THE WCI WEEKLY
Week of June 12 -  June 16, 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.
WCI 2017 Breakout for Risk Managers

By Steve Rissman, Program Chair

Over the last few years, the Breakout for Risk Managers at the Workers' Compensation Educational Conference has been the envy of all workers' compensation oriented conferences around the country.  This year, our sessions are topical and our speakers are the best and most well known in the industry.
 
The Breakout for Risk Managers is split into two days.  The first is Monday, August 7, 2017 from 1:00 - 3:15 pm.  We begin with one of our most noteworthy subjects - essentially how a risk management department should manage third party administrators. This is a topic developed and moderated by David Stills, risk manager for Walmart.  His chosen panel consists of Max Koonce, managing director for Sedgwick, Valerie Franco, risk manager for Lowe's and Chantel Kvigne a vice president at York.  This will be a very practical session.  If you are a risk manager or interested in risk management, you should attend and take notes.  What a spectacular group of speakers.  Read more.
Compounds: The Good, the Bad, and the Kitchen Sink

By Dara Barney

PRIUM Senior Vice President Mark Pew, a self-proclaimed agitator and educator in the treatment world, described compound medications as a bad "four letter word" in workers' compensation over the past several years. But how did we get here?

Pew, also known as the RxProfessor out of Atlanta, GA; along with several industry experts, recently took some time to interview with  WorkersCompensation.com about what the big deal is surrounding these medications.

What are compounds? According to Pew, compounds can be injectable, oral or topical formulas, commonly combining prescription meds and inactive ingredients. Compounds generally are not Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved, but must be prescribed by a doctor and made by a licensed pharmacist. Read more.
$12 Million Dollar Workers' Comp Case Reversed in OK

By Angela Underwood

A $12 million dollar workers' compensation award decision has been reversed for two injured workers who lost their legs in a graining accident.

Zaloudek Grain Company v. CompSource began in 2011 when the Oklahoma-based grain company filed a lawsuit against their workers' compensation insurer for unrightfully denying compensation to 17-year-olds Bryce Gannon and Tyler Zander, whose legs were lost while using a drill for boring holes.

CompSource's defense in the matter was that the grain company failed to comply with annual audit information needed for CompSource to price premiums, which resulted in cancellation of the policy. The decision was based on paperwork wrongfully filled out by then Zaloudek manager Mike Parrish, who did not have the application for reinsurance correctly signed by the owners. Read more.
Rousmaniere: Pransky's Gift

By Peter Rousmaniere

Liberty Mutual closed its Center for Disability Research, along with the rest of the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, on June 6, due to corporate cost-cutting. So ends 63 years of insurer-sponsored research.   

Glenn Pransky, MD, has led disability research there, arriving in 1999. His achievements, with those of his team, are unmatched in the workers' compensation community for vision, persistence, and output.

His role in workers' compensation can be likened to that of a great poet in our age - unread by most, yet immensely influential. He and his research staff produced more than 100 scientific papers on return-to-work research. Read more.
CA: Largest Attorney Bust in Orange County History

By Angela Underwood
 
It's big.

The Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) busted ten attorneys and six others for felony charges in a one of the most "massive workers' compensation-referral scheme(s)," in the history of the division, according to the OCDA, which made the news public this week.

The first phase of a 3-year insurance fraud investigation between the district attorney's office and California Department of Insurance (CDI) Insurance Fraud Unit is detailed in the document  Phase 1 Charges provided by the OCDA.

The fraud ring run by Carlos Arguello III, 35, of Tustin; and Edgar Gonzalez, 50, of Anaheim; reportedly subjugated residents in mostly Spanish-speaking societies, which resulted in a reported estimated $300 million-plus of insurance payouts involving up to 33,000 patients. Read more.
Interpreters: Employees or Contractors?

By Liz Carey

 While the standard for interpreters and translators remains as contract employment, some within the industry are calling for interpreters to be classified as employees. 

On May 31, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint against SOS International, or SOSi, a vendor for the department of justice, for misclassifying interpreters as contractors instead of employees, and cited unfair labor practices. 

The company provides interpreters for the Department of Justice in immigration hearings. According to the Los Angeles Times, the company said in a statement prior to the NLRB's complaint that subcontracting out interpreters "is not a new practice." Read more.
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