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.
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.
The WCAC has weighed in on the major bills as they stand in their original form, as several measures proceed in Committee this week. Stick with Louisiana Comp Blog for full coverage of that meeting and all comp-related legislative happenings until the Session ends on June 6th.
The March meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) took place last Thursday at the Department of Insurance in Baton Rouge. Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA) Director Sheral Kellar guided the Council and the public through several key pieces of business, including the appointment and introduction of the new Medical Director. Representative Chris Broadwater (pictured) gave presentations on a variety of bills he has filed for the 2016 Legislative Session, currently in its third week, and members voted on whether or not to recommend both his and several other pending instruments to the appropriate Committees.
Several new bills are on our radar this week as the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council prepares to hear presentations from lawmakers on several measures on Thursday. Stick with Louisiana Comp Blog for full coverage of that meeting and all comp-related legislative happenings until the Session ends on June 6th.
New Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA) Director and former Chief Workers’ Compensation Judge Sheral Kellar held her first Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) meeting yesterday at the LABI conference center in Baton Rouge. After introducing herself to the assembled stakeholders, Kellar addressed several pending administrative issues, including the Arrant v. Acree Supreme Court decision, the hiring process for a new Medical Director, and CLE credit for pro bono representation.
Gregory Hubachek, of Workers’ Compensation LLC, a law firm representing injured workers, has practiced in the field of workers’ compensation for over two decades and served on the Governor’s Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council since 2009, as well as providing educational presentations for a variety of organizations including LABI, the OWC, and the Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group. In this guest post, Hubachek and D. Kirkhoff Brainard sound off on how Louisiana can remedy its current budget woes by enforcing existing employment laws, and why dedicating resources to the Louisiana Workforce Commission to that end is so vitally important.
At the October meeting of the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council yesterday, members addressed concerns about UR review, reimbursement for surgical implants, the pending status of a new OWC Medical Director, and the upcoming public hearing for the 200+ page update of the Medical Treatment Schedule.
This month’s featured executive is Julie Cherry, Secretary-Treasurer of the Louisiana AFL-CIO and WCAC labor representative, among many other roles. Read on for her take on workers’ comp, the moral imperative in a balanced system, and how we can encourage young women to pursue their interests – no matter where they lie.
The closed formulary bill for workers’ comp (SB256 by Senator Martiny) was voluntarily deferred in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on Wednesday, May 6th. Louisiana Comp Blog spoke with WCAC formulary task force members Greg Hubachek and Troy Prevot to get their perspective on the what led to the defeat.