WCRI Announces Panelists for Second Opt-Out Panel at Annual Conference

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The WCRI conference, now in its 32nd year, is a leading workers’ compensation forum for policymakers, employers, labor advocates, insurance executives, health care organizations, claims managers, researchers, and others.

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Although WCRI does not take positions or make recommendations, we felt it important to provide a venue for those attending our conference to learn more about this topic from a diverse and balanced set of speakers.

The ability for employers to opt out of state workers’ compensation systems has been getting a lot of attention as of late. In an effort to provide a forum for this topic, the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) added two panels on opt out to their annual conference (March 10-11, 2016) at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston, MA.

“Although WCRI does not take positions or make recommendations, we felt it important to provide a venue for those attending our conference to learn more about this topic from a diverse and balanced set of speakers,” said John Ruser, WCRI president and CEO.

According to WCRI, the purpose of the first panel is to ground the understanding of opt out. The following two people will help explain what opt out is and what it is not:

  •     Trey Gillespie, senior workers' compensation director for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America
  •     Bill Minick, president of PartnerSource

For the second panel, WCRI has invited a balanced and diverse group of individuals to share their perspectives on opt out. Each of the panelists below brings a different viewpoint.

  •     Bruce Wood, vice president and associate general counsel for the American Insurance Association (AIA)
  •     Elizabeth Bailey, vice president of workers' compensation & safety at Waffle House, Inc.
  •     Alan Pierce, president of the Workers Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG)
  •     James Mills, director of workers' compensation at the Oklahoma Insurance Department

The two-day program highlights presentations of WCRI’s latest research findings while drawing upon the diverse perspectives of highly respected workers’ compensation experts and policymakers from across the country. Apart from two panels on opt out, the conference includes sessions on the following topics:

  •     Comparing Worker Outcomes across States
  •     Crossing State Lines for Medical Care
  •     Geographic Variations in Health Care
  •     Impact of Fee Schedules on Case-Shifting in Workers' Compensation
  •     Medical Review and Medical Dispute Resolution in California Workers' Compensation
  •     Physician Dispensing and Interstate Variations in Opioid Use
  •     State of the States: Select Findings on System Features, Indemnity Benefits and Medical Payments from CompScope™ Benchmarks
  •     The Sharing Economy's Impact on Workers' Compensation

The WCRI conference, now in its 32nd year, is a leading workers’ compensation forum for policymakers, employers, labor advocates, insurance executives, health care organizations, claims managers, researchers, and others. Conference participants will leave with new insights, valuable networking contacts, and a better understanding of key issues in today’s competitive environment. To learn more or to register, visit http://www.wcrinet.org/conference.html.

The Cambridge-based WCRI is an independent, non-partisan research institute that is recognized as a leader in providing high quality, objective information about public policy issues involving workers' compensation systems.

ABOUT WCRI:

The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Cambridge, MA. Organized in late 1983, the Institute does not take positions on the issues it researches; rather, it provides information obtained through studies and data collection efforts, which conform to recognized scientific methods. Objectivity is further ensured through rigorous, unbiased peer review procedures. WCRI's diverse membership includes employers; insurers; governmental entities; managed care companies; health care providers; insurance regulators; state labor organizations; and state administrative agencies in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

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Andrew Kenneally
Workers Compensation Research Institute
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