Week of May 1 - 5, 2017             
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Welcome to your weekly WCI Newsletter. We have selected the top stories that appeared on our website this week to help you stay up to date on what is happening in the world of workers' compensation and insurance. Enjoy.
Derrick Brooks to Offer Keynote Address!

We are excited to announce that Derrick Brooks will be the 2017 Conference Keynote Speaker! Recognized as often for his hard work in the community as he is for being one of the best linebackers in NFL history, Brooks is sure to provide an insightful and unforgettable experience. Read more.
Gavin DeGraw to Perform  at 2017 Conference!

We are excited to announce that multi-platinum selling singer, performer, and songwriter, Gavin DeGraw, will be the featured entertainment at this year's Conference! DeGraw will be performing on Monday, August 7th and is sure to put on a performance you will not want to miss. Read more.
WCRI Report on Provider Choice Policies: Who Gets to Pick the Doctor?

By Dara Barney

Should the choice of provider in workers' compensation cases be left to workers or employers? Is it more expensive when policies give control over doctor choice to one or the other? Are there other underlying reasons behind cost differences? What factors do policymakers need to consider when implementing provider choice policy changes?

The Workers' Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) set out to answer those questions recently, and released " The Effects of Provider Choice Policies on Workers' Compensation Costs" this morning. Read more.
VT and CO Legislative Watch: PTSD Coverage Action

By Angela Underwood

Nationwide attention for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) coverage has turned to Colorado and Vermont recently.

The evidence is present in both states, where legislation for the mental health injury respectively passed last week in the Northwest and is considered almost two-thousand miles away in the Northeast.

Vermont Representatives Sarah Copeland-Hanzas (D-Bradford) said the reason why she introduced   H 197 is because she was offered the opportunity to come into contact with community members "whose lives are still impacted by the fact that they were never able to assimilate the horrific things they have seen as police and firefighters and first responders," decades ago, she said. Read more.
NY Workers' Comp Reforms Work to Satisfy Businesses, Employee Groups

By Liz Carey

With the passage of a $153 billion budget, New York State is set to implement changes to its workers' compensation system designed to protect businesses as well as employees.

And while both sides of the issue seem to be happy with the reforms, neither side said they got everything they wanted.

"We spearheaded the effort in this reform. Obviously, we are very pleased to see the cost-saving reforms become law," said Lev Ginsburg, director of government affairs with the Business Council of New York State, in an interview with Read more.
Department of Labor Saving it to the Cloud

By Angela Underwood

The U.S. government is saving it to the Cloud.

DRT, a technology and strategy agency based out of Virginia, has been awarded a very significant contract. For the next seven years at a $52 million service cost, the company will create a workers' compensation Cloud computing program for the Department of Labor (DOL).

According to a  Washington Technology report, the government wants to arrange "systems into a single environment for the review, distribution and administrator of benefits for workers covered by the DOL's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs." Read more.
OH: $44 Million Announcement in Workplace Safety and Wellness Programs

By Angela Underwood
Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) Administrator and CEO Sarah Morrison said it is a privilege for her department to serve the public. 

"We are so fortunate to be in the business we are in. We are not making widgets, we are improving people's lives and we are having an impact on the Ohio citizens every day," said Morrison today to before her and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor's $44 million announcement in workplace safety and health and wellness programs.

At the capitol this afternoon, Taylor and Morrison were met by State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers and Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities Director John Martin at the Wesley Glen Retirement Community, in Worthington, for the announcement made possible by Gov. John Kasich that proposed a $1 billion rebate last month approved by BWC's board of directors this morning. Read more.
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