Spring 2008 Texas Workers’ Comp Seminars to Focus on Change

February 4, 2008

The Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) will host seminars in Austin and Dallas in April to focus on developing issues impacting the Texas workers’ compensation system.

The 2008 Workers’ Compensation Spring Seminars, entitled “Changes and More Changes: Don’t Be Afraid of Change,” will be held Apr. 1, at the Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark and Apr. 24, at the Crown Plaza – near the Galleria in Addison, Texas.

The seminars will feature several speakers who each offer a unique look at issues facing system stakeholders as the reform legislation is implemented.

Suzanne Novak, M.D., Ph.D., president of Austin Outcomes Research Inc., will kick off the seminar by providing tips on managing legacy workers’ compensation claims. Novak will also discuss claims management strategies for chronic pain claims.

Julie Shank, R.N., a recognized authority on the Texas workers’ compensation system, will discuss the reimbursement of health care providers and provide an overview of the recently adopted new Medical, Inpatient Hospital, and Outpatient Hospital Fee Guidelines.

The morning session will conclude with a presentation by Lisa G. Hannusch, a key industry advocate and Co-CEO of UniMed Direct L.L.C., who will discuss how to properly and effectively use the Official Disability Guidelines and The Medical Disability Advisor return-to-work guidelines.

Robert Graves, a veteran workers’ compensation attorney and partner with the Austin-based law firm of Burns, Anderson, Jury & Brenner, L.L.P., will start the afternoon discussing the role of designated doctors and strategies regarding how insurers can handle specific scenarios involving designated doctor examinations. Trey Gillespie, an in-house legal counsel with Zenith Insurance Company, will provide an overview of the new sub-claimant, reimbursement, and contested case hearing processes for health care insurers.

Jane Stone, a senior partner with Stone Loughlin & Swanson L.L.P., will provide an overview of the new medical dispute resolution process. Stone will also discuss the bifurcated medical dispute contested case hearings that will be conducted by the Division of Workers’ Compensation and State Office of Administrative Hearings.

The seminar will conclude with a discussion by Stuart Colburn, a shareholder and attorney with Downs Stanford, P.C., who will review proper ethics for attorneys and insurance adjusters who handle workers’ compensation claims in the Texas system.

Additional information about the seminar and registration is available at: www.insurancecouncil.org/WorkersComp/WCSemSym.asp

Source: Insurance Council of Texas, www.insurancecouncil.org

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