The Louisiana Association of Self-Insured Employers (LASIE) held an advanced course through their Workers’ Compensation Academy on September 15th at the Bankers Center in Baton Rouge. This specialty class was designed as an interactive resource for attorneys, risk managers, risk analysts and claims managers/adjusters and focused on a more in-depth exploration of current issues in workers’ compensation administration and litigation.
The morning session was primarily interested in the Medical Treatment Guidelines, with presentations on both 2014 legislative revisions to the guidelines, plus a discussion of the landmark Dardar decision last year, which mandated the retroactive application of the guidelines regardless of when the injury occurred.
The morning session closed with an hour long presentation on mediation techniques as a voluntary tool within our workers’ compensation system that can bring an end to “old dog” or difficult claims. Presenters Kate Loos and Chip Duhe (of Katherine M. Loos LLC and Taylor, Wellons, Politz & Duhe, APLC, respectively) emphasized the key role of neutrality in mediations and gave several tips for a successful mediation. Two key points of advice: be polite at all times and be creative in your offers – it’s not all about the money!
The afternoon session switched gears from the legal to the administrative, but still with roots in current case law and opportunities for learning best practices with the new OWC processes. Highlights included JP Christiansen and Brian Bowes’ (of Hudson, Potts & Bernstein, LLP) frank and informative presentation on “Medical Disputes and Training to Sail Through the 1009 Process,” which promoted the strategic value of second medical opinions and discussed emergent issues regarding the inclusion of new evidence in OWC hearings on medical disputes. The 1010, 1010A, and 1008 forms also got spotlight presentations.
Gary Patureau, Executive Director of LASIE, was excited about being able to offer extensive advanced instruction for industry professionals. He explained, “The course covers the workers’ compensation laws in depth and advises attendees as to how courts interpret these laws in real cases. Our speakers draw from their vast experience to address situations common to employers and of interest to all professionals in the field.” Patureau went on to explain that advanced courses are a major part of LASIE’s mission, and provide a practical benefit in that the courses, “help [adjusters and other workers’ comp professionals] efficiently administer their company’s workers’ compensation programs in every area from preventing injuries to providing appropriate care to settling claims and getting injured employees back to work.”
In addition to those mentioned above, the other speakers at the seminar were: Shannon Frese of Roedel Parsons; Brad Gadel of Bradley J. Gadel, APLC; Stephen Glusman of Glusman, Broyles & Glusman; Deanne McCauley of Taylor, Wellons, Politz & Duhe, APLC; Debra Talbot Parker of Robicheaux & Collins; Eric E. Pope of Blue Williams; Matthew Tierney of Tierney and Smiley, LLC; and Jeff Warrens of LWCC.
If you attended on Monday and want to reap even greater benefits, the course has been approved for seven hours of Continuing Education credit for: CLE; Property and Casualty; Life and Health; Adjuster License; CWCP; Certified Case Manager; and Nursing.