Council on Worker's Compensation
Meeting Minutes
March 22, 1999

Members present: Mr. Bagin, Mr. Beiriger, Mr. Glaser, Mr. Muelver, Mr. Newby, Mr. Olson, Mr. Welnak, Mr. Higgins for Mr. Grassl.

Staff present: Mr. Martz, Mr. Smith, Mr. Vinge.

Liaison present: Ms. Sherman, State Medical Society; Mr. Leonard, Wisconsin Chiropractic Association

1. Minutes. Mr. Vinge called the meeting to order in compliance with Wisconsin's open meetings law. Mr. Bagin moved approval of the minutes of the February 3, 1999 meeting as drafted. Mr. Welnak seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

2. Legislation proposed by legislators and public. Mr. Smith summarized proposals received by the Department or the Council related to:

Mr. Bagin objected to consideration of the proposal to authorize dentists to issue opinions on the cause and extent of disability, particularly related to TMJ. He said he had discussed his concerns with Dr. D’Angelo, the author of that proposal, and invited him to write or make a presentation to the Council. Mr. Glaser said he was not aware of any problem requiring legislative changes. The Council requested that the Division explain to Rep. Vrakas that neither labor or management members of the Council believe a change is necessary.

Mr. Glaser objected to consideration of the proposal to offer premium reductions for drug testing. He said it was a mandatory subject of collective bargaining under federal law and that offering premium reductions for some employers’ increases premiums for other employers. He encouraged employers to concentrate on safety in general. Mr. Bagin said that, while he was not sure how much good it would do, he was reluctant to abandon the idea completely because s. 102.58 is not very effective. Mr. Beiriger said that, while he did not support the premium reduction approach in Rep. Walker’s bill (1997 AB 440), the Council should encourage legislators and other to search for an effective solution to the drug/alcohol problem because it is a serious problem. Ms. Jo Le Duc from the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance said that current premium dividend programs for safety offered employers greater potential savings than those proposed in the bill.

Mr. Smith said the Division did not understand the purpose behind Rep. Schneider’s proposal, 1999 AB 32, to amend the worker's compensation open records provision. It seemed to go well beyond what was necessary to protect the confidentiality of injured employees. The Council requested Mr. Smith to discuss the proposal with Rep. Schneider to provide the Council with a better understanding of the problem that the legislation seeks to cure.

Mr. Leonard, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association and liaison to the Council, and Ms. Sherman, liaison to the Council from the State Medical Society, discussed several proposals dealing with the medical-only fee/necessity dispute resolution process in s. 102.16(2) and (2m), Stats. Mr. Glaser said he wanted to review the proposals further.

3. Legislative proposals from management. Mr. Bagin explained the following management proposals:

Mr. Glaser requested that the Division provide Council members with a copy of the Lange case.

4. Legislative proposals from labor. Mr. Glaser explained the following proposals:

5. Adjournment. The Council adjourned to April 19, 1999 at 10:00 a.m. in Madison