Monday, August 20, 2018

12:55 – 5:00 pm
Grand Ballroom 8B
Convention Level
(Entrance through corridor between Grand Ballrooms 7 & 8)

(Day 2 of this program is on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 beginning at 9:00 am in Grand Ballroom 8B.)

12:55 pm
Welcome and Introductions

Co-Chairs, National Workers’ Compensation Review:
H. George Kagan, Attorney
H. George Kagan, PA
Gulf Stream, FL

James M. Anderson, Attorney
Anderson Crawley & Burke
Ridgeland, MS

William E. Pipkin, Jr., Attorney
Austill, Lewis, Pipkin & Maddox
Mobile, AL

1:00 – 2:00 pm
Adequacy of Benefits: Examination of The Grand Bargain – In Partnership With The College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Handout 1
Handout 2

Thomas M. Domer, Attorney
Domer Law
President – The College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Milwaukee, WI

Honorable David Torrey
Workers’ Compensation Judge
Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry
Pittsburg, PA

James M. Anderson, Attorney
Anderson Crawley & Burke
Ridgeland, MS

Ann Bishop, Attorney
Sponsler, Bishop, Koren & Hammer
Atlanta, GA

Many state workers’ compensation systems are under attack. Constitutional challenges among the jurisdictions now erupt with alarming regularity, often successfully. Viability of “the grand bargain” between labor and industry is questioned. This joint presentation of the national College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers – making its first appearance at the WCEC — in partnership with the National Workers’ Compensation Review examines the issues and the challenges, and endeavors to weigh various contentions surrounding proposed reforms.

A major fault line is “benefit adequacy,” which continues to elude policy makers and stakeholders since adequacy is in the eye of the beholder. An overarching idea of adequacy is the extent to which workers’ compensation benefits continue to represent a fair substitute for negligence damages, with its compensatory and punitive elements in addition to lost wages and medical expense recovery. Widely disparate views of what is a “fair substitute” has generated skepticism of the continued viability of any “Grand Bargain” and the constitutionality of the entire workers’ compensation system. One group or another seems bent on smashing the system and starting over. Stakeholders in all workers’ compensation systems should not miss the informed views and conclusions of our illustrious presenters.

2:00 – 3:00 pm
Opiates – Update On Criminal Prosecution, Civil Actions, Legislation and Law Enforcement


William Zachry
Senior Fellow
Sedgwick Institute
San Carlos, CA

Gregory J. McKenna
Senior Vice President, External Affairs
Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.
Rolling Meadows, IL

Melvin I. Pohl, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Las Vegas Recovery Center
Las Vegas, NV

John Dowdy, Attorney
Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics
Jackson, MS

That abuse of even “legal” Opiate pain medication is creating addicts and filling graves now is old news: it has been proclaimed a “crisis.” This session addresses: what now? Hear generally of developing legislative and law enforcement efforts targeting “the crisis.” Learn of government regulation and its impact on the problem, along with consumer fraud in the marketing of opiates together with criminal prosecutions and civil actions against doctors, manufacturers, and distributors. From a claims standpoint, the panelists will address the identification of circumstances which indicate opioid issues and will discuss best practices for effective intervention. You will learn tips for dealing with the often well-intentioned but misguided and detrimental actions of medical professionals and claimant’s counsel which are actually contrary to the best interests of the patient/client. Learn how to identify and address the counter-productive activity of a treating physician and how to bring about positive change to improve the injured worker’s overall outcome.

3:00 – 4:00 pm
How Pain Becomes Chronic: Using Modern Neuroscience And Cognitive Behavioral Therapy To Inform Pain Recovery

Geralyn Datz, PhD
Licensed Clinical Health Psychologist
Southern Behavioral Medicine Associates, PLLC
Hattiesburg, MS

David Hanscom, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon
Swedish Neuroscience Specialists
Seattle, WA

Chronic pain lives in the brain. Pain lasting months or years alters nerve signaling and creates new pathways in the brain that reinforce the experience of pain. Injured workers’ responses to pain, including feelings of dread, anticipation of future pain, fears of movement, and beliefs about dangerousness of pain become learned behavior which rewire the brain toward unhelpful pain responses such that over time, the experience of pain becomes a memorized pattern in the brain. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) teaches injured workers to un-learn pain and harness the brain’s power to change previous responses to pain. By training injured workers ways to “rewire” their brains and undo harmful effects of untamed pain experiences, CBT changes brain chemistry and produces lasting effects of pain relief. Dr. Geralyn Datz, a clinical health psychologist specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy with injured workers, and Dr. David Hanscom, an orthopedic spine surgeon using neuroscience-based techniques with non-surgical candidate patients, discuss in plain terms how to harness CBT and self-management techniques in chronic pain cases to maximize total healing potential.

4:00 – 5:00 pm
Mindfulness – An Effective Alternative To Big Pharma For Pain Management

Christopher R. Brigham, MD
Brigham and Associates
Hilton Head, SC

Brittany Busse, MD
Medical Director of Telehealth
Kura MD, Inc.
Sacramento, CA

Melvin I. Pohl, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Las Vegas Recovery Center
Las Vegas, NV

James Williams, MD
Medical Director
Nexus Medical Consulting
Chesterfield, MO

In a society both “under the influence” of big pharma and resistant to change, are we underutilizing effective treatments low in both cost and risk? Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment without judgment. Mindfulness based meditation interventions improve quality of life. The proof is in. The systematic review of randomized control trials with meta-analysis demonstrating mindfulness meditation is associated with decreased pain, decreased depression, and decreased suffering. In short, mindfulness is a useful adjunct in treatment of substance abuse and somatization disorders, which means, in the current claims environment, it is highly useful.

Our world-class expert panelists engage you in their discussion of how to use mindfulness in your work — and in your life — to achieve better outcomes in both. Don’t miss this unique and highly valuable session aimed at improving results in your work (and in you)!