MONTANA SELF INSURERS' ASSOCIATION
November 2023 Update
- WCRI Releases CompScope Medical Benchmarks – Webinar 11/16
- DOLI Releases Exposure Draft of Red-Tape Initiative Rules Changes
- Kids Chance Awareness Week
- MSIA Webinar – Ethics 12/6 @ 10a MST – CE for both WC Claims Examiners and Insurance Producers
- Welcome New MSIA Member – Pacira Biosciences!
- Welcome New MSIA Member – Kerri Poe - Arcadia Settlements Group!
- Welcome New MSIA Member – Medivest!
- MSIA Business Meeting Materials Available on the Website
WCRI Releases CompScope Medical Benchmarks – Webinar 11/16
This is the 24th edition of the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) CompScope Medical Benchmarks publication. CompScope has helped everyone interested in the industry and public policy to understand how the workers’ compensation systems operate and compare with each other. It is considered one of the annual ‘must read’ materials for those of us interested in public policy surrounding our business. CompScope collects and analyzes information from 17 different state systems – while Montana is not one of the states, our results are not that far off from those reported on, based on the data we can get from DOLI and others.
WCRI is hosting a limited seat Webinar on Thursday, November 16, at 2p EST (noon in Montana) to discuss the findings of the latest CompScope Medical Benchmark publication. Attendance is limited to 500 and is $50 for non-members. MSIA is a member of WCRI, and we will make the Webinar information available to members. The webinar is designed to address the following questions:
- What trends were found in medical payments across states?
- How did COVID-19 change patterns of healthcare utilization?
- What services increased and what services decreased?
- DOLI Releases Exposure Draft of Red-Tape Initiative Rules Changes
MSIA members got the first word about the release of the Red Tape Initiative exposure draft at the Business & Annual Meeting at the end of September. We now have the DRAFT language from the Employment Standards Division (ESD) of the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI). This exposure draft, attached, is language being considered, prior to submission to the formal rule-making process. ESD hopes to be able to start the rule-making process in January. The exposure draft is just that – it is a request of those involved in the marketplace to review the potential changes, ask questions, seek additional information and offer suggestions for change, before a draft is submitted for formal review and approval.
ESD has offered to host a Q & A session with MSIA members, if we have that many questions. MSIA is happy to collect your thoughts, if you would like, as well as our own to share with ESD. In the alternative, we would appreciate your sharing any thoughts you may provide to Bill Wheeler, Deputy Administrator, Operations and Compliance, directly with us. Bill Wheeler is at 406-444-6541 and email@example.com.
Self insurance rules changes start on p.6 (24.29.604) and run through p. 18. In addition, here is what Wheeler sent out when he sought input from system participants:
There are a few areas in the draft that I would like to draw your attention to:
- Evidence of Coverage - 24.29.703 Evidence of Coverage on page 19 is proposed to allow for an All States policy as verification of workers’ compensation coverage for an employer in Montana as long as it meets the requirements of the updated rule. We believe that this will significantly remove compliance friction for some out-of-state employers that have a small number of staff working in Montana and have MT specifically listed in their All States coverage.
- Attorney Fees - 24.29.3802 Attorney Fee Regulation on page 114 specifies limits on the attorney fee settled at the Workers’ Compensation Court (WCC) if the settlement could have been approved by the Department. In conjunction with this change, the 24.29.4332, on page 121 adds language requiring attorney fees be reported pursuant to a settlement. This has long been a requirement and there is space dedicated on the settlement form to report the attorney fee. Proper fee reporting helps the Department meet its requirements in 39-71-225, MCA.
- Value of Employer Housing - 24.29.721 Value of Employer-Furnished Housing on page 21 seeks to update the housing rates that were established in 2018. In the intervening years, there has been a significant increase in rates which in turn necessitates updating this rule.
- Subsequent Injury Fund - 24.29.2614 Reimbursement Process (SIF) on page 96 adds a section requiring an update from the insurer on the current unpaid reserves on the claim at the 104 weeks timeframe, and then at least annually thereafter. The language attempts to provide flexibility for the department to work with each insurers business process for managing their case reserves. The reason for this change is related to the department’s requirement to report a rolled-up amount on the liability of SIF on our financial statements. Since the insurer has the claim and pays the benefits, we will need to work with insurers for this information so that we can report accordingly. Also, added to rule is language that a request of reimbursement for benefits paid 18 or more months prior to the request will be denied. This addition reinforces the importance of timely submission of requests and consequences of not reporting timely.
Please copy us on any comments you might make to Wheeler directly, or provide your comments to us and we will share them with ESD. If we have enough interest, we will coordinate a meeting available to all members with Wheeler and his ESD staff.
- Kids Chance Awareness Week
Many MSIA members are involved with Kids Chance, and more of us support their efforts. We are happy to share this information from them:
Awareness week Nov. 13-17, 2023
When a worker gets injured on the job, it doesn’t just affect them – it affects their entire family, especially their kids.
That’s why the 50 Kids’ Chance state organizations provide scholarships and support to the kids of workers who have been injured on the job. We envision a future when all affected children can complete their education or training and pursue their desired career path.
How can you get involved?
- Donate to Kids’ Chance of Montana at: https://www.kidschanceofmontana.org/donate
- Volunteer to help your Montana chapter at https://www.kidschanceofmontana.org/contact
- Refer eligible applicants through our Planning for the Future initiative to reach more kids impacted by a parent’s workplace injury at: https://www.kidschance.org/planning-for-the-future/
- Spread the word about Kids’ Chance in your communities and on social media using #KidsChance and #MoreMoneyforMoreKids.
As a nonprofit organization, Kids’ Chance of Montana depends on support from friends, family, and industry leaders to meet our mission. Your contribution will make a positive difference in kids’ lives. For the 2023/24 school year, Kids’ Chance of Montana is providing $42,500 in scholarships to assist 13 students from across Montana who are pursuing various post high school educational opportunities. In it’s six years, Kids’ Chance of Montana has assisted a total of 28 students (most for multiple years) with approximately $190,000 in scholarships and support, and has started an endowment fund. Join us in investing in Montana’s future. 100% of your donated funds go directly to student support – thanks to administrative grants from MT Rail Link and Kids’ Chance of America and to the efforts of our Kids’ Chance volunteers. We appreciate any support you can provide.
- MSIA CE Webinar – Ethics 12/6 @ 10a MST – CE for both WC Claims Examiners and Ins Producers
Ethics - December 6, 10a MST
presented by Brian Allen, Optimized Outcome Solutions
Sponsored by MES Solutions and Ametros
Advance Registration Required
There are unlimited seats for MSIA members for the next CE Webinar – Ethics, presented by Brian Allen, Principal with Optimized Outcome Solutions. Advance registration is required on-line (MSIA webinar - Ethics), or by contacting the MSIA office via email or phone.
CE credit is available for both the MT WC Claims Examiner license and the MT CSI Insurance Producers license. MSIA CE Webinar - Ethics
Please note – if you are seeking the Insurance Producer license credit, you must provide MSIA with your name as it appears on the license, your NPN number and your license number. Incomplete or inaccurate information will result in our inability to provide you with the desired credit.
MSIA Business Meeting Materials Available on the Website
All the material from our Business & Annual Meeting is now available to members, through the Members Only section of the MSIA Website, Montana Self Insurers' Association. Materials include the budget, our financial statements, current Bylaws and the DRAFT meeting minutes are under Governance Documents. The Debra Livingston, President and CEO of ReEmployAbility, presentation, Recovering the Worker is also available.
If you have forgotten your Members Only password, please contact us at the MSIA office.
Welcome New MSIA Member – Pacira Biosciences!
Pacira is the leading provider of non-opioid pain management and regenerative health solutions dedicated to advancing and improving patient outcomes. Our in-depth knowledge of non-opioid pain management, coupled with our passion for delivering improved patient care, drives our commitment to providing solutions that address unmet medical needs and improve clinical results.
We are a team of dedicated and highly talented professionals focused on driving improved patient outcomes with opioid-reducing strategies. We are an organization built on high ethical standards, an unwavering commitment to patients, and transparent communications. We have a drive and a desire to improve the world around us and make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients, families, communities, and society. For more information contact Carla Bischoff at Carla.Bischoff@Pacira.com or 509-868-4784.
Welcome New MSIA Member – Kerri Poe – Arcadia Settlements Group!
Kerri Poe is a structured settlement consultant with experience in Workers’ Compensation, general liability, medical malpractice, and employment litigation. She brings value to her clients by facilitating settlement and working as an advocate to the settlement process. As part of the settlement team, Kerri assists with case evaluation, attends mediations, and ensures the tax benefits of the structured settlement are preserved. Her extensive experience with Medicare Set Asides and the integration of public benefits allows her to provide needs-based financial options to the injured party. Kerri is on the Board of Directors of the National Structured Settlements Trade Association and will be their President for the 2024-2025 term.
Kerri is a proud member of Arcadia Settlements Group. For 50 years, Arcadia has helped resolve conflicts, reduce litigation expenses and create long-term financial security for injured people through settlement consulting services. Our expert team helps people navigate the complexities of injury claims with experience, well-proven strategies, empathy, and innovation. For more information contact Kerri Poe at KPoe@TeamArcadia.com or 949-295-5490.
Welcome New MSIA Member - Medivest!
Founded in 1996, Medivest is a national provider of Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) compliance services and settlement solutions. We assist anyone involved in an injury settlement to understand their MSP obligation, to help mitigate exposure, and to preserve the injured worker’s post-settlement medical dollars. Although Medivest works with many industry professionals, we have designed customizable service offerings to assist the workers’ compensation carriers, self-insured employers, and third-party administrators professionals.