Published: October, 2006

October 12-13, 2006 ~ A Policy Symposium


Christine Baker, Executive Officer, California Commission on Health and Safety

and Workers’ Compensation

Edward M. Welch, Director, Workers’ Compensation Center,

Michigan State University

Since the early 1990s, workers’ compensation costs as a share of employer payrolls dropped 20 percent for the nation as a whole, while benefits dropped 33 percent. At the same time, the share of payments that went for medical care rose. In state after state, employers and policymakers worry that the work injury program is out of control. California accounts for nearly one fourth of U.S. spending on workers’ compensation.Major reforms in 2003-2004 sought to control costs and improve health care for injured workers in California.How are the reforms working?This policy symposium assessed national trends in health care and income benefits for injured workers and discussed policy insights from recent changes in California and other states.

**Click on the session title below for presentations and transcripts from each session. For a full transcript, click here.**


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Registration/Continental Breakfast

Welcome: Lawrence H. Thompson, Chair NASI Board

I.What’s Happening in Workers’ Compensation?

Moderator: Ann Clayton, Senior Consultant, Clayton and Associates

What Challenges Do Employers Face in Delivering Cash Benefits and Medical Care?

Bob Steggert, Vice President, Casualty Claims, Marriott International, Inc.

Do Injured Workers Need A Bill of Rights?

Edward Welch, Director, Workers’ Compensation Center, Michigan State University

Art Wilcox, Public Employee Division Director, New York State AFL-CIO

Bob Malooly, Assistant Director, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries

Paul Rodliff, Senior Vice President, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

II.Issues and Innovations in Wage-Replacement Benefits

How Adequately Do Benefits Replace Lost Wages for Injured Workers?

Allan Hunt, Assistant Executive Director, Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

New Empirical Methods to Tie Partial Disability Benefits to Lost Wages

Robert Reville, Director, Institute for Civil Justice, RAND (Presented by Frank Neuhauser, Survey Research Center, University of California, Berkeley)

Angie Wei, Legislative Director, California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO

Bill Zachry, Vice President, Corporate Workers’ Compensation, Safeway, Inc.

Lunch Address

Preventing Needless Work Disability by Helping People Stay Employed

Jennifer Christian, M.D., President and Chief Medical Officer, Webility Corporation

III: How Do California Reforms Affect Cost, Access, and Quality of Medical Care In

Workers’ Compensation?


Moderator:Jay S. Himmelstein, M.D., MPH, Director, Center for Health Policy and Research, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Overview:The California Problems and Reforms

Barbara Wynn, Senior Health Policy Researcher, RAND

Initial Impacts on Costs and Access to Health Care

Michael Nolan, President, California Workers’ Compensation Institute

Assessing Effects on Quality of Care

Teryl Nuckols Scott, M.D., MSHS, Health Services Researcher, RAND


Bernyce Peplowski, M.D., Medical Director, Zenith Insurance Company

Doug Kim, Legislative Advocate, Green & Azevedo

Tom Rankin, Past President, California Labor Federation and Visiting Scholar, Institute for Industrial Relations, University of California, Berkeley

IV:Preparing for Catastrophes in the Workplace

Moderator:Christine Baker, Commission on Health, Safety and Workers’ Compensation

John Howard, M.D., Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Irv Rosenthal, Senior Fellow, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Robert Snashall, Counselor at Law and Founder, Snashall Associates

James Macdonald, Director, Insurance & Reinsurance, Navigant Consulting


Friday, October 13, 2006

Continental Breakfast

V:How Does the Safety Net Fit Together?

Moderator:Jackie Nowell, Director of Occupational Safety and Health, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

How Often Do Workplace Injuries Go Uncompensated?

Les Boden, Professor, Boston University School of Public Health

How Do Changes in Workers’ Compensation Affect Social Security Disability Claims?

John Burton, Professor Emeritus, School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers

How Do Workers’ Compensation And Short-Term Disability Programs Overlap?

Frank Neuhauser, Survey Research Center, University of California, Berkeley

How Are Medicare Secondary Payer Rules Working?

Edward Welch, Michigan State University

VI:How Can We Better Coordinate Care for Ill, Injured, and Disabled Workers?

Moderator: Lee Goldberg, Policy Director, Long Term Care Division, Service Employees International Union

Are Workers More Likely to Claim Workers’ Compensation If They Lack Health Coverage?

Darius Lakdawalla, Robert Reville, Seth Seabury, Institute for Civil Justice, RAND

Disability Benefits 101: Securing Health Coverage and Working with a Disability

Bryon MacDonald, World Institute on Disability, Berkeley

New Experiments in 24-Hour Health Coverage for Service Workers

Christine Baker, California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation

Douglas Benner, M.D., Kaiser Permanente

Closing Remarks

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