April 18, 2011
QUESTIONS FOR WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION ADVISORY BOARD NOMINEE
By: John Moran, Principal Analyst
STRUCTURE AND DUTIES
● The board consists of eight members who serve staggered four-year terms. Four must represent employers, including a representative of a major general hospital. Four must represent employees, including an individual who has suffered an extensive disability arising from his employment. The eight appointed members then choose a ninth impartial member who serves as the chairman.
● The governor appoints.
● Both houses confirm (CGS § 31-280a).
● The chairman of the Workers' Compensation Commission must consult with the board before adopting a budget, a plan of operations, or regulations to carry out the commission's duties. Among other things, the board must also (1) help evaluate the performance of each compensation commissioner and submit written recommendations for their re-appointment to the governor, (2) advise on the list of physicians available for injured workers to choose from for examinations, and (3) advise on standards for approval and removal of physicians from the list (CGS § 31-280(b)).
1. As a new appointee to the advisory board, what experiences and background do you bring to this position that will help the state's workers' compensation commission function better?
2. What are your goals for your first term on the Advisory Board?
3. Last year the commission issued new medical provider guidelines aimed at improving the coordination of medical services to injured workers and reducing the amount of time it takes for the workers to get proper treatment. Will the advisory board review the implementation of this policy or attempt to evaluate it?
4. What is your impression of how the workers' compensation system is currently addressing the needs of injured workers and of their employers? Do those needs agree or are they in conflict?
5. Is fraud and abuse a problem in the workers' compensation system, and does the advisory board have a role in trying to prevent fraud and abuse?
6. When board members interview compensation commissioners as part of the reappointment process, how will you evaluate whether a commissioner has done a good job? For what reasons, and under what circumstances, would you recommend a commissioner not be re-nominated?
7. Are there a sufficient number of physicians currently participating and available for workers' compensation cases in the state? Does the state have any problems keeping enough physicians involved?
8. It takes an older employee longer to recover from an injury than a younger person with the same injury. Considering the aging of the Connecticut workforce does this pose a particular challenge for the workers' compensation system?
9. Are you aware of whether injuries are more common in certain occupations than others? Are there ways to reduce the injuries in these high-injury occupations?
10. Do you see any areas in which the board's role should be expanded?