A= Relevant to All Attendees
B= Basics of Workers’ Compensation in Oregon
E= Employers
I= Insurance Professionals
M= Medical Providers
V= Vocational Professionals
W= Worker Representatives

Keynote Session – Workers’ Comp 20/20: The Road Ahead (A)

Robert Wilson
Looking at unparalleled demographic and technology challenges, combined with shifts in societal expectations and responsibilities, the workers’ compensation industry may be facing a period of potentially tumultuous upheaval. How will our industry adjust in the face of automation, artificial intelligence, mobile technology, and a rapidly changing demographic makeup? How will this change our jobs, and will our jobs even still exist? This session will review potential pitfalls and benefits of the coming changes to our industry and the economy it serves. While the consequences for those caught unaware may potentially be serious, this glimpse into the road ahead will be presented in a lighthearted and humorous fashion.

Lunch Session – Moving From Playground Monitor to Inspiring Educator (A)

Erick Kountz
Has your work become an unruly playground? Instead of working with professionals, do you feel more like a monitor trying to get everyone to “play nice” instead of finger pointing, bullying, and throwing temper tantrums? If not, consider yourself lucky because many once productive work environments have dissolved into unruly romper rooms where grown adults rarely act their age. But what if you were given some useful tools to help give you the skills to become an inspiring educator? What if you could help turn the tide of immaturity and ugliness by helping others reach their true potential? Interested? Then, stick around to hear some tips and proven strategies to help you make mutual motivation more fun than name-calling and a lack of accountability. Come, enjoy, and hopefully find reasons to put down the whistle and pick up a pointer.

105 and 110 Rules Update, Oregon’s Return-to-Work Programs (B, I, E, V, W)

Brian Neese, Tim Kessel
This presentation describes legislative purpose and program incentives and benefits, as well as a case study that provides real examples of the Employer-at-Injury Program and the Preferred Worker Program in action. This training will help participants determine how these return-to-work programs can assist their organization and provide the latest updates to the rules.

Appellate Update (A)

Greig Lowell
An interactive and entertaining review of the important workers’ compensation case decisions over the past 12 months. Attendees will learn about the reasoning and the potential effect of case law from the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Workers’ Compensation Board. Using the mysterious clues on the screen, the audience can participate by choosing the categories and cases they want to hear about. From course and scope to combined conditions to claims processing, this presentation will cover the important developments in case law. Applying ORS 656, OAR 436, and OAR 438, attendees can discuss court and board decisions.

Claims Processing Rules Updates (E, I, W)

Barbara Belcher, Troy Painter, Christopher Clark
This presentation will provide an overview of upcoming changes to the Workers’ Compensation Division’s claims processing rules. Attendees will learn about revisions to rules covering electronic communications, calculating temporary disability benefits, processing supplemental disability, and civil penalties. The presentation will be followed by a brief questions and answers session.

Conference Overview: What Do You Know? (A)

Erick Kountz
After you’ve had your mind expanded in classes, why not show off what you learned? Join us for a fast-paced hour of facts and fun as we wrap up the conference with a laugh. Teams will compete to see who retained the most knowledge by answering questions related to the conference classes. If you are in pursuit of trivia and additional workers’ compensation information, this is the class for you.

Division 120 Proposed Rule Changes (I, V, W)

Kristin Anderson, Katie Bruns, Heather Grogan
This class provides a preview of proposed rule changes to the rules governing vocational assistance.

Employer Coverage Services and Information (B, E, I)

Kay Thrash, David Waki
This presentation offers a panel of employer coverage experts who will share their perspectives on employer coverage issues. Each panel member will share services their program area offers, as well as answer audience questions to address issues employers face when dealing with workers’ compensation.

Energy Infusion (A)

Nancy Baldwin
In this session, you will learn how improving your health and wellness can create positive changes in your personal and home life, as well as re-energize your work. This presentation includes several fun games and activities to enhance the learning environment.

Forecast from the Ground Level (A)

Lauren Danahy
David, a former injured worker with a catastrophic left-arm injury (near amputation) will share his story about having a nurse case manager assigned to him during his rehabilitation from his injury. He was able to return to work (modified duty) only three months post-injury and slowly progress back to full duty with his employer at injury via a comprehensive return-to-work plan that was mutually agreed upon by the injured worker, treating provider, employer, NCM, and insurer. Lauren Danahy, principal at Willamette Nurse Consultant Group LLC, will discuss nurse case management, high-risk cases, challenges when managing a file, and “stellar versus good” case management.

From Injury to Closure … and Beyond (B)

Jennifer Flood, Dan Schmelling
Tune in to this class and learn how to successfully navigate the workers’ compensation process. Participants will take a journey starting with filing a claim to acceptance and beyond. This interactive session will also cover a brief history of workers’ compensation in Oregon.

Joint employment: what is it? An exploration of temporary agencies and leasing companies, including unique challenges & strategies for success (E,I,W)

Lorrie Baker, Ana Pace
The growth of both temporary companies and worker leasing companies outpaces the growth of businesses generally and continues to be a factor in Oregon's economic recovery. This class is designed to help employers understand the differences between these two business models. We will discuss "joint employment" and provide tips for how to ensure a successful co-employment relationship. We will also explore the sometimes tricky workers' compensation coverage interplay between temping and leasing, and explain the risks of mis-classifying leased workers as temps.

Mitigating Psychosocial Risk Factors to Achieve Return to Work (E, I, M, V, W)

Andrew Ellis, Ph.D
Returning to work following a work-related injury is a delicate and difficult process. Work-related injuries are often accompanied by a multitude of competing agendas and motivations among the many involved stakeholders. This presentation will discuss how psychosocial factors, such as personality, mental health, and family dynamics, can undermine return to work and how stakeholders can work together to make successful return to work possible.

Stakeholders Talk Back: A Review of Recent Case Law (A)

Jerry Keene, Julene Quinn
This is your turn to sound off. Attorneys Julene Quinn and Jerry Keene will moderate an open-floor discussion of specially selected decisions from the Workers’ Compensation Board and appellate courts over the past year. This class will take a look at current views arising out of employment and course-of-employment claims, new issues in workplace safety issues, and recent case law regarding workers’ compensation in this technological age. The focus will be on cases of special interest or significance for workers’ compensation stakeholders.

The Attending Physician’s Role in Return to Work (E, I, M, W)

Dr. John Braddock
This lecture will focus on the responsibilities of the attending physician; how to become an attending physician; the responsibilities of an attending physician; and the role the attending physician has in returning the injured worker to work as quickly and as safely as possible. This class will identify strategies to deal with some of the common issues and concerns of the injured worker regarding returning to work.

Town Hall Session with WCD Leadership (A)

Sally Coen
This is an interactive presentation designed to give participants a chance to discuss workers’ compensation issues with Workers’ Compensation Division leadership. Do you have questions about rule updates? How about division processes? Do you want to discuss the issues your organization faces on a daily basis? This is your chance to get your questions answered and comments heard by managers in the Workers’ Compensation Division.

2017 Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference