View this email in your browser
Newsletter: August 2020
2020 Annual Report

Each year since the 2013 Reform Act, we’ve provided an update on our progress toward achieving its goals.

A new section in this year’s report shares data and information on the effects of COVID-19 on Tennessee workers' compensation claims. See page 9.

Download PDF
Save the dates for the virtual conference: October 26-30.
Register now for the Virtual Educational Conference: October 26-30, 2020

We are excited to announce that our conference will be held virtually this year. Mark your calendars for the dates above.

Watch Live or On-Demand

The choice is yours on viewing the conference sessions: you can view them live and contribute to the real-time Q&A; or watch them later, and you can still be able to ask questions via our "Communications Hub."

The live sessions will not be back-to-back but rather spread out through the last week of October.

Session content will remain available for on-demand viewing for three weeks, ending on Friday, November 13, 2020.

To learn more on how the session will be accessed, please read How to Navigate the Session Hall before the conference begins.


We're offering a variety of continuing education for various professions.

We've built the CEU request forms into the "Session Hall," so all you need to do is click the option that asks if you’re requesting CEUs for that session, and then "Submit."

Reduced Conference Fee (obviously)

Pricing for the online conference has been dramatically reduced, to enable more participants to join us, when travel might have been a barrier to past conferences.

Attendee Fee: $200
Early Bird Special: $175 (now - Sept 15)

Attendees are encouraged to network via Slack

What's your favorite song right now? What did the speaker mean by "R.E.W.A.R.D."? 

In efforts to recapture the networking opportunities that could be lost by not meeting in person, we are encouraging attendees to communicate via SlackSlack is a communications platform that will allow attendees to meet other attendees, interact and connect virtually via "channels".  All of our conversations about conference activities are shared within channels in a single location on Slack.  It takes the best features of instant messaging and email and combines them into one single platform.

Ask questions about the conference, a session, or even tech support ‒ all through Slack, aka the conference "Communication Hub".

Register Now

Registration is now open!
  1. Register at
  2. Join the conversation early on our Communication Hub. 
    • Introduce yourself, and share your favorite song. 🎵 
    • Comment (“start a thread”) on someone else’s song. 👊
  3. Read the Session Hall instructions to ensure you're ready when the conference starts.
    • If something doesn't make sense, use the #help channel on the Communications Hub to ask questions.
    • Link to "How to get to #help on Slack" article.
  4. Add the sessions to your calendar.
  5. Enjoy the conference!
    • Watch sessions.
    • Talk to others on the Communications Hub.
    • Ask questions to presenters on the Communications Hub.
    • Visit the virtual exhibit hall.
    • Buy a virtual 🎃 pumpkin for Kids' Chance.

Virtual Exhibitor Booths: Now Available

After each session, attendees will be directed to a virtual exhibit hall. If you or your organization is interested in having a virtual booth, reach out to to learn more. The virtual booth can have features like:
  • Customized look to fit your branding
  • Capture attendee info or create a sign up to win a prize.
  • Give a warm welcome with a pre-recorded welcome video that runs when attendees visit your booth.
  • Built-in text chat feature.
  • Video conference with your live rep (via Zoom, etc.)
2020 Legislative Updates

View a summary of the workers’ compensation legislation passed by the 2020 session of the 111th General Assembly.
What would make this newsletter better?
Telemedicine Rules Update 

In 2019, BWC attorney Mark Finks organized a working group to study the possibility of enacting telehealth/telemedicine rules for workers’ compensation in Tennessee. The working group is made up of medical providers, employers, insurance carriers, attorneys, and bureau staff. The group has met several times over the course of a year, both in person and virtually.

The Bureau is presently working with these stakeholder groups to develop rules for the specific use of these services in workers’ compensation that protects the patient’s rights but also complies with the workers’ compensation law, particularly as to panel selection and access to patient records. The formal rulemaking process will consist of a public hearing and review of the rules by the Governor’s office, Attorney General’s office, and the Joint Government Operations Committee at the state legislature.

Also, the Governor and Tennessee General Assembly are considering a special legislative session to continue discussion of a bill filed earlier this year dealing with criteria, payments, and the appropriate coverages for telemedicine services.

Even though telehealth was already available in the state’s health and injury plan for employees, the use of telehealth has also increased greatly in workers’ compensation.  With the onset of the pandemic, many physicians and other providers (such as physical therapists) have started to use real-time audio/video to have “virtual” visits with patients for safety and convenience.  Medicare has expanded their guidelines for these telemedicine visits. From the information the Bureau has received so far, telemedicine has been well received by most patients.  It is important to note that “telehealth” is a broad term that encompasses using technology to provide health information of all kinds to many different parties. “Telemedicine” is more narrowly defined as the interaction and treatment by the provider with the individual patient.
We're a Top Workplace!

This is the first year that the Bureau has participated in The Tennessean's "Top Workplaces" survey, and we’re happy to report that we made the list!

To us, being a Top Workplace means: open doors and open minds; two-way communication with the members of the organization; opportunities for growth; and a culture of understanding, appreciation, and support for individuals in good times and bad.

We hope this recognition expresses that we care about the people who have chosen our team, we want to help them grow as professionals, we listen to their concerns and act upon them, and we value them as individuals. Our agency's success and team's individual successes are intertwined.

One of our goals at the Bureau is to be a rewarding and enriching place to work while providing meaningful service to Tennesseans. Being on the Top Workplaces list means that we’re on the right path.
COVID-19  in Tennessee Workers’ Compensation

Through July 20, 2020, 1462 claims have been filed with the Bureau related to the pandemic for workers in Tennessee.  Of those, 558 (38%) have been denied.  The rest have either been accepted or are under investigation.  COVID-19 claims represent 4% of all claims filed so far in 2020.  Total claims filed with the Bureau are about 14% lower than last year. 

Drs. Talmage and Snyder have provided medical guidance to physicians and others about causation in this unique time. That article can be accessed through the AdMIRable Review:

The Bureau employees and programs have been affected as well.  AWS (Alternative Work Solution-work from home) has been in effect since March for almost all Bureau employees.  The Court of Worker’s Compensation Claims (CWCC) has recently renewed some specific proceedings in person under special circumstances and strict protocols.  Hardware, software and connectivity issues have been experienced, not any different from what many employees in other industries have experienced.  Flexibility, forbearance, patience and some humor are important until such time as there is an effective treatment, preventive medication and vaccine.   Keep in touch with colleagues and co-workers.  Stay safe.
Visiting our office? Here's the safety protocol

Many of our staff are still working from home and are fully accessible by email. Some phone calls might be answered with less speed, but voicemail boxes are being monitored and return calls are made. If you need to come into our office, we have a basic safety protocol that we'd like to give you the “heads up” about.

Upon entry to any Tennessee state office, guests and employees are currently required to answer COVID-19 screening questions and take a temperature reading. We also recommend that you wear a cloth face covering when in close proximity to others.

For more information on how in-person hearings are conducted, please read:
Adjuster Certification Program: Class Schedule Updates

The Adjuster Certification Program was designed from the beginning with a small class size format, so participants could get more personalized attention and interaction among their classmates. We fear much of those qualities might be lost in a transition to offering the class digitally.

Currently, the August (Nashville) and September (Sevierville) classes have been canceled. We’re exploring options to provide this program online and still provide a forum to communicate with classmates and presenters throughout.
Court Blog Posts

Stay up to date with our trial court by reading the latest blog entries: View all recent articles
Labor Day Holiday

State offices will be closed on Monday, September 7, 2020.
The "Improve-This-Newsletter" Survey 

The Bureau Bulletin is designed to keep you informed. Help us understand the quality of our publication and your satisfaction.
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
We post about our job openings on LinkedIn
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp