State of Minnesota Rehabilitation Review Panel Thurs., Jan. 4, 2007 443 Lafayette Road N. St.

Paul, MN Voting members present Dr. Joseph Sweere Dawn Soleta Anthony Ferraro Shirley Muelken Alissa O’Hara Michele Cassedy Steve Hollander Margaret Kasting Sue Mauren Nonvoting members present Staff members present Patricia Todd John O’Loughlin Carol Pankow Jana Williams Kate Berger Phil Moosbrugger Julie Marquardt Jeanne Gehrman Dee Torgerson Others present Mike Drewir Voting members excused Dennis Ballinger Carl Crimmins Frank Lamp

Call to order Dr. Joseph Sweere called the meeting to order at 1:09 p.m. Department staff members and guests were introduced. Approval of July 17, 2006 minutes Sue Mauren made a motion to approve the minutes and Shirley Muelken seconded. The minutes were unanimously approved. Approval of agenda The agenda was approved as submitted. Assistant commissioner's update Patricia Todd gave the following update. – Tom Joachim has been appointed as the new assistant commissioner of the Safety Codes and Standards Division. He was the former director of the Construction Codes and Licensing Division.

– There are currently two placement coordinator openings in Vocational Rehabilitation. – The department has hired a consultant to review processes so the department can move from a forms-driven system to a data-driven system. Forms would be submitted electronically whenever possible. There have been a number of meetings to address options. The project should be completed by the end of May. The focus, at this point, is determining what the cost would be for implementation and the challenges, from a technology standpoint, for both internal and external stakeholders. – DLI is also doing a dispute study internally, tracking dispute-resolutions that have occurred, to determine what was disputed and how the disputes were resolved. DLI is looking for opportunities for resolving issues sooner in the process. – The Workers' Compensation Advisory Council is still developing a potential bill. – The Workers’ Compensation Division (WCD) managers had an off-site meeting to create a five-year vision for the division. Top priorities established for the next five years are: to have a high-quality, widely respected staff; to develop a consultative focus in dealing with all parties; and to have a pro-active, top-notch regulatory program and state-of-the-art technology. Core beliefs include customer service, data process integrity and continually asking: “Are we doing the right things the right way? ” There have been significant management changes in the past 18 months; the division now has the management structure in place to move forward. WCD's motto is “Get ‘er done; we’re number one.” 2006 rehabilitation provider complaint update John O’Loughlin discussed his handout Rehabilitation provider complaint investigations, calendar-year 2006, summary report. There were 76 complaints addressed in 2006. Fifty of these were closed, leaving 26 cases open as of Dec. 31. Of those, five cases were closed with stipulations for settlement and formal discipline. Eleven complaints were closed with letters of instructions. There were 34 complaints closed as unsubstantiated in 2006. Of the five cases where there was formal discipline, four involved patterns of late completion or missing forms. QRCs not only need to complete the R2 and R3 forms, but they need to file them with the department in a timely matter. There are situations where injured workers or insurers are not signing the forms in a timely matter. In those situations, the QRC is to give the insurer or the employee 15 days to sign the form, then send them in. QRCs need to be mindful of the rule that went into effect in June 2005, which requires filing R8 plan-closure forms within 30 days of knowledge that the case has been settled. Shirley Muelken asked what happens to the money the QRCs pay for fines. Todd indicated this goes to the Special Compensation Fund’s Assigned Risk Safety Account. This money is used to fund safety and health programs within the agency. Specifically, the account provides grants that include training and equipment to improve safety and health in various industries. Billing disputes: intervenor training O’Loughlin reported the department recently offered a training program designed to help providers with billing disputes. The session discussed the Office of Administrative Hearings expectations of intervenors. Alissa O’Hara reported her firm is having issues with billing disputes and, even if her firm is listed as an intervenor, sometimes the firm is not notified when a case settles. O'Loughlin asked whether this may be a topic for the

rehabilitation update and Steve Hollander agreed. Anthony Ferraro said they have encountered difficulties with their disputed or denied workers’ compensation claims being kicked to the health insurance company. When the insurance company finds out the claim is work-related and it is sent back, there can be a big delay. Hollander mentioned QRCs have an obligation to continue to work with a person even though the payer is disputing or denying payment. O'Loughlin stated Minnesota Rules 5220.0510 and 5220.0710 clarify the procedure to withdraw from a case when there is a dispute about future liability. Rehabilitation provider update O'Loughlin indicated there would not be a rehabilitation provider update in 2007. An update in 2008 is a possibility. Hot topics in rehabilitation O'Loughlin asked for input from the panel about rehabilitation issues of interest. Depending on the topic, the department could provide information via a presentation to the panel, COMPACT articles or the e-mail list serve. Hollander suggested undocumented workers. This was discussed at the fall MARP conference and it was a hot topic for rehabilitation providers, especially for those who work with new immigrants. He also indicated the R-8 form does not allow the provider to close a case when a client is no longer a “qualified employee.” O'Loughlin suggested Hollander have the insurer file a Rehabilitation Request form indicating the desire to terminate rehabilitation services. If the employee doesn’t file a Rehabilitation Response form, to initiate an administrative conference, the R-8 can be closed as agreed by the parties or by order of the commissioner. Todd suggested the forms could be reviewed. O'Loughlin reported there is a revised Rights and Responsibility form with bar codes on both sides. With the revised version, QRCs need only to fill out the information once and it is automatically entered on both sides of the form. This means QRCs only need to fax the second side of the form. O'Hara asked if there were any plans to have more forms translated into Spanish and other languages. Although it was noted there can be administrative costs in producing and updating forms in various languages, Todd said she is interested in hearing more about the need for this. Some posters have been translated into 12 languages. There was discussion about changing the July meeting. Chris Beaubien will do this and contact panel members with the change. Adjournment Mauren made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Muelken seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 1:50 p.m.