapped up yesterday; focus shifts to Annual in May
Another great Spring Conference took place yesterday in Bellevue as about 100 WSIA members, exhibitors, speakers, and friends spent St. Patrick's Day together, listening to a great agenda of speakers from occupational health fields talk about the various conditions and diagnoses that most drive workers' comp claims and costs. Some photos from the conference are up on our Facebook page, with more coming next week. Our next big conference is the Annual in May in Spokane, and we look forward to seeing many of you there -- more information below!

Washington Supreme Court releases interesting felony bar decision
Yesterday, the Washington Supreme Court released its decision in Labor & Industries v. Rowley, a case involving the Industrial Insurance Act's bar on benefit payments for injuries sustained in the attempt or commission of a felony. The claimant, a truck driver, was seriously injured when his truck careened off an overpass, while suspected to be under the influence of and in possession of methamphetamines. While the court decided there was insufficient evidence of a felony to preclude benefits here, the real issue in the case became what standard of proof Labor & Industries must meet to prove commission of a felony - the usual "preponderance of the evidence" standard, or more stringent "clear cogent and convincing evidence" standard. Reversing the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals and Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court held L&I can prove a disqualifying felony by a preponderance of the evidence, but that it had failed to do so in this case for various reasons. Court's full opinion here.

WWCP is back and open for enrollment!
As we announced to our members on Wednesday, the Washington Workers' Compensation Professional (WWCP) designation is back after a three-year refresh, and is open for enrollment with the first of the two, two-day sessions starting in May in Renton. Individuals who complete both sessions and related coursework/exams join the distinguished community of WWCP holders and demonstrate their knowledge and commitment to high quality work in the various fields of workers' compensation. Class space is limited and is starting to fill up; all the info is available on our website here.

Labor & Industries seeking self-insured feedback on new medical EDI system
Earlier this week, the Department sent out a request for self-insured employers and third party administrators to provide input, comments, and feedback on the data elements that will be captured in the new medical Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) that will be part of the forthcoming Self-Insurance Risk Analysis System (SIRAS) interface. The Department is hoping to get broad feedback early next month to tailor the data collection to the needs of the self-insured community. Take a look at the invitation here, or for more information, contact L&I's Christina Gonzalez directly.

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