The Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) met today for the first time since May, updating stakeholders on legislative actions in the last Session and the status of the ongoing Medical Treatment Guidelines (MTGs) updates undertaken by the Medical Advisory Council (MAC).
WCRI released a new study: Interstate Variations in Dispensing of Opioids, 5th Edition, which assesses claims data from 27 states, including Louisiana, from October 2011 to March 2018. The study finds that, in all states studied, fewer injured workers received opioids recently as compared with previous years. Injured workers continue to be treated for pain with NSAIDs, which increased modestly, and other interventions.
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.
In a seventeen-page opinion rendered October 19th, the First Circuit Court of Appeals decided the Barber case, which has been stewing for several years and sought permanent injunctions against a range of Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA) procedures.
The Office of Workers’ Compensation (OWC) will host Mediation Awareness Week, October 8-12, 2018, highlighting its court mediation program. During this weeklong event, each OWC court location will provide awareness and information to familiarize the public about the benefits of mediation.
The Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration has posted a draft of the updated chronic pain guideline. OWCA Director Sheral Kellar, as well as WCAC Vice-Chair Chuck Davoli, were emphatic at the last WCAC meeting that the Office wants any and all comments to be submitted in this round, before the Notice of Intent is actually filed, so that the process does not have to go through several rounds of public meetings.
Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration Director Sheral Kellar issued an additional public notice via email regarding the potential shift of the OWCA statutory dedicated fund from a fund to fees and self-generated revenue.
Despite the fact that the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA), AFL-CIO, and other concerned parties submitted comments or testified against the motion at the meeting of the Ad Hoc Dedicated Fund Review Subcommittee of Joint Budget on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018, the subcommittee is sticking by its recommendation to reclassify the OWCA statutory dedicated fund as self-generated fees and revenue.
The Seventh Annual Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference, held February 2nd and 3rd at the Renaissance hotel in Baton Rouge featured topical sessions on state regulation, opioids, return-to-work, and a range of other issues. One standout included a point/counterpoint style debate between Office of Workers’ Compensation (OWC) Deputy Director Pauline Williams and LCTA Executive Vice-President Troy Prevot about Louisiana’s Second Injury Fund.
The first Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) meeting since April 2016 was held at the Department of Insurance in Baton Rouge this week. Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA) Director Sheral Kellar introduced the new members of the Council as appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards and spoke about the results of the OWCA’s September “Town Hall Meetings” across the state.