WCAC Meeting Celebrates Barber Win, Focuses on Guideline Updates

The Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) met yesterday in Baton Rouge. Amid an explanation of the Barber case, Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA) Director and WCAC Chair Sheral Kellar emphasized the work that still must be done, especially on the Medical Treatment Guidelines.

 

Final version of Chronic Pain Guideline reached

 

The Chronic Pain Guideline update by the Medical Advisory Council (MAC) has been edited, based on the comments received when it was originally published on the Louisiana Workforce Commission website. Director Kellar said that the Office is taking steps to publish the Notice of Intent, so any additional comments need to be submitted by December 20th.

Kellar and OWCA Medical Director Dr. Jason Picard confirmed that the next guideline update will be carpal tunnel. The Complex Regional Pain Syndrome update is being finalized by the MAC and the Office intends to go through the same process of online publication for comment.

 

Barber decision reviewed

 

Erin Sayes Kenny, an attorney who worked on the Barber case for the OWCA presented the details of the decision to the Council. Regarding the one area where the plaintiffs prevailed, judicial independence and ex parte communication, Kenny said that she has not been instructed to appeal that portion of the ruling. “The court recognized the procedure put in place [under the Edwards administration] to address judicial misconduct and disability,” she said. “So we consider this a win across the board.”

Kellar stated that though the Barber decision is “a great victory for the Office” the Medical Treatment Guidelines and procedures surrounding them still have issues that must be remedied. “I encourage your input in trying to address those problems,” she said. “Today we can celebrate, but tomorrow we need to go work.”

There will be no additional WCAC meetings in 2018, dates are still be considered for next year.

During roll call, it was revealed that Jennifer Marusak is no longer on the Council, no potential replacements were named.

 

Members present: Jones, Williams, Dartez, Lindsey, Stokes, Kellar, Davoli, Cherry, Zimmerman, Morris, Losavio

Members absent: Collins, Kruse

 

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