The 2015 annual conference of the Louisiana Association of Self-Insured Employers (LASIE) began on Wednesday November 4th and continues through the morning of November 6th with educational sessions and networking opportunities for workers’ comp industry colleagues old and new. Slideshow follows text.
This year’s theme, “the Land of Oz,” is meant to reflect the organization’s goals on several levels, including a reform package in next year’s Legislative Session. This is also the first conference that LASIE has held since expanding its mission to include all lines of self-insurance, not just workers’ comp. Gary Patureau, Executive Director of LASIE, reiterated the organization’s focus on a “regionally competitive” workers’ comp system several times, noting that the selection of speakers from neighboring states is meant to present a picture of possible issues in Louisiana’s statute.
To that effect, Wednesday afternoon featured a “candid conversation” with Louisiana Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA) Director Patrick Robinson, with Robinson discussing numerous efforts that the state is considering to hopefully improve outcomes for Louisiana workers. Such efforts include a potential formulary, updates to the Medical Treatment Guidelines and updates to the fee schedule bound (as many states do) by a percentage of Medicare reimbursement, usually between 140 and 195 percent. Robinson took a bullish stance during the session, insisting that the OWCA is thinking about the purpose of workers’ comp as a system to get injured workers back to work, and as such, all stakeholders should contribute to that common goal.
Particularly with regards to opioid use in Louisiana (by both injured workers and in the health care system in general) Robinson was troubled by what could occur if positive changes are not implemented. “If you think a formulary [or other system changes] won’t work and it’s going to cause all of these problems, then I’ve only got one thing to say – give me a better idea,” Robinson said.
Further sessions on Thursday and Friday focus on neighboring states and data on their reforms. From Texas, D.C. Campbell, Rod Bordelon and Amy Lee discussed their state’s employer medical provider networks, closed pharmacy formulary, and methods of “stakeholder accountability” as adjustments that were introduced to mitigate the “crisis” of Texas workers’ comp over a decade ago, while Karen McKinney (Commissioner of the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission) focused on her state’s use of employer provider networks.
Conference sessions are held in the exhibit hall. Click through to see how exhibitors incorporated the “Oz” theme!