Council on Worker’s Compensation
Meeting Minutes
GEF-1 Building
Madison, Wisconsin
May 14 , 2013

Members present: Mr. Beiriger, Ms. Bloomingdale, Mr. Brand, Mr. Brandl, Mr. Buchen, Mr. Redman, Mr. Kent, Mr. Metcalf, Ms. Nugent, Ms. Pehler, Mr. Schwanda, Mr. Collingwood and Ms. Thomas

Excused: Mr. Ginsburg

Staff present: Mr. Ezalarab, Mr. Krueger, Mr. Moreth and Mr. O’Malley

  1. Call to Order/Introductions: Mr. Metcalf convened the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) meeting at approximately 10:05 a.m. in accordance with Wisconsin’s open meetings law. WCAC members, staff and members of the audience introduced themselves.

  2. Approval of Minutes: Mr. Beiriger mentioned the draft minutes of the April 9, 2013 meeting should be corrected to accurately reflect the comments by Ms. Lynn Steffes from the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association. The corrections appear on a sheet submitted by Ms. Steffes included with the agenda. Mr. O’Malley pointed out an error on page 4 in the first paragraph in the next to last sentence of the draft minutes in the section containing comments by Ms. Connie Kinsella from the UW Hospital and Medical Foundation about the time it takes to receive payments from Medicare. The minutes should correctly reflect that this is14 days rather than 4 days. Mr. Moreth suggested another correction to the draft minutes on page 6 for the second proposal from the Self-Insurer’s Advisory Council. The second proposal was to amend DWD 80.60 (4) (d) 7 to clarify that excess insurance may be required by the Department rather than being mandatory. Mr. Beiriger moved to approve the minutes of the April 9, 2013 meeting with these corrections. Mr. Kent seconded the motion. The minutes as corrected were unanimously approved

  3. Correspondence: Mr. O’Malley reviewed the correspondence received by the WCAC since the last meeting.
  4. A letter was received from Ms. Susan Summerfield, President of the Wisconsin Health Information Management Association, dated March 29, 2013.  Ms. Summerfield recommended amending Chapters DWD 80 and 81 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code to delete reference to ICD-9-CM codes which will no longer be valid because of the implementation of the ICD-10 medical coding system which will become effective in October, 2014.

    An e-mail message was received from Sharon Belton, Senior Public Policy Analyst with the Worker’s Compensation Research Institute (WCRI), on May 9, 2013. Ms. Belton or other staff from the WCRI offered to appear at the next WCAC meeting on June 11, 2013 to assist with the current discussion on issues about medical cost containment initiatives and provide insights and lessons from other states about trends in medical costs, prices for health care services and implications of a fee schedule.

  5. Database Audit Committee: Mr. Krueger advised that Janet Jamieson will appear at the June 11, 2013 meeting and provide a report about the audit of the certified databases.

  6. Permanent Total Disability Study Committee: Mr. O’Malley updated the progress of the Permanent Total Disability Committee. The last meeting of the committee was held in November, 2012.The Department reviewed cases claiming compensation for permanent and total disability from October 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013. The Department will monitor the outcome of these cases. The Department received 273 cases claiming compensation for permanent total disability during this six month period. To date twenty of these cases were resolved by compromise agreements. The Department will continue to follow the cases to determine if they are resolved by litigation, compromise agreements or finding of fact orders.

  7. Work Injury Supplemental Benefit Fund: Mr. Krueger provided financial information on the WISBF and reviewed the revenue, expenditures and cash balance of the Fund through May 14, 2013. Mr. Krueger stated the encumbrance of known claims on the Fund is at or above 85% of the cash balance and the cash balance plus accounts receivable. The last page of the handout specifies the action that is required under the law, s. 102.65 (4) (b), Stats. The DWD Secretary is required to file a certificate with the Secretary of the Department of Administration that specifies one of the following:

    1)Payment of claims from the WISBF will be made as provided in a schedule the Department shall promulgate by rule
    2) A date after which payment of those claims will be reduced or
    3) A date after which no new claims under those provisions will be paid.

    Mr. Krueger informed the WCAC the WISBF has not paid any reimbursements for supplemental benefits for 2012.Mr. Krueger stated there was enough money in the WISBF to make other benefit payments, but there was not enough money in WISBF to reimburse worker’s compensation insurance carriers and self-insured employers for supplemental benefits.

    The WCAC discussed the options available for the WISBF.

    There was a motion made by Mr. Beiriger, seconded by Ms. Bloomingdale to adjourn to closed caucus. The motion carried unanimously and the WCAC went in to closed caucus at approximately 10:25a.m.

    The WCAC reconvened in open session at approximately 2:50p.m

  8. Other Business: Mr. Kent inquired if the Management members would like to have a member of the Minnesota staff present at the next meeting to discuss the medical fee system, reimbursement of health care providers under their system and how this is set up internally. Mr. Kent stated that information from the Minnesota staff person may help the WCAC learn about the Minnesota system and reach a consensus that everyone could agree upon.

    Mr. Beiriger mentioned there were three issues that should be addressed quickly. These issues are to make sure the WISBF is solvent, the Department’s proposal for the future solvency of the Uninsured Employer’s Fund and to extend the sunset provision in s. 102.43 (5), Stats., for two additional years. Mr. Beiriger stated there was a need to study the effect of s. 102.43 (5), Stats., for another two years before considering making this a permanent part of the law.

    Mr. Beiriger stated the Management members agreed to suspend payments to insurance carriers and self-insured employers for supplemental benefit reimbursements. This option would not require a permanent change in the law. By January 1, 2014, there should be a statutory change to cover the solvency of the WISBF. Mr. Beiriger requested continuing reports on the status of WISBF at least each six months.

    Mr. Beiriger mentioned the third point about how to deal with the future solvency of the Uninsured Employer’s Fund rather than using reinsurance. The Management members are supportive of the action to use assessments proposed by the Department to fund the Uninsured Employer’s Fund.

    There was a motion by Mr. Beiriger, seconded by Ms. Bloomingdale to:

    1) Extend the sunset provision in s.102.43 (5) (c), Stats., for an additional two years.

    2) Support the suspension of payments to reimburse supplemental benefits paid pursuant to s.102.44 (1) (c), Stats., and

    3) The Uninsured Employer’s Fund will pay claims in excess of one million dollars and will be reimbursed for payments for each claim in excess of one million dollars for each claim not covered by a reinsurance or excess insurance policy. Payments by insurers and self-insurers would be capped at $500,000 per calendar year and collected with the annual assessment made by the Department.

    The Department will have the provisions approved in the motion drafted. It is not known if the drafter will have adequate time to complete drafting these provisions by the next meeting considering that the bi-annual budget has not been finalized by the Legislature.

    The motion carried unanimously.

    July 9th, 2013 was identified as the tentative date for a WCAC meeting in July.

  9. Adjournment: Motion by Mr. Beiriger, second by Mr. Kent to adjourn. The motion carried unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 3:10 p.m.

  10. Next meeting: June 11th, 2013

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