Editor’s Note: The 68th annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference (WCEC) will be held August 18 - 21 at the Orlando World Center Marriott. Presented by the Workers’ Compensation Institute, the WCEC is the largest gathering of its kind in the nation and offers discipline-specific programs and break-out sessions from hundreds of national speakers, as well as CEU opportunities. All stakeholders in the workers' compensation community are represented at and welcome to participate in the conference. This article is part of a series by Program Chair Steve Rissman highlighting some of the upcoming sessions.
Every adjuster, employer, risk manager, safety person, lawyer and nurse case manager finds themselves swimming in water containing very advanced medical terminology and concepts. It is very easy to get capsized.
That is the theory behind an exciting new program at the Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference. Presented by the University of South Florida, Center for Occupational and Environmental Risk Analysis and Management, “Mini-Med School for Lawyers and Adjusters,” blends legal, medical and insurance issues and presents them in a way that the audience will develop an understanding of how the law and medicine interact. The two-day program is moderated by Dr. James McCluskey, who understands the legal/medical combination better than anyone.
The first day of the program on Monday, August 19, is called “Workplace Impairment from Prescription and Recreational Drugs and Alcohol: Medical, Legal and Insurance Issues – Advocacy, Accuracy and Fraud.” Our superstar presenters are Dr. Raymond Harbison from the University of South Florida, Neal Gannon, an expert and experienced lawyer with the Conroy, Simberg firm, and Tammy Reisz, a senior claims examiner with Tower Group.
This panel of experts will act as your professors at the Mini-Med School. Their topic is drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace, a subject so important that it demands the attention of employers, lawyers and adjusters alike. What are the effects of alcohol and drugs in the workplace? What do the lawyers need to prove in order to properly represent their clients? And finally, what investigation and standards are necessary for an adjuster to understand? This will be a course that educates the audience about the effects of drugs and alcohol, testing for drugs and alcohol, and the medical and legal consequences of taking drugs or drinking alcohol on the workplace.
The second day on Tuesday, August 20, is just as good as the first. It occupies the critical 10:00 am to noon slot. The experts are McCluskey and trial lawyer James Spears. This one should not be missed, as this two-person panel talks about those pre-existing conditions that so materially impact workers’ compensation claims. If the lawyers, adjusters and employers don’t understand the effect of diabetes, hypertension and degenerative disc disease on claims, then they are simply missing the boat.
Education into these pre-existing conditions is exactly why we offer Mini-Med School. McCluskey will impart your medical education on hypertension, diabetes and degenerative disc disease, and then Spears will explain the very practical impact on workers’ compensation claims, discussing major contributing cause and apportionment, as well as other critical legal/medical concepts.
You can’t be an effective adjuster, employer, nurse case manager or attorney without understanding the medicine. Mini-Med School promises to be your practical solution.