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 – (A)


Lunch Sess​ion –  (A)


Appellate update

Nov. 9, 9:45 – 10:45 a.m.
Greig Lowell 
From broad-stroke case law principles to fine nuances in claims processing disputes, get caught up on all the developments of the past year. This class will be an informative and fast-paced review of the most important and interesting workers’ compensation case decisions. Attendees will explore the history, reasoning, and impact of decisions issued by the Oregon Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Workers’ Compensation Board. Participate in the lively discussion or simply absorb the lessons – you will learn the latest in course and scope, medical services, combined conditions, penalties and attorney Fees, and other subjects. Apply your knowledge of ORS 656, OAR 436, and OAR 438 to the facts of the case, and see if you can predict the outcome. 

Baby Boomers Will Keep On Keeping On: Don’t Let Missed Management Opportunities Drive WC Costs Up

Nov. 9, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Coleen Carney, RN, CRRN, CMC
What you have heard about trends and increased workers’ compensation risks are true. Employees are working many years past “retirement” age – often into their 70s; and have lower incidents of on-the-job-injuries, but higher claims costs when injuries do occur; and are taking medications for nonindustrial conditions that can interfere with their best performance. Industrial injuries with older workers have and will continue to raise discrimination issues if these concerns are not correctly managed. This interactive class will discuss resources available to employers to maximize hiring benefits and retain older employees, while minimizing risks. 

​Forecast from the Ground Level: An Injured Worker’s Perspective, Series 2.

Nov. 9, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
Lauren Danahy, RN, BS, MBA, CCM, LNCC, CCHP​​​
Michael survived a catastrophic injury that happened April 2015. He was initially given a 50 percent chance of survival by the trauma surgeons who worked on him at Emanuel Hospital. He was able to successfully rehabilitate, and initially returned to modified duty work within 16 months of his injury. He maxed out the employer’s modification duty-time cap and is currently off work as he continues to gain momentum, strength, and his life back. He is actively participating in the vocational rehabilitation process. Michael will share his personal journey and what it feels like to ​walk in his shoes, the support he received, and the challenges he encountered. Lauren Danahy, principal at Willamette Nurse Consultant Group LLC, will also discuss nurse case management, high-risk cases, the challenges of managing a file, and the use of stellar vs. good case management. 

From Injury to Closure and Beyond 

Nov. 8, 2:15 – 4:30 p.m.
Jennifer Flood and 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.

How Medical Offices Can Interact Efficiently with the Workers’ Compensation Community

Nov. 9, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
John D. DiPaola, MD
This class provides participants with an opportunity to learn from a physician with more than 20 years of experience in orthopedic practices in the Portland area. Dr. DiPaola will discuss how being an effective medical provider in workers' compensation requires several simple clinical skills, office work processes, and learning how the system serves workers so that providers can integrate their clinical services toward positive outcomes.

How to Save Money and Avoid Common Mistakes  

Nov. 9, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
David Waki, Roger McComas, and Bob Williams
This presentation offers a panel of employer coverage experts who will share how employers can save money while keeping their employees safe. Each panel member will share services their program area offers, discuss common employer mistakes, and answer audience questions to address issues that employers face when dealing with workers’ compensation.

The Impact of Comorbid Conditions on Worker’s Compensation Claims 

Nov. 9, 2:45 – 3:45 p.m.
Christine Murrell, BSN, RN, and Jackie Maltzan
The increasing incidence of comorbidities and its impact on claims outcomes are important considerations for workers’ compensation programs. Learn what research reveals about how addiction, diabetes, hypertension, mental disorders, and obesity shape outcomes. You will hear how collecting more complete patient intake data, incorporating comorbidities into utilization review, and factoring them into treatment practices can improve recovery and outcomes. Attendees will understand the prevalence and impact of comorbid conditions in today’s workforce, recognize how comorbidities affect claim duration and outcome quality, appraise which outcome components are affected by specific comorbid conditions, and examine strategies to improve patient outcomes, while optimizing program performance.

Joint Employment: What is it? An Exploration of Temporary Agencies and Leasing Companies, Including Unique Challenges and Strategies for Success

Nov. 8, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Lorrie Baker
Temporary companies and worker leasing companies are growing and continue to be factors 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 to help 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 misclassifying leased workers as temps.

The Modernization of the Claims System: What Does This Mean to Me and How Can I Impact Change? 

Nov. 9, 1:30 – 3:45 p.m.
Lou Savage and Sally Coen
In the first hour of this class, the presenters will discuss the division’s current claims system, the value of claims data, and our future system objectives. The second hour will provide an interactive discussion and opportunity for attendees to share their needs and goals for a new system. 

​Navigating Marijuana in the Workplace 

Nov. 9, 2:45 – 3:45 p.m.
Sean Ray
With recreational marijuana legal in Oregon and a number of other states (including Washington), employers continue to see an increase in drug-related workplace issues. This presentation will cover the challenges employers face, including employee health, workforce development, workplace safety, the impact on the business climate, and financial costs. It will also provide an overview of the key legal issues – on both state and federal levels – surrounding workplace drug use. Finally, it will explore what makes a good substance abuse policy and how to enforce it.

Oregon’s Return-to-Work Programs 

Nov. 9, 9:45 a.m. – Noon
Tim Kessel and Matt West
This presentation will describe both return-to-work programs provided by the Workers’ Compensation Division. The presenters will explain the program benefits and the processes used to access these benefits. There will also be case examples and real-life applications of both programs.

Pain Management, Pt. 2: Evidence Based Treatment to Improve Functional Outcomes for Patients with Chronic Pain

Nov. 8, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Catriona Buist, Psy.D.
Managing chronic pain both for patients and providers can be complex. A team-based biopsychosocial approach focused on improving function and quality of life provides the most effective outcomes. This presentation will talk about treatment strategies that can prevent disability and improve functional outcomes by including pain-focused behavioral health and graded exercise. Catriona will discuss Oregon’s focus for pain management in the era of the opioid epidemic. She will include an introduction to the Oregon Pain Commission’s new online pain model that addresses the five key domains of care that increase successful treatment outcomes.

Pain Management, Pt. 1: Opioid Misuse: Past, Present, Future

Nov. 8, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
Jennifer Lawlor, MD
This presentation explores the evolution, impact, and current status of the opioid crisis from a clinician’s perspective, including the role of overprescribing. The class will examine the complexity of the crisis, noting the story is far more nuanced than headlines would lead people to believe. The program summarizes the local, regional, national, and international response to the crisis, as well as the resulting trends of opioid use and misuse going forward. 

Stakeholders Talk Back: A Review of Recent Case Law

Nov. 9, 11 a.m. – Noon
Jerry Keen and Christopher Moore
Your turn to sound off. Attorneys Jerry Keene and Christopher Moore 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 of arising-out-of-employment and the course-of-employment claims, new issues in workplace safety issues, and recent case law regarding workers’ compensation in this age of technology. The focus will be on cases of special interest or significance for workers’ compensation stakeholders.

Town Hall Session with WCD Leadership 

Nov. 9, 11 a.m. – Noon
Sally Coen
This interactive presentation is 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.

Trending Audit Issues

Nov. 9, 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. 
Barbara Belcher, Troy Painter, and Donita White
This class will discuss the most common issues division auditors find during the audit process. Attendees will also discover how to avoid these issues and how to get help before, during, and after an audit. 

Your FAQs Answered: Workers’ Compensation Roundtables 

Nov. 9, 2:45 – 3:45 p.m.
Workers’ Compensation Division staff members
WCD experts will lead attendees in roundtable discussions about frequently asked questions. Topics include the Workers’ Benefit Fund and combined payroll tax; what it takes to initiate a claim; designating a paying agent (responsibility claims); death benefits; managed care organizations; and preauthorization and preapproval. 


2017 Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference