Council's workers' comp committee to expand focus on three priorities


Director of Communications

The Business Council has expanded its workers' compensation committee to include three sub-committees that will work on specialized issues.

The full committee includes more than 600 individuals representing members with many different interests related to workers' compensation, said Stacey Hengsterman, The Council's workers comp specialist.

The new subcommittees will focus on:

The Council's top two legislative priorities for workers' comp-the adoption of objective AMA medical guidelines for assessing disability, and a proposed cap on permanent partial disability payments.

At least two dozen states already use objective guidelines developed by the American Medical Association to determine degree of medical impairment.

New York is one of only seven states that have not put a cap on the length of time payments can be made in cases of permanent partial disability, Hengsterman said.

This subcommittee, which will meet in Rochester, will be chaired by Pam Caggianelli, manager of health systems for Bausch & Lomb. The next meeting is set for Tuesday, Oct. 27, at Bausch & Lomb.

Workers' compensation insurance deregulation.

Last year, Senator Thomas Libous sponsored a bill that would deregulate the setting of workers' comp rates. The Council has not yet taken a position on this bill, and this subcommittee's discussions of it would be the foundation of any position eventually taken, Hengsterman said.

A chair of this subcommittee has not been named. This subcommittee will meet Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 10:30 a.m. at Council headquarters.

The use of special funds established to ensure the long-term payout of workers' comp claims filed by workers in specific job circumstances. These funds are supported by surcharges on employers.

Some of these funds were created as part of the original law. Others were created in response to emerging issues or circumstances. Several members have proposed evaluating the value of these funds to workers and employers. The group may suggest that The Council make recommendations on the future of these funds.

This subcommittee will be chaired by Michael McCann, legislative counsel for Liberty Mutual Group.

The next meeting will take place Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 1:30 p.m. at Council headquarters.

Committee members can work on one or more subcommittees. Each subcommittee will report recommended actions to the full committee. The full committee will still meet quarterly.