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Breakout Sessions

Basic WC Law – Part 1 [Basic]

Monday, May 17 — 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.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.


Legislative Process [Intermediate]

Monday, May 17 — 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Moderated by: Adrienne Breslin, Lackawanna Insurance Group, Wilkes-Barre
Jonathan C. Greer, Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania Inc., Harrisburg
Thomas Previc, Pennsylvania Association for Justice, Harrisburg

Hear from experienced and respected “Hands on the Hill” who will provide a brief overview of the legislative process and discuss pending or recently enacted workers’ compensation legislation.


Wearable Technology in the Workplace [Intermediate/Advanced]

Monday, May 17 — 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Zach Craft, One Call Medical, Jacksonville, FL

Learn how new technology may not only reduce work injuries, but also help to reduce financial, operational and legal challenges associated with workplace injuries, building a healthier workforce and a safer workplace.


Healthcare Services Review Division Update [Basic/Intermediate]

Monday, May 17 — 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Moderated by: Marianne H. Saylor, Esq. Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Harrisburg
Patricia Clemens, Bureau of Workers' Compensation, Harrisburg

Learn about the Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) from the time an IRE can be requested, through the receipt of the IRE determination, and how the IRE determination impacts liability for a claim. Discussion will include criteria for becoming an Impairment Rating Evaluation Provider, as well as the IRE process flow through WCAIS. Information will also be provided concerning common utilization review request stumbling blocks, with tips for identifying provider and treatments under review; a summary of the 2019 Medical Accessibility Study Executive Summary; and view the new BWC pamphlet on Opioid Guidelines for Providers. We will also discuss improvements that are being made to facilitate online fee review filing.


Basic WC Law – Part 2 [Basic]

Monday, May 17 — 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Moderated by: Elizabeth A. Crum, WCOA Retired Judge, Hanover, PA
Stephen S. Bloomburg, Esq., Post & Schell PC, Pittsburgh
Nariman P. Dastur, Esq., DeAngelis, Dastur & Associates PC, Pittsburgh
Marie Ehling, School Districts Insurance Consortium, North Wales

This detailed discussion will follow the flow of the claim process from the moment of injury until the final adjudication. Speakers will address frequently asked questions about the workers’ compensation law and will give basic information about what the law is and what it does.


Legal Updates (Repeated Tuesday, May 18 at 1:30 p.m.) [Intermediate]

Monday, May 17 — 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Moderated by: Barbara L. Hollenbach, Esq., Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus, Allentown
Barbara E. Holmes, Esq., Blaufeld, Schiller & Holmes LLP, Pittsburgh
Steven Minnich, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Pittsburgh
Peter J. Weber, Esq., Weber Gallagher, Philadelphia

An annual favorite, join in this discussion of the leading cases and current, potentially problematic issues facing workers’ compensation practitioners.


Adjusterology [Basic]

Monday, May 17 — 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Moderated by: Suzanne Emmet, Eastern Alliance Insurance Company, Lancaster
Steven P. Dalansky, Metz Culinary Management, Dallas
Gregory J. Fischer, Esq., Carpenter, McCadden & Lane LLP, Wexford
Steven Reich, Eastern Alliance Insurance Company, Lancaster

Discuss and learn best practices from claim inception to ensure effective management of the claim and achieve most favorable outcomes.


COVID-19 [Basic]

Monday, May 17 — 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Moderated by: Ann Marie Loiseau, DeSales University, Center Valley
Michael Silverman, MD, Office Practice, Philadelphia, PA

Learn the long and short-term effects that COVID-19 may have on both employees and employers.


Managing Pain through Alternatives to Opioids (not just medical marijuana)) [Basic/Intermediate]

Monday, May 17 — 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Moderated by: Donna Sponaugle, The Hershey Company, Y&S Candies, Lancaster
Kenji Saito, MD/JD, MaineGeneral Health, Augusta, ME

Alternative pain management will be identified to assist patients with effective pain control while empowering them in their own treatment plan.


As the Claim Turns – Part 1 [Basic]

Monday, May 17 — 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Moderated by: Daniel Snyder, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Allentown
Jason Woodruff, Lackawanna Insurance Group, Wilkes-Barre
John Madaus, Clemens Family Corporation, Hatfield
John J. Beichert, Esq., Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith, Reading
Heather Zambelli, Esq., Cipriani & Warner, Pittsburgh
Deborah J. Schwartz, Esq., Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Office of Chief Counsel, Harrisburg

This year’s session will focus on a WC claim from start to finish. We will focus on issues regarding employment in the 21st century workforce, including issues with the Gig economy and contingent workforce.


Employers Unplugged [Basic]

Monday, May 17 — 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Moderated by: Gregory J. Fischer, Esq., Carpenter, McCadden & Lane LLP, Wexford
Timothy Stayer, Conestoga Wood Specialties, East Earl
Stacey Reddig, Lester R. Summers, Inc., Ephrata
Lisa Stefanowicz, Abmech Acquisitions, LLC, Homestead

These experienced large, medium and small employers will address evolving challenges and topics such as workforce education, pre-injury training, post-injury medical care and the claims management process. The panel will discuss coordination between the adjuster, employer, medical providers and counsel to support a successful modified duty and return to work program.


Gig Economy [Intermediate/Advanced]

Monday, May 17 — 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Moderated by: David B. Torrey Esq., WC Office of Adjudication, Pittsburgh
Joseph C. Huttemann, Esq., Martin Law, Philadelphia
Bradley Smith, Esq., Galfand, Berger, LLP, Philadelphia
Justin D. Beck, Esq., Thomas, Thomas, & Hafer, Pittsburgh

An update to the 2018 presentation due to the fast-paced changes in this area of the law. The panel will provide a briefing on the trend towards workers laboring in the “gig economy” with a focus on employment status, safety and insurance implications.


Workers' Compensation Game Show [Intermediate]

Monday, May 17 — 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Edward R. Carpenter Jr., Esq., Carpenter, McCadden & Lane LLP, Media
Christopher A. DiMeo, Esq., Carpenter, McCadden & Lane LLP, Media
Marla A. Joseph, Esq., Law Offices of Marla A. Joseph LLC, Jenkintown
John McTiernan, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Brookville

Test your workers’ compensation knowledge. This fun and informative session will take the attendees through the nuances of workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania.


As the Claim Turns–Part 2 [Basic]

Monday, May 17 — 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Moderated by: Daniel Snyder, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Allentown
Jason Woodruff, Lackawanna Insurance Group, Wilkes-Barre
John Madaus, Clemens Family Corporation, Hatfield
John Beichert, Esq., Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith, Reading
Heather Zambelli, Esq., Cipriani & Warner, Pittsburgh
Deborah J. Schwartz, Esq., Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Office of Chief Counsel, Harrisburg

Continuation of Part 1.


A Physician Speaks: Treatment and Evaluation of the Injured Worker [Intermediate]

Monday, May 17 — 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Co-Moderated by: Adrienne Breslin, Lackawanna Insurance Group, Wilkes-Barre and
Joseph C. Huttemann, Esq., Martin Law, Philadelphia
James Rochester MD, WorkNet Occupational Medicine, Lancaster

Hear from a well-respected physician who treats injured workers and provides IME’s on behalf of injured workers and insurance companies.


WCAIS – New Tips and Tricks [Intermediate]

Monday, May 17 — 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Stevi Leech, WC Office of Adjudication, Johnstown
Harte Pricer, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Harrisburg

Learn tips and tricks on how to effectively and productively utilize the WCAIS system.


Kids' Chance of Pennsylvania…We are all about the Kids!

Tuesday, May 18 — 9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Elizabeth A. Crum, President, Kids’ Chance of PA

The mission of Kids’ Chance of Pennsylvania Inc. (Kids’ Chance of PA) is to provide scholarship grants for college and vocational education to children of Pennsylvania workers who have been killed or seriously injured in a work-related accident resulting in financial need. Join Chris Davis, Kids’ Chance President, to learn more about the organization and how you can help us spread our mission to reach more students in need of our scholarship.


Active Shooter [Basic]

Tuesday, May 18 — 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Trooper Kelly Smith, Pennsylvania State Police, Carlisle

Valuable information for all attendees concerning steps necessary to protect yourself and others during an active shooter situation. This presentation from the PA State Police is cutting edge training providing each attendee with the knowledge for saving lives during the chaotic moments active shooters present.


Role of the Nurse Practitioner and Physicians' Assistant in Treatment of the Injured Worker [Advanced]

Tuesday, May 18 — 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Moderated by: Donna Sponaugle, The Hershey Company, Y&S Candies, Lancaster
Kim Olszewski, Disa Global Solutions, Lewisburg
George Chistakoff – Premise Health, Reading
Wesley J. Rish, Rish Law Office, LLC, Harrisburg
John W. McTiernan, WC Office of Adjudication, Philadelphia

Identify the roles, responsibilities, and scope of practice of these professions. Describe the qualifications of NP's and PA's to diagnose and treat work-related injuries/illnesses, as well as work restrictions or modified duty. Discuss proposed bills in the past and current sessions in Pennsylvania legislation.


Employment Law Interaction with Workers' Compensation: A Case Study [Advanced]

Tuesday, May 18 — 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Robert J. Baker, Esq., The Chartwell Law Offices, LLP, Harrisburg
Sean A. Casey, Esq., Casey Legal, Pittsburgh

This session will address proper and effective administration of a worker’ compensation claim in the context of issues raised by the ADA, FLMA, COBRA, the Unemployment Compensation Law, and privacy issues.


Avoiding Litigation [Intermediate]

Tuesday, May 18 — 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Moderated by: Linda G. Millas, J.P. Mascaro & Sons, Audubon
Gregory J. Fischer, Esq., Carpenter, McCadden & Lane LLP, Wexford
Michael Quatrini, Esq., Quatrini Rafferty Law, Pittsburgh
Laurie Heagy, East Penn Manufacturing/Deka Batteries, Lyon Station

In this session, the panel will present collaborative strategies and insights to facilitate the WC claim process and avoid adversarial outcomes.


Workplace Security [Basic]

Tuesday, May 18 — 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Moderated by: Joseph DeRita, Director, WCOA, Harrisburg
Lt. Kerby L. Young, Pennsylvania State Police, Harrisburg

This session provides proactive informational steps on securing your workplace to minimize exposure of workplace violence situations. Included will be diffusion techniques that can be utilized to deescalate potentially violent behaviors and save lives.


50 Tips in 50 Minutes [Intermediate/Advanced]

Tuesday, May 18 — 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Moderated by: Shawn Gooden, Esq., Weber Gallagher, Harrisburg
Louis Wolfgang, Esq., Cipriani & Werner, Pittsburgh
Kelly Hemple, Esq., Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo, Pottstown
Harriet Gaither, CM Regent, Mechanicsburg
Steven Minnich, Esq., WC Office of Adjudication, Pittsburgh
Michael Miller, Main Line Health, Radnor

You will get 50 tips in 50 minutes in this fast-paced presentation. Hear from leading participants in the WC system some of the most unique tips from their areas of expertise. There will be time for questions at the end.


Medical Cost Regulations – Part 1 (Pre-Litigation) [Intermediate]

Tuesday, May 18 — 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Moderated by: Adrienne Breslin, Lackawanna Insurance Group, Wilkes-Barre
David B. Torrey, Esq., WC Office of Adjudication, Pittsburgh
Patricia Clemens, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Harrisburg
Linda A. Lengle, Health Resources & Audition Management Services, Inc., Mechanicsburg

Considerations and procedures following receipt of a medical bill; proper submission of bills and documentation; legal sufficiency, repricing and downcoding, and regulatory and statutory provisions.


EDI Practices and Pitfalls [Intermediate]

Tuesday, May 18 — 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Moderated by: David Cicola, WC Office of Adjudication, Johnstown
Hendrick Penn, IV, Esq., Weber Gallagher, Pittsburgh
Harte Pricer, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Harrisburg

Learn to comply with EDI protocols and navigate the issues involved with EDI transactions, and navigate the issues involved with EDI transactions to decode the EDI system and avoid potential EDI filing.


Legal Updates [Repeat] [Intermediate]

Tuesday, May 18 — 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Moderated by: Barbara L. Hollenbach, Esq., Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus, Allentown
Barbara E. Holmes, Esq., Blaufeld, Schiller & Holmes LLP, Pittsburgh
Steven Minnich, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Pittsburgh
Peter J. Weber, Esq., Weber Gallagher, Philadelphia

An annual favorite, join in this discussion of the leading cases and current, potentially problematic issues facing workers’ compensation practitioners.


Judges Unplugged [Intermediate]

Tuesday, May 18 — 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m

Moderated by: Lawrence R. Chaban, Esq., AlpernSchubert PC, Pittsburgh
Scott Olin, Philadelphia (WCOA Retired Judge)
Elizabeth A. Crum, Hanover, (WCOA Retired Judge)
Greg Eader, Harrisburg (WCOA Retired Judge)

Come and hear unvarnished opinions and candid discussion from some of the most experienced, retired workers’ compensation judges.


Medical Cost Regulations – Part 2 (Post-Litigation) [Intermediate]

Tuesday, May 18 — 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m

Moderated by: Adrienne Breslin, Lackawanna Insurance Group, Wilkes-Barre
David B. Torrey, Esq., WC Office of Adjudication, Pittsburgh
Patrick Donan, Esq., Steiner, Segal, Miller & Donan, Philadelphia
Shawn Gooden, Esq., Weber Gallagher, Harrisburg

Attend this session to gain an understanding of the processes and current issues in fee review appeals; the evidence required; the burden of proof, evidentiary issues, practical tips, avoiding common errors, and understanding the statute and regulations.


Mental Health Issues [Intermediate]

Tuesday, May 18 — 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m

Moderated by: Ann Marie Loiseau, DeSales University, Center Valley
Beth C. Smith, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia
Jonathan Grau, Work Solutions Lead National Council for Behavioral Health, Washington D.C.

This session will cover the definition of depression and the impact on health. The session will also cover the impact of depression in the workplace, potential employee and employer resources, and evidence based practice. Participants will have an opportunity to practice mindfulness.