Worker's Compensation Advisory Council

Council on Worker's Compensation
Crowne Plaza
Madison, Wisconsin
October 6, 2009

Members present:   Mr. Beiriger,  Mr. Brand, Mr. Buchen, Mr. Collingwood, Ms. Connor, Ms. Huntley-Cooper, Mr. Kent, Mr. Newby, Ms. Nugent, Mr. Olson, Ms. Pehler, Mr. Redman, Mr. Schwanda and Ms. Vetter 

Excused:   

Absent: 

Staff present:   Mr. Conway, Mr. O'Malley, Ms. Knutson, Mr. Krueger, and Mr. Shorey 

  1. Call to Order/Introductions: Ms. Huntley-Cooper convened the Worker's Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) meeting at approximately 10:00 a.m. in accordance with Wisconsin's open meetings law.  WCAC members, staff and members of the audience introduced themselves.
     
  2. Minutes: The minutes of the June 5, 2009 meeting were unanimously approved without correction.
     
  3. Presentation: Mr. Greg Krohm, Executive Director of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions, provided a presentation on the Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau's (WCRB) voluntary medical data call, which was sponsored by the Wisconsin Insurance Alliance.  The current reasonableness of fee dispute resolution process that has been in effect since 1992, has not kept rising medical costs under control.  In addition, the number of medical disputes filed has been a workload burden on the Worker's Compensation Division (WCD).  The highest costs in Wisconsin are for surgical care.  Forty-two carriers responded to the WCRB data call with information on 1.2 million medical bills for the years 2006 and 2007.  The information included the charged and paid amounts by procedure code.  Regional variations in charges are very small.  The data call analysis is a tool that can be used in analyzing medical costs associated with worker's compensation claims. 

  4. Reports:  Mr. O'Malley reported on the amendments to Chapter 102, Wis. Stats., approved in the state budget effective July 1, 2009 (2009 WI Act 28).  Copies of the language of the amendments were handed out to the WCAC members.  

    A new subsection was created, §102.07(8)(d), which provides a fine of $25,000 in the event a construction employer attempts to misclassify an employee as a non-employee.  The fine would be imposed by the court system.   

    Domestic partners, as defined under Chapter 770, are included as dependents under the Worker's Compensation Act for death benefit purposes and the special death benefit for dependents of law enforcement officers under §102.475.  Children of domestic partners are eligible for benefits from the Children's Fund under §102.49.  

    Mr. O'Malley reviewed the summary of the WCAC's action on the agreed bill proposals for amendments to Chapter 102 and DWD 80.  Management and Labor will further review the language and intent of the proposed amendment to §102.17(4).  

    Mr. O'Malley and Ms. Knutson reviewed and further explained the four Department proposals that were pending action by the WCAC (Department proposal numbers 2, 12, 13 and 14).  The WCAC tabled further action on these proposals.  

  5. Correspondence:   Tabled until next meeting.

  6. Unfinished  Business-Proposals:  The WCAC members discussed health cost containment issues with the Medical Liaisons to the WCAC.  Issues discussed included: setting a maximum allowable payment, indexing future medical costs, utilization of the medical data call information, and the length of time needed to develop and implement a health cost containment system.  

    The WCAC members requested that language be added to the proposed amendment to §102.43(9) to clarify that temporary disability benefits would not be payable to an injured worker during the period of his/her incarceration.  

    Mr. Newby reported that the planned meeting with Mr. Buchen, Mr. Newby and Secretary Gassman regarding the lapse in funds from the WCD budget and the WISBF was postponed and has not yet been rescheduled.

  7. New Business:  None.

  8. Adjournment: Discussion on all agenda items concluded and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 4:00 p.m.

    Future meeting dates:   October 19, 2009 at the Crowne Plaza