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Session descriptions

2021 Virtual Oregon Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference

Opening remarks and WCD Modernization Program update

Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, 8 to 8:20 a.m.

WCD Administrator Sally Coen and WCD Modernization Program Manager Heather Williamson

This opening session will discuss the Workers’ Compensation Division’s current state of technology and claims system, the value of streamlining processes, and our future system objectives.

Legislative update and COVID-19 overview

Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

WCD Administrator Sally Coen and WCD Resolution Manager Matt West

There have been many changes to laws and rules specific to workers’ compensation due to legislative activity in the past 18 months. In this session, WCD Administrator Sally Coen will outline some of the new Oregon Revised Statutes and how those statutes will affect Oregon Administrative Rules. Coen will also discuss some of the legislative concepts affecting the Oregon workers’ compensation industry that are under consideration for the upcoming legislative session. WCD Resolution Manager Matt West will discuss how COVID-19 has affected the Oregon workers’ compensation industry and share some of the data the division has collected during the pandemic.

Common pitfalls and emerging workers’ compensation trends for Oregon employers

Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, 9:45 to 10:45 a.m.

WCD Employer Compliance Senior Field Investigator Bob Hamre; Oregon Small Business Ombudsman Dave Waki; and Assistant Ombudsman Caitlin Breitbach

This presentation features multiple employer coverage experts who will share how employers can save money while keeping their employees safe. WCD Employer Compliance Senior Investigator Bob Hamre and the Small Business Ombudsman’s Office will share the services their program areas offer, discuss common employer mistakes, and answer audience questions to address issues that employers face when dealing with workers’ compensation.

Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board update

Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, 11 a.m. to noon

Workers’ Compensation Board Project Manager Greig Lowell

From broad-stroke case law principles to fine nuances in claims processing disputes, get caught up on all the developments from the past 24 months. This class will be an informative and fast-paced review of important and interesting workers’ compensation case decisions. Attendees will explore the history, reasoning, and effects of decisions issued by the Oregon Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and the Workers’ Compensation Board. Participate in the lively discussion after the presentation – 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 learn about recent changes.

Temporary worker vs. worker leasing

Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

WCD Worker Leasing Specialists Lorrie Baker and Sabrina Wright

This session will focus on the differences between a worker leasing company, more commonly known as a professional employer organization (“PEO”) and a temporary staffing provider. Presenters will explore the history of employee leasing in Oregon and discuss how worker leasing can affect your workers’ compensation coverage. This class will discuss the statutes involved, how a temporary worker is defined, and the necessary documentation temporary staffing providers must keep. Stay in compliance and learn about the intricacies of the rules specific to PEOs and temporary staffing providers and their workers’ compensation coverage. Then, engage in a Q&A session with the experts.

Workers’ compensation 101 – part one

Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, 9:45 to 10:45 a.m.

Workers’ compensation 101 – part two

Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, 11 a.m. to noon

Chief Assistant Ombudsman for Injured Workers Jaylee Hlad-Mosgrove and Dan Schmelling from SAIF Corporation

Tune in to both sessions of 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. These session will also cover a brief history of workers’ compensation in Oregon, discuss claim timelines based on rule and statute, and best practices based on case law.

Oregon’s return-to-work programs

Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

WCD Worksite Modification Consultant and Lead Worker Brian Nease and Re-employment Specialist Charity Steffen

This presentation will describe the Workers’ Compensation Division’s two return-to-work programs. The presenters will explain the program benefits and the processes used to access those benefits. They will also share case examples showcasing how each program is used in real life.

Occupational orthopedics – speaking the language

Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, 9:45 to 10:45 a.m.

Orthopedic surgeons Dr. John DiPaola and Dr. Joseph Schenchk

This class provides participants with an opportunity to learn from two physicians with decades of combined experience in orthopedic practices in the Portland area. Dr. DiPaola and Dr. Schenchk will discuss how they discovered how to take the hassle factor out of workers’ compensation and how to speak this complicated language and understand its many nuances.

Industry performance trends, WCD updates, and closing remarks

Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, 11 a.m. to noon

WCD Audit Manager Barbara Belcher; Senior Auditor Troy Painter; Medical Reviewer Tasha Fisher; and Administrator Sally Coen

This class will start with a discussion about the most common issues Workers’ Compensation Division auditors find during the audit process. Presenters will share COVID-19 claims information the audit team has gathered in the past 18 months and how to avoid civil penalties from the division. The discussion will also delve into the statutes involved, explain common demand letters, discuss what is required to stay in compliance, explain how penalties are assessed, and discuss best practices, followed by a Q&A about sanctions.

​2021 ​Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference