LCIA – the member services arm of LCI Workers’ Comp – hosted an “HR in the AM” breakfast event Wednesday for member insureds of the group self-insurance fund, as well as unaffiliated local small businesses. The event homed in on major changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rules, which will go into effect on December 1st, 2016. To head off confusion about how businesses could be impacted, LCIA invited New Orleans-based attorney Terese M. Bennett to speak on the issue and point employers toward relevant resources.
The inaugural meeting of the Louisiana Commission on Preventing Opioid Abuse was held yesterday at the Department of Health in Baton Rouge. The Commission is the result of HCR 113, a resolution passed in the last regular legislative session and is co-chaired by Malcolm Broussard of the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy and Eric D. Torres of the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners.
Last week, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) held its annual workers’ comp seminar at L’Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge. Presenters addressed a wide variety of industry issues, including deposition strategies, functional capacity evaluations and physical therapy. However, opioids and policy controls surrounding them remained a major focus of the event, with a stirring speech from state Representative Chris Broadwater (R – Hammond).
The following guest post is by Dr. Douglas Lurie, a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon with Orthopaedic Associates of New Orleans. He graduated magna cum laude from Birmingham Southern College as a Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. Dr. Lurie then graduated from the University of South Alabama School of Medicine where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. He completed his Orthopaedic Surgery internship and residency at Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans, where he was a chief resident. In the workers’ comp arena, Dr. Lurie has performed thousands of utilization reviews since the Medical Treatment Guidelines were implemented. He is also the National Medical Director for Propeer, a URAC-certified independent review organization.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA) hosted a “Town Hall Meeting” at the Port of New Orleans on Tuesday focusing on the Medical Treatment Guidelines and related processing issues. The meeting was one of a series that will be held in locations around the state.
Governor John Bel Edwards announced selections and replacements for the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC), which has not met in several months in anticipation of a shake up. Officially, the WCAC is responsible for monitoring and reporting to the Governor and the Legislature on the implementation and administration of laws pertaining to the administration of workers’ compensation. In practice, the body serves as a speed bump for workers’ comp reform bills and is particularly important during the regular state legislative session.
Last week, HB 575, seeking to change the status of workers’ comp judges from classified to unclassified, was deferred. The same day, SB 44, a bill delineating certain subrogation rights for employers, won approval from the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council. This week, the group self-insurance fund financial bill faces another Committee hearing and the measure mandating the licensure of workers’ comp adjusters moves to the House. Also, Workers’ Memorial Day will be recognized with a program at the Labor Union Hall in Baton Rouge.
The April meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) at the Louisiana Workforce Commission focused mainly on regulatory issues, including Senator Gatti’s pending subrogation bill (SB 44). However, much of the discussion was tied up with the new proposed 1008 and Answer forms, presented by newly appointed Chief Judge Diane Lundeen. Complaints about the draft centered around potential difficulty of use for unrepresented claimants.
Representative Chris Broadwater, a former Director of the Office of Workers’ Compensation and sponsor of several comp-related bills this Session, is ready to “raise eyebrows” regarding his most controversial measures. The veteran legislator sat down with Louisiana Comp Blog after a Committee meeting last Thursday in which his group Fund regulation bill (HB 280) was reported favorably.
Last week, HB 665, the bill toughening penalties for employer misclassification, failed on the floor of the House. This week, relevant measures continue to move with consideration of HB 575 on Wednesday. The bill would amend the Constitution to change the status of workers’ comp judges from classified to unclassified and establish a five year term. Further, this month’s Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council meeting was moved to this week and will address Senator Gatti’s SB 44 on subrogation rights among other issues.