Breakout Sessions

Keynote Address - Workers' Compensation: Can the State System Survive?

Monday, June 1 — 9:45 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
 
Professor Emeritus, John F. Burton, Jr., School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University and School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University
Workers' compensation programs in many states have adopted more restrictive eligibility rules and lower cash benefits in recent decades. Medical benefits have become more important in workers' compensation since the 1980s, but now face challenges from the implementation of ObamaCare. The Social Security Disability Insurance program has grown much more rapidly than workers' compensation as a source of support for disabled workers. Do these developments threaten the future of workers' compensation?

Legal Updates [Intermediate]

Monday, June 1 — 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. (Repeated Monday, June 1 at 3:30 p.m.)
 
Moderated by: Thomas J. Kuzma, Esq., Office of General Counsel, WC Office of Adjudication, Harrisburg and Robert J. Steiner, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, New Castle
Tiffany Holland, ACS Claim Service, Inc., Mechanicsburg
Barbara Holmes, Esq., Blaufeld, Schiller & Holmes, LLP, Pittsburgh
Peter J. Weber, Esq., Weber, Gallagher, Simpson, Stapleton, Fires & Newby, LLP, Philadelphia
An annual favorite, join in this discussion of the leading cases and current, potentially problematic issues facing workers' compensation practitioners.

Road to Recovery: Brain Injuries in the Workplace [Advanced]

Monday, June 1 — 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
 
Moderated by: Donna K. Sponaugle, The Hershey Co., Lancaster
Barbara Dively, JD, Acquired Brian Injury Network of PA, Inc., Lansdale
Paul W. Horchos, DO, Northeastern Rehabilitation Associates, PC, Scranton
Edward Moss, Ph.D., Malamut and Moss, PC, Bryn Mawr
This session will examine the underlying effects of mild traumatic brain injury, treatment of both medical and psychological conditions and the path to recovery.

As the Claim Turns — Then and Now, Part 1 [Basic]

Monday, June 1 — 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
 
Moderated by: Robert J. Benischeck, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Bristol
Michael C. Brown, Broadspire Services, Inc., Mechanicsburg
Lawrence R. Chaban, Esq., AlpernSchubert PC, Pittsburgh
Victor Fiore, IBEW Local 29, Bakerstown
Linda Gregory, J.P. Mascaro & Sons/Solid Waste Services, Inc., Audubon
Gary Hunter, Esq., German, Gallagher, Murtagh, Philadelphia
In recognition of the 100th Anniversary of the Workers' Compensation Act, this year's session will focus on the act as it has evolved since 1915.

Prevention/Return to Work Strategies: A Road Map to Success [Basic]

Monday, June 1 — 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
 
Moderated by: Scott G. Weiant, Bureau of Workers' Compensation, Harrisburg
Cindy Boff, Keystone Physical Therapy, Aliquippa
Scott Gettings, Keystone Physical Therapy, Aliquippa
Learn how to effectively reduce your workers' compensation costs. During this session, information will be provided on job description/job analysis/essential functions. Discussion will include the differences between the three and whether or not one is needed. This session will also include information concerning post offers/pre-employment screens and how they can help. Education on injury prevention, does it work and how to obtain "no loss time" will be provided. Communication: Who should I talk to and what they need to know?

Putting the Applicant to the Test: Pre-Employment Testing [Intermediate]

Monday, June 1 — 1:45 p.m. - 3 p.m.
 
Moderated by: Cheryl M. LaPotin, School Districts Insurance Consortium, Lansdale
Schaun D. Henry, Esq., McNees, Wallace & Nurick, LLC, Harrisburg
Brian D. Pedrow, Esq., Ballard Spahr, LLP, Philadelphia
James Rochester, MD, WorkNet Occupational Medicine, Lancaster
What post offer/pre-employment tests are allowed? This session will discuss the obligations and restrictions for use of the information collected.

A Healthy Dose of Pain Management [Advanced]

Monday, June 1 — 1:45 p.m. - 3 p.m.
 
Moderated by: Ann Marie Loiseau, Northeastern Rehabilitation Associates, PC, Scranton
Lucian Bednarz, MD, Northeastern Rehabilitation Associates, PC, Scranton
Stephen M. Thomas, MD, Pain & Disability Management Consultants, PC, Pittsburgh
This session will provide the physicians' perspective of the use of narcotics for work injuries and detox. The physicians will also discuss the ethical considerations when prescribing, monitoring and withdrawing injured workers from narcotics.

As the Claim Turns — Then and Now, Part 2 [Basic]

Monday, June 1 — 1:45 p.m. - 3 p.m.
 
Moderated by: Robert J. Benischeck, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Bristol
Michael C. Brown, Broadspire Services, Inc., Mechanicsburg
Lawrence R. Chaban, Esq., AlpernSchubert PC, Pittsburgh
Victor Fiore, IBEW Local 29, Bakerstown
Linda Gregory, J.P. Mascaro & Sons/Solid Waste Services, Inc., Audubon
Gary Hunter, Esq., German, Gallagher, Murtagh, Philadelphia
Continuation of part 1.

Employers Unplugged [Basic]

Monday, June 1 — 1:45 p.m. - 3 p.m.
 
Moderated by: Christine Wendt, Exelon Business Services Company, Berwyn
Andrew Antolik, City of Erie, Erie
Connie L. Kopp, Masonic Villages, Elizabethtown
Barry Kriner, Flexsteel Industries, Inc., Lancaster
These experienced large and small employers will address topics such as educating the workforce, before-injury training, post-injury treatments, their part in the claims management process, modified duty, return to work, working with the adjuster, communications with the insurance carriers and panel providers.

Then and Now: 100 Years of Alternative Treatments for Pain Management [Advanced]

Monday, June 1 — 3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
 
Moderated by: Donna K. Sponaugle, The Hershey Co., Lancaster
David P. Frank, MD, Orthopedic Institute of PA, Camp Hill
Matthias H. Wiederholz, MD, Performance Spine & Sports Medicine, Newtown
Join this session to discover how alternative methods for treating chronic pain have evolved over the last 100 years. The speakers will discuss these alternative methods for treating chronic pain due to work-related injuries from 1915 to present.

The History Channel: Late Night with Judge Torrey [Basic]

Monday, June 1 — 3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
 
Moderated by: David B. Torrey, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Pittsburgh
Lawrence R. Chaban, Esq., AlpernSchubert PC, Pittsburgh
Elizabeth A. Crum, WC Office of Adjudication, Harrisburg
Victor Fiore, IBEW Local 29, Bakerstown
Andrew E. Greenberg, Esq., The Chartwell Law Offices, LLP, Eagleville
R. Burke McLemore, Jr., Esq., Thomas, Thomas & Hafer PC, Harrisburg
This session will discuss the timeline of significant developments and events through interviews with a variety of experts.

When is a WC Injury NOT a WC Injury? [Advanced]

Monday, June 1 — 3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
 
Daniel K. Bricmont, Esq., Caroselli, Beachler, McTiernan & Conboy, Pittsburgh
Bruce Decker, Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau, Philadelphia
William C. Mills, Esq., Gordon & Rees, LLP, Philadelphia
Paul R. Walker, Esq., Thomas, Thomas & Hafer, LLP, Harrisburg
Primer on employers' liability portion of the workers' compensation policy. Discuss the impact of the recent Supreme Court case, Tooey vs. AK Steel Corporation.

General Session - Kids' Chance Presentation

Tuesday, June 2 — 8 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
 
John W. McTiernan, Esq., Caroselli, Beachler, McTiernan & Conboy, LLC, Pittsburgh
When a family is suddenly faced with a workplace injury or fatality, the emotional and financial impact can be long-term and overwhelming. The surviving parent often struggles to pay for just the necessities such as food, clothing, and a home. Dreams of a college education for his or her children may be suddenly out of reach. That's where you and Kids' Chance of Pennsylvania can help! Kids' Chance provides scholarships for college and vocational education to children of Pennsylvania workers who have been killed or seriously injured in a work-related accident. Join us for breakfast and learn how you can become involved in Kids' Chance and ultimately, how you can impact the educational goals of children who may not otherwise have a chance.

Social Media: I Know What you did Last Weekend, Part 1 [Intermediate]

Tuesday, June 2 — 8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.
 
Brian White, Litigation Solutions LLC, Pittsburgh
Hear what this leading expert has to say about the fascinating surveillance products and techniques used in today's digital world.

Game Plan for Living [Basic]

Tuesday, June 2 — 8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.
 
Moderated by: Bernadette Heckman, Heckman Group, Duncannon
Mark A. Everest, Occupational Athletics, Inc., Harrisburg
An educational and motivational workshop that utilizes a sports analogy for aging and living by walking you through your "Four Quarters of Life." This workshop provides knowledge and motivation to make a plan of action that will benefit personal well-being. Mr. Everest will discuss the importance of integrating lifestyle, workers' compensation and safety. He will also address the Affordable Care Act's provisions regarding wellness programs and how employers can implement them.

The WC Research Institute: How Does PA Measure Up? [Basic]

Tuesday, June 2 — 8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.
 
Bruce Hockman, JLT Re (North America) Inc., Philadelphia
Richard A. Victor, Workers' Compensation Research Institute, Cambridge, MA
Tim Wisecarver, Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau, Philadelphia
Pennsylvania's workers' compensation system is relatively unique among large states in the stability of its performance over time. This session examines that stability and the reasons why. Dr. Richard Victor will use WCRI data to show Pennsylvania's uniqueness among large states. Mr. Bruce Hockman and Mr. Tim Wisecarver will draw upon their diverse and rich experience in Pennsylvania's system to suggest how such stability was achieved and sustained.

Legal Hurdles and Defenses [Intermediate]

Tuesday, June 2 — 8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.
 
Tom S. Cook, Esq., Calhoon & Associates, Harrisburg
Shawn Gooden, Esq., Weber, Gallagher, Simpson, Stapleton, Fires & Newby, LLP, Harrisburg
Topics will include the exclusive remedy of the act, jurisdiction, notice, statute of limitations, employment relationship and course and scope of employment.

Social Media: I Know What you did Last Weekend, Part 2 [Intermediate]

Tuesday, June 2 — 10:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
 
Christian A. Davis, Esq., Weber, Gallagher, Simpson, Stapleton, Fires & Newby, LLP, Philadelphia
Ashley E. Drinkwine, Esq., Carpenter, McCadden & Lane, LLP, Media
Eileen A. Pomento, Esq., Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo, Pottsville
Todd B. Seelig, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Philadelphia
While the popular use of social media has increased exponentially over the course of the past 10 years, its impact upon the law and litigation remains in its early stages. The program showcases ethical dilemmas faced by showing several vignettes including: counsel's knowledge of a client removing content off a social media page; an adjuster "friending" a party in litigation; when and if social media content viewed/printed must be turned over to the other side in discovery; and the use of social media at a hearing.

Vocational Rehabilitation & Earning Power: Past and Present [Advanced]

Tuesday, June 2 — 10:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
 
Moderated by: David B. Torrey, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Pittsburgh
Christopher R. Bridgman, Esq., Carpenter, McCadden & Lane, LLP, Media
Fred H. Hait, Esq., Smigel, Anderson & Sacks, LLP, Harrisburg
Stephen J. Harlen, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Philadelphia
These speakers will present a brief historical review of vocational rehabilitation in Pennsylvania workers' compensation and where we are today.

How Workers' Compensation Relates to Employment Law, Part 1 [Advanced]

Tuesday, June 2 — 10:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
 
Andrew E. Greenberg, Esq., The Chartwell Law Offices, LLP, Eagleville
Mary D. Walsh-Dempsey, Esq., Ufberg & Associates, Scranton
Back by popular demand! These panelists will discuss the interface between workers' compensation and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Title VII (Workplace Harassment and Discrimination) and return-to-work programs. Topics will cover how long ADA lasts, employer/employee responsibilities with regard to FMLA and issues relating to separation of employment, including COBRA.

Cover Me!: Insurance Options [Intermediate]

Tuesday, June 2 — 10:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
 
Suzanne M. Emmet, Eastern Alliance Insurance Company, Lancaster
George Knehr, Bureau of Workers' Compensation (retired), Harrisburg
Matthew Maurer, American Insurance Administrators, Inc., Mechanicsburg
Panelists will provide an overview of the purpose and key provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act, review the many insurance and self-insurance options available and provide employers with useful information to consider in choosing the right coverage option for their business.

Basic WC Law, Part 1 [Basic]

Tuesday, June 2 — 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
 
David B. Torrey, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Pittsburgh
Previously offered as WC 101, Workers' Compensation Judge, David Torrey, provides a basic overview of workers' compensation in Pennsylvania, including a discussion on its history, basic entitlements, wage loss, course of employment and disability/partial disability.

Fee Review: Dollars, Dates & Determinations, Part 1 [Basic]

Tuesday, June 2 — 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
 
Moderated by: Debra Novakovich, Bureau of Workers' Compensation, Harrisburg
Thomas Howell, Esq., Dept. of Labor & Industry, Office of Chief Counsel, Harrisburg
Pamela S. Minckler, Bureau of Workers' Compensation, Harrisburg
This session will discuss the requirements and timeline for filing a fee review at the first level. This session will also address new features/changes in WCAIS with regard to Fee Review.

How Workers' Compensation Relates to Employment Law, Part 2 [Advanced]

Tuesday, June 2 — 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
 
Andrew E. Greenberg, Esq., The Chartwell Law Offices, LLP, Eagleville
Mary D. Walsh-Dempsey, Esq., Ufberg & Associates, Scranton
Continuation of part 1.

Making WC Fun: Jeopardy [Intermediate]

Tuesday, June 2 — 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
 
Moderated by: Edward R. Carpenter, Esq., Carpenter, McCadden & Lane, Media; Lisa K. Lane, Esq., Carpenter, McCadden & Lane, Wexford and Michael J. McCadden, Esq., Carpenter, McCadden & Lane, Media
Victor Fiore, IBEW Local 29, Bakerstown
Jane Lamb, Esq., Philadelphia Gas Works, Philadelphia
R. Burke McLemore, Jr., Esq., Thomas, Thomas & Hafer PC, Harrisburg
Test your workers' compensation knowledge. This fun and informative session will take the attendees through the nuances of workers' compensation in Pennsylvania.

Basic WC Law, Part 2 [Basic]

Tuesday, June 2 — 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m.
 
David A. Cicola, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Johnstown
David Fiore, PSEA, Pittsburgh
Niki T. Ingram, Esq., Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin, Philadelphia
John W. McTiernan, Esq., Caroselli, Beachler, McTiernan & Conboy, LLC, Pittsburgh
Patricia A. Raskauskas, ACS Claim Service, Inc., Mechanicsburg
A discussion of specific claims processes from the moment of injury until the final adjudication from both the injured worker's and the employer's point of view.

Fee Review: Dollars, Dates & Determinations, Part 2 [Intermediate]

Tuesday, June 2 — 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m.
 
Howard J. Burk, Esq., Berman Voss, Haverford
Patrick A. Sheldon, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Harrisburg
Brian R. Steiner, Esq., Steiner, Segal, Muller and Donan, Philadelphia
This session will provide information on the process to contest an initial administrative fee review determination. Also, getting started: Learn the underlying regulatory requirements of billing, payments and challenges.

Judges Unplugged [Intermediate]

Tuesday, June 2 — 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m.
 
Moderated by: Elizabeth A. Crum, WC Office of Adjudication, Harrisburg
Beverly Doneker, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Allentown
Holly San Angelo, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Philadelphia
Daniel Snyder, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Wilkes-Barre
Gerald W. Yanity, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Altoona
Workers' compensation judges will offer their perspectives on the litigation and mediation processes. Suitable for all parties to a workers' compensation claim. The judges will discuss WCAIS, fee review appeals, medical evidence, witness credibility, surveillance, and more.

Top 10 Litigation Dos and Don'ts [Intermediate]

Tuesday, June 2 — 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m.
 
Moderated by: Richard McCarty, Jr., State Workers' Insurance Fund (retired), Harrisburg
Eric Jones, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Pittsburgh
Victoria S. Maranzini, Esq., William J. Ferren & Associates, Philadelphia
Barbara Welton, Esq., Welton Law, Erie
In this session, the panel will present the top 10 litigation processes dos and don'ts, which make for a positive litigation experience.
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