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									                  MAINE WORKERS' COMPENSATION BOARD
                        Board of Directors’ Meeting
                            February 28, 2006

A business meeting of the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors was held
on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 at the Workers’ Compensation Board’s Central Office
(located on Blossom Way in Augusta). Chairman Dionne called the meeting to order
at 10:32 a.m.

                                      ROLL CALL

PRESENT: James Mingo, Gary Koocher, Paul Dionne, John Cooney Anthony
Monfiletto, Rodney Hiltz and Joan Kirkpatrick.

                                      MINUTES
1)    Draft Minutes (February 14 Board Meeting): Directors received, revised and
      approved an amended version of the draft minutes of the business meeting
      they held at the Central Office on the 14th of February.

      Discussion/Amendment:
      After a brief discussion on how best to proceed with respect to clarifying item #3 on
      page 2 of the draft minutes, Board members amended the draft minutes by changing
      the words “catch up to” to “come in line with” in the last sentence of item #3 to
      clarify Executive Director Dionne’s remarks regarding the discussion that took place
      at the Leadership Conference on the 9th of February, and were also advised that Maine
      currently ranks 13th in the nation for premium costs.

      Gary Koocher MOVED TO APPROVE THE AMENDED MINUTES OF FEBRUARY 14;
      Joan Kirkpatrick seconded. MOTION PASSES 7-0.

                          SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS
1)    Budget Subcommittee: Budget Subcommittee Member J.Cooney reported
      he and Subcommittee Member J.Kirkpatrick met with Board staff this morning
      to discuss the anticipated shortfall in the All Other account for the third and
      fourth quarters and drafting a financial order to ask for approval to use monies
      from the Reserve account to cover the shortfall.
      Mr. Cooney also informed the Board of the Subcommittee’s plans to meet
      again on the 11th of April, prior to the board meeting, to discuss next year’s
      assessment and scheduling a meeting between the Board members and
      deputy directors to discuss the cost centers and their department’s resources.
                                             2



                SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS CONTINUED
BUDGET SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT CONT’D

     Discussion:
     Directors and Staff discussed Deputy Director of Business Services R.Dunn providing
     the Board with a figure on the shortfall amount, after the close of the third quarter;
     the Budget Subcommittee meeting again on 4-11-06 to discuss the assessment and
     possibly scheduling a meeting between the Board and Senior staff to discuss the
     Board’s cost centers; the Board seeking approval to use monies from its Reserve
     account to cover the shortfall; the current balance in the Reserve account totaling
     approximately $800,000; the second quarter shortfall totaling approximately $20,000
     (Executive Director Dionne explained that the Board had a few hundred dollars above
     its budget at the end of the second quarter and that the shortfall in the second quarter
     was the result of the State deducting money from the Board’s account for the second
     quarter in the third quarter); the cap being higher than the Board projected; the
     Reserve account funds being over and above the amount collected for the assessment
     and the Board not accumulating a surplus this year in the Reserve account.

                      EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR REPORT
1)   Relocation of the Worker Advocate Offices in Portland: Following up his
     recent report regarding the new worker advocate space at 62 Elm Street in Portland,
     Executive Director P.Dionne reported the worker advocate staff in Portland will
     not be moving into their new offices on the 3rd of March, as planned, because
     the subcontractors are repainting the offices and informed Board members
     that the move has been postponed to the week of March 13.

2)   Safety Improvements at the Caribou Regional Office: Executive Director
     P.Dionne informed the Board that Northeast Security Systems is installing a new
     access door at the Caribou Regional Office and advised directors that the
     project will cost approximately $3,425. Mr. Dionne also informed the Board that
     the company expects to complete the work by
     the end of March.

3)   Hearing Officer Meeting: Executive Director P.Dionne announced that the
     hearing officers will be meeting at the Central Office on             the 10th of March.

4)   Former Board Member: Directors were advised of Former Board Member
     F.Hayes’ recent hip replacement and of Mr. Hayes’ participation in a
     rehabilitation plan at the Brighton Rehabilitation Center.


                                                     Minutes of WCB February 28, 2006 Board Meeting
                                              3



            EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR REPORT CONTINUED
5)   Maine Bar Association Seminar on Workers’ Compensation: Executive
     Director P.Dionne provided Board members with a summary of the topics being
     discussed at the upcoming seminar on workers’ compensation that the Maine
     Bar Association will be holding at the Augusta Civic Center on the 27th of April.

                        GENERAL COUNSEL REPORT
1)   Request for Extension of Benefits Due to Extreme Financial Hardship:
     General Counsel J.Rohde reported the underlying petitions in the Parks case
     have been dismissed and stated staff will be contacting the parties in the case
     to see if they intend on pursuing the pending Petition for Extension of Benefits.

2)   EDI Consensus-Based Rulemaking Committee Update: General Counsel
     J.Rohde informed Board members that he is preparing draft rules for the
     EDI Consensus-Based Rulemaking Committee to review and revise,
     if needed, and stated the Committee then plans to present the rule to the
     Board for their review and approval. Directors were also apprised of the
     Committee’s plans to gather again in the near future to begin addressing the
     issues raised regarding memorandum of payment forms filed electronically.

                                   OLD BUSINESS
1)   Legislation: General Counsel J.Rohde provided Board members with a status
     report on L.D. 1715, L.D. 1817 and L.D. 1990, and advised directors that the
     Board is working with the Bureau of Insurance on amendments to a proposal
     regarding the Maine Insurance Guarantee Association.

     Discussion:
     Directors and Staff discussed the Board’s proposed bill (Mr. Rohde reported the Board’s
     bill, L.D. 1715, is close to final passage); the legislation dealing with the creation of a
     Fraud unit within the Bureau of Insurance being scheduled for a public hearing this
     afternoon and a work session on Thursday afternoon
     (Staff noted the bill, as it is drafted, should not have an impact on the Board
     other than providing a dedicated Attorney General to prosecute fraud cases);
     L.D. 1817, as originally drafted, prohibiting State agencies from collecting, using, and
     disseminating information containing social security numbers, which the Committee
     voted in favor of adopting, as amended (Mr. Rohde noted the



                                                       Minutes of WCB February 28, 2006 Board Meeting
                                             4



                        OLD BUSINESS CONTINUED

LEGISLATION CONT’D

     Discussion Continued:
     Committee is working on the final language of the amendment and noted the
     amendment will most likely exempt social security numbers from the definition of
     public records and will prohibit State agencies from disclosing social security
     numbers. Directors and Staff conversed briefly with respect to the extensive changes
     the Board will need to make in various areas of its claims processing, which the Board
     will have an opportunity to discuss at length since the bill is not considered emergency
     legislation and does not go into effect until 90 days after the Legislature adjourns; the
     bill requiring the Board to redact social security numbers from all complaints filed
     pursuant to Section 360(1) and adjustments for
     lack-of-coverage cases handled by the Abuse Unit. Directors were also advised that
     copy requests will take longer to respond to because staff will need to redact social
     security numbers from each and every piece of documentation in a workers’
     compensation file before distributing the copies, and were informed that the process
     may be simple to address with respect to electronic filings and removing social
     security numbers from printed forms that the Board receives electronically. Mr. Rohde
     noted the Board’s forms and database currently contain a social security number for all
     injured workers and stated the Board will need to discuss how
     best to proceed on the matter) and the Board’s recent deliberations with the
     Bureau of Insurance on possible legislation regarding the Maine Insurance Guaranty
     Association for review by Administration, Legislative leadership
     and Board members.

2)   EDI Update: Agency Technology Officer P.Fortier apprised directors as to the
     number of electronically-filed First Report of Injury forms the Board received
     from July of 2003 to July of 2004 which totaled approximately 52% and 64% for
     the period of July of 2004 to July of 2005, and noted the figure has gone up to
     92% for those forms filed after July of 2005. Mr. Fortier informed the Board that
     he ran the numbers again, for those forms filed after October of 2005, and
     reported the figure rose to approximately 94%. Mr. Fortier also reported on the
     EDI Committee’s deliberations on electronic filings regarding payments and
     denials and of the work he has been doing to transition the Board over to one
     automation system since it has been working with both the new system and old
     system. Mr. Fortier also provided Board members with a waiver request
     received from Marti Conti Adjusting Service and explained to the Board that
     the company only filed three
     First Report forms in 2003 and less than five forms in 2004 and 2005, which the
     Board reviewed and granted.



                                                     Minutes of WCB February 28, 2006 Board Meeting
                                             5



                        OLD BUSINESS CONTINUED
EDI UPDATE CONT’D

     Discussion:
     Directors and Agency Technology Officer Fortier discussed the increase in electronically-
     filed First Report forms being from those entities that had been using the Board’s
     proprietary system; Mr. Fortier and staff in the Monitoring, Audit & Enforcement
     Program working with those carriers that are still filing the form in paper format to
     ascertain why the forms are not being filed electronically (Mr. Fortier explained to
     Board members that part of the reason may be related to internal issues and not an
     entity’s ability to file the form electronically, and noted some adjusters have not been
     advised to send the form electronically. Mr. Fortier advised Board members that
     another area of concern is subsequent paperwork the Board is receiving on claims in
     which it has not received a First Report of Injury form such as those cases in which an
     injured worker does not lose time from work); the test run that will take place in the
     near future to see if an entity is able to transfer notice of controversy forms
     electronically and the schedule that will be in place for the remaining insurance
     carriers who need to file the form electronically by the end of June (Mr. Fortier noted
     the Board expects to be receiving all NOC forms electronically by the 1st of July and
     commented that the EDI Consensus-Based Rulemaking Committee will then look at
     memorandum of payment forms); the programming changes that have been taking
     place over the last six months to transition the Board over to one automation system
     since it has still been using programs from the old system; the costs involved with
     migrating to an electronic data interchange process (Mr. Fortier advised Board
     members that the costs for transferring to an electronic filing system is approximately
     $1,000, and $500 a year thereafter, and noted it is sometimes cheaper for an entity to
     pay $100 fine as opposed to reprogramming their systems and informed Board
     members he recently contacted Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company to see if
     they may be able to offer an on-line EDI program that will allow Maine’s smaller
     carriers to use their program to transfer forms electronically to the Board, at a cost.
     Mr. Fortier noted MEMIC is currently making some internal automation changes and
     that he plans to address the issue again with them at a later date, after they have
     completed the project. Mr. Fortier stated there are only a few carriers that may be
     interested in the service); granting Marti Conti’s waiver request until an economical
     solution is available to the adjusting company and granting the waiver for a specific
     timeframe.

     Gary Koocher MOVED TO GRANT A WAIVER TO MARTI CONTI ADJUSTING
     SERVICE UNTIL DECEMBER 31, 2006 OR UNTIL MAINE EMPLOYERS MUTUAL
     INSURANCE COMPANY IS PREPARED TO DO THE WORK, WHICHEVER IS SOONER;
     John Cooney seconded. MOTION PASSES 4-3 (Directors Kirkpatrick, Monfiletto and
     Hiltz opposed)


                                                      Minutes of WCB February 28, 2006 Board Meeting
                                         6



                    OLD BUSINESS CONTINUED
EDI UPDATE CONT’D

Discussion:
Directors and Staff discussed an insurer being willing to pay a penalty of $100 as
opposed to a transition fee for filing a form electronically with the Board; the Board’s
earlier deliberations with respect to not granting any more waivers; the electronic
filing mandate in place in the Board’s rules and regulations; Marti Conti Adjusting
Service only filing a handful of First Reports a year; contacting MEMIC to inquire as
to when they expect an on-line program to be available;
coming up with a better solution for Maine’s smallest carriers to file forms
electronically to avoid paying a penalty; Agency Technology Officer P.Fortier staying
on top of the carrier filing the waiver to ensure they have come into compliance by the
end of the year and the Board’s implementation of a statewide computer resource
library which will allow staff to electronically search a number of various resources
including, but not limited to, formal hearing decrees, Board decisions, Appellate
Division decisions, Law Court rulings on matters relating to workers’ compensation,
the Workers’ Compensation Act, the Board’s rules and regulations, the Medical Fee
Schedule and other useful information (Mr. Fortier noted the resource library will only
be available to the Board’s hearing officers initially and stated the library will then be
available to all Board employees at a later date and explained that the resource library
will be a word search application program that will allow Board staff to enter key
words to locate various resources on the topic they are researching. Also, in response
to an inquiry as to whether the library will be available to the public, Mr. Fortier stated
the Board has considered the issue and stated an option may be to have an outside
firm handle subscriptions to the library service since the Board does not have the
resources to offer the service to the public at this time).

                           ADJOURNMENT
Gary Koocher MOVED TO ADJOURN; John Cooney seconded. MOTION
PASSES 7-0.

The meeting formally adjourned at 11:12 a.m.




                                                 Minutes of WCB February 28, 2006 Board Meeting

								
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