COMPACT

CONTENTS
2

for workers' compensation professionals

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

May 2007

Updates from the Workers' Compensation Division
• Information sheet: release of medical records • Work comp claims statistics-at-a-glance • Exploration of forms-driven to data-driven system continues

3 Work comp penalties fund Assigned Risk Safety Account 3 Moving away from using Social Security numbers 4 Department welcomes new Workers' Compensation Division employees 4 From the State Register: Provider participation list available 5 Basic adjusters' training 2007: information, registration D-1 Court decisions: January through March 2007

Claims brochure updated

Department welcomes new work comp employees

Court decisions: October through December 2006

2

4

Decisions

Summaries of

D-1

Updates from the Workers' Compensation Division
· Information sheet: release of medical records
The Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) has recently developed an information sheet to clarify appropriate application of the Minnesota workers' compensation law as it relates to the release of medical records of injured workers. The document provides links to other related Web sites and information about the release of medical records under Minnesota Statutes § 176.138 of the Minnesota workers' compensation law, the Minnesota Health Records Act in Minn. Stat. § 144.335, the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other state and federal workers' compensation laws. It is on the DLI Web site at www.doli.state.mn.us/pdf/medical_records_release0407.pdf.

· Work comp claims statistics-at-a-glance
The Department of Labor and Industry's (DLI) Research and Statistics unit has updated its annual Minnesota workers' compensation claims characteristics brochure and has produced a teen claims characteristics handout. The brochure and handout provide statistics-at-a-glance about injury, illness and fatality claims for 2005 (2003 through 2005 for teens), such as the number of claims, nature of injury or disease, occupation of injured workers and injured worker characteristics. The brochure also provides resources for further workers' compensation statistical information. The brochure (current and past versions) and handout are online at www.doli.state.mn.us/pubwkcp.html. For more information, contact DLI's Research and Statistics unit at dli.research@state.mn.us or (651) 284-5025.

Minnesota workers' compensation claims
Part of body
Fingers 8% Head 2% (except eyes) Eyes 1% Hands 4% Wrists 6% Arms 6% Trunk 7%
(except back)

Neck 2% Shoulders 8% Back 23%

Legs 3% Knees 9%

Body systems 1% Ankles 5% Multiple parts 12% Toes 1% Feet 3%

· Exploration of forms-driven to data-driven system continues
Currently, the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) Workers' Compensation Division regulates largely through the receipt of forms submitted by workers' compensation insurers, employees, qualified rehabilitation consultants and attorneys. Each of the forms is scanned into the document imaging system, employed by the department since the mid 1990s, and certain data elements are entered into the department's database. The Workers' Compensation Division staff uses the data and images to monitor and react to actions on each case to ensure compliance with the workers' compensation laws. DLI has been evaluating the possibility of moving toward data-driven regulation in workers' compensation instead of its current forms-based approach. As part of this project, DLI developed a pilot to work with the information collected on one workers' compensation form – the Notice of Intention to Discontinue (NOID) – via the data it contains rather than a scanned image of the form. DLI and consultants have been working to identify data elements involved in each of DLI's regulatory and administrative functions. As the department continues to explore moving toward a data-driven system, the pilot to evaluate use of the information contained on the NOID form vs. review of the form is complete and lessons learned have been documented. Members of the advisory committee, which includes external stakeholders (insurer, attorneys, Office of Administrative Hearings, Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals and rehabilitation consultants), have been asked for their goals and concerns related to a data-driven system. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in May.
2
• COMPACT • May 2007

Work comp penalties fund Assigned Risk Safety Account
Throughout the workers' compensation statutes there are fines and penalties that may be assessed for infractions within the system. Under the workers' compensation law, penalties are paid either to the Assigned Risk Safety Account or directly to injured employees. The Assigned Risk Safety Account was created in 1992 by the Minnesota Legislature to finance safety programs within the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI). One of those programs is the Safety Hazard Abatement Grant Program, administered by DLI's Workplace Safety Consultation unit. This program provides matching grants of up to $10,000 to employers for equipment or training designed to reduce the risk of injury and illness to its workers. During the first half of the current state-fiscal-year, 77 grants have been awarded, totaling nearly $367,000. For more information about: • safety grants, visit www.doli.state.mn.us/grants.html; or • fines and penalties, visit www.doli.state.mn.us/pdf/fines06.pdf.

Moving away from using Social Security numbers
By Jana Williams, Information Processing Center Director

The Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) is committed to reducing the possibility of someone stealing Social Security numbers used in its current system. A DLI committee has been discussing issues and options for some time. Division files, used to store injury claim records at DLI, were set up many years ago to use the injured worker's Social Security number and date of injury. This system is still used today. The committee's original goal was to try to eliminate or minimize the use of Social Security numbers, starting with correspondence sent by the department. Eliminating the use of the Social Security numbers completely is very difficult, because it is a widely recognized, unique number that identifies an individual. DLI proposes to instead use a computergenerated system number (WCID number)
3
• COMPACT • May 2007

that is assigned to an injured worker after an initial injury is reported. The number (up to 10 digits) is then linked to the Social Security number and used in data tables for all injuries for the same individual. The DLI committee's preliminary recommendation is to continue using the Social Security number for the initial submission of a work injury, but communicate the internal system number to the parties for use on subsequent filings. Details concerning the implementation of this change, such as how to communicate the WCID number quickly, what forms need to be revised, etc., are still at the discussion stage, although the department hopes to implement this change within the next 18 months. Those who have concerns or suggestions about this system change may contact Cindy Valentine, DLI's chief information officer, at cindy.valentine@state.mn.us.

Department welcomes new Workers' Compensation Division employees
The Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) is pleased to announce the recent appointments of Sandra Barnes, Amy Borgeson, Walter Bowser and Thomas Germscheid to its Benefit Management and Resolution unit, and Clayton Overmire to its Claims Services and Investigations unit. Sandra Barnes is a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law. She has primarily represented employers and insurers in workers' compensation matters for the past few years. Amy Borgeson is a graduate of the University of New DLI employees (l to r): Thomas Germscheid, Minnesota Law School. During the past several years, Sandra Barnes, Amy Borgeson and Clayton Overmire. she has exclusively defended employers and insurers in workers' compensation matters. Borgeson also formerly worked as a settlement judge for DLI. Walter Bowser is also a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School. He was most recently employed as a district court judge, unemployment compensation judge and mediator/arbitrator. Thomas Germscheid is a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law. He has been employed for several years as an arbitrator and attorney representing individuals and insurers in workers' compensation, personal injury and employment matters. Clayton Overmire previously worked nine years in the private sector investigating and handling complex insurance injury claims in both workers' compensation and automotive no-fault.

From the State Register

Provider participation list available
Minnesota Statutes § 256B.0644 and Minnesota Rules parts 5221.0500, subp. 1 and 9505.5200 to 9505.5240, also known as DHS “Rule 101,” require health care providers that provide medical services to an injured worker under the workers’ compensation law to participate in the Medical Assistance Program, the General Assistance Medical Care Program and the MinnesotaCare Program. Notice is hereby given that the Minnesota Health Care Programs provider participation list for April 2007 is now available. The provider participation list is a compilation of health care providers that are in compliance with the Department of Human Services (DHS) Rule 101. If a providers' name is not on the list, the department considers the provider noncompliant. The list of providers is separated by provider type, each section is in alphabetical order by provider name and there is no additional information on the list other than the provider’s name. This list is distributed on a quarterly basis to the Department of Employee Relations, the Department of Labor and Industry, and the Department of Commerce. To obtain the list, call Julie Hervas, DHS Rule 101 specialist, at (651) 431-2704 or toll-free at 1-800-366-5411. You may fax your request to (651) 431-7462 or mail it to the Department of Human Services, P.O. Box 64987, St. Paul, MN 55164-0987.

4

• COMPACT • May 2007

labor & industry Workers' Compensation Division

minnesota department of

Basic Adjusters’ Training 2007
– Two remaining two-day sessions in 2007! – June 18 and 19 Oct.11 and 12

/

8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This training is recommended for claim adjusters who have less than one year of experience in Minnesota workers’ compensation. Session topics include: • • • • • • • • • Overview of Minnesota workers’ compensation Waiting period Liability determination Indemnity benefits Rehabilitation benefits and issues Medical benefits and issues Penalties Dispute resolution How to file forms Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry 443 Lafayette Road N. St. Paul, MN 55155 Minnesota Room $175 for the two-day session (includes lunch)

Location:

Cost:

Early registration is encouraged. Each session is limited to 30 people. Classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. If your reservation is not one of the first 30 received, you will be contacted about other available sessions.
If you need special accommodations to enable you to participate in this event or have questions about this training, call Jana Williams at (651) 284-5304, toll-free at 1-800-342-5354 or TTY (651) 297-4198. The Department of Labor and Industry reserves the right to cancel a session if there are not enough participants registered.

Register online at https://secure.doli.state.mn.us/wcadjtrainreg Registration form Please register me for the Basic Adjusters’ Training session checked below. Enclosed is my check made payable to: Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. June 18 and 19, 2007 Name and phone: E-mail address: Company name and address: Oct. 11 and 12, 2007

Number of months of experience with Minnesota workers’ compensation:
To register more than one person from your company for this class, attach a sheet listing additional names, telephone numbers and number of months of experience. Send form and check to: Attn: Financial Services, Minnesota Department of Labor and 5Industry, 443 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155. • COMPACT • May 2007

www.doli.state.mn.us/workcomp.html

Minnesota FEI #416007162