News from Washington's Workers' Comp & Workplace Safety Leader
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The WSIA Weekly, 9.18.15

One week to Fall Conference 2015
There's under one week left to get your registrations in to join us at our 2015 Fall Conference, "Key into Safety," sponsored by MedPLUS Health Solutions and Amplifon Hearing Health Care. We're getting excited for presentations by senior staff from the corporate, legal, governmental, and regulatory sectors, as well as claims management pieces by a UW psychiatrist and a retail executive. We’ll be hearing about accident and disability prevention, and safety compliance, from L&I’s DOSH, the Cummins Goodman law firm, Safeway/Albertsons, Hoffman Construction, the City of Longview, Washington Farm Bureau, Rader Farms, Trident Seafoods, Washington Bulb Company, Nucor Steel, and more, with exhibitions from MCN, Miles Investigation, impartial, Sunrise Medical Consultants, OMAC and Amplifon during the networking breaks. We're back in the SeaTac-Tukwila area again this year; see the link here for agenda, details, and registration.

WSIA Legislative Fund endorses Teri Hickel for State Legislature
We're pleased to announce that WSIA's Legislative Fund has endorsed and is supporting the campaign of Teri Hickel for the House of Representatives in Washington's 30th legislative district in the Federal Way area. Hickel, a former chamber of commerce executive, has been endorsed by the Seattle Times and narrowly won the August primary election over recently appointed incumbent Carol Gregory, a former teachers' union official. The two square off again in the November general election. With Hickel's business background, she has demonstrated interest and concern for the issues WSIA members face at the Legislature promoting a fair and sustainable workers' compensation system. WSIA's Legislative Fund is comprised of voluntary contributions exclusively by WSIA's private sector members.

2016 State Fund rate increase announcement expected next week
The Department of Labor & Industries is expected to propose its average rate for 2016 next week, which includes premiums paid by state fund employers for the Accident and Medical Aid funds, as well as assessments paid by all employers, including self-insureds, for the supplemental pension fund. Lately, the Department has referenced annual wage inflation as its target benchmark for rate-setting. With 4.2 percent wage inflation over the last year, a rate increase in that ballpark is possible. Meanwhile, Oregon announced this week a 5.3 percent overall rate reduction, the state's third annual decrease in a row and the eighth in the last decade.

Need L&I claims management credits? IIMAC webinar approved for 1.5
Next Thursday, we're hosting Dr. Andrew Friedman, co-chair of the Department of Labor & Industries' Industrial Insurance Medical Advisory Committee (IIMAC) and director of the spine clinic at Virginia Mason Medical Center, for a 90 minute webinar on the issues and procedures in front of the IIMAC for consideration, and how the committee's work impacts the system and your workers' compensation costs. We just got word the Department has approved the webinar for 1.5 claims management CEU credits, along with the 1.5 CRC, CDMS, and WWCP credits already approved. The webinar starts at 10:00 a.m., take a look at the registration details here.

Congrats to our cert reviewers -- 100% passage rate
Congratulations to the newly certified/recertified claims handlers who sat for the Department's examination on Wednesday. As is often the case, we got word from the Department that all of our certification review participants who sat for the exam passed it. The next certification exam and round of cert review is in mid-December, with applications to sit for the exam accepted through November 1. See our website for more details

ICD-10 codes coming October 1
Last month, the Department announced the finalization of its formal rules to transition to the ICD-10 codes for medical billing. Previously, the Department had issued this guidance for self-insured employers. The Department continues to ramp up its materials for the conversion, having issued this webinar and a new document, "10 Things Providers Need to Know about ICD-10". 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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