Get the Most from the 33rd Annual SEAK, Inc. National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conference


SEAK, Inc. National Workers' Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conference
July 16-18 in Hyannis, MA
It promises to again be monumental for our industry.
The 33rd annual conference promises to bring together the nation’s leading workers’ compensation professionals, occupational physicians, occupational nurses, and attorneys to discuss cutting edge issues. Frank discussions and lively question and answer sessions will complement each presentation.
Among the highlights will be:
Exhibits and Networking Opportunities.
Sessions on cutting-edge topics such as
Worksite Wellness: Creating Health and Wellness Programs for Your Worksite where Dr. Raymond Fabius, MD will explain the relationship between health and productivity and how you can measure this in your company
Critical Mass in Reducing Workers’ Compensation Costs-Occupational Health Care Professionals where Attorney Douglas Jones will go beyond the traditional defenses and provide advanced strategies to demonstrate the critical role occupational health professionals play.
Psychological Risk Factors for Delayed Recovery: Assessment and Intervention where Dr. Michael Sullivan, PhD will discuss modifiable risk factors including catastrophic thinking, fear of pain, disability beliefs, and perceived injustice.
Psychological and Behavioral Factors in Chronic Pain Syndromes: What Occupational Health Professionals Can Do. Dr. Leon Ensalada, MD will explain how to devise and execute a strategy to mitigate the adverse effects of psychological and behavioral factors in chronic pain syndromes. He will discuss the factors that drive the syndromes and will differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate illness behavior.
The Aging Worker: Proactive Cost-Effective Ergonomics. Ronald Porter, PT, CEAS III will present simple cost-effective solutions to reduce or control risk factors for aging workers. He will explain the “persistent” injury, aging workforce, and prevention issues, power zone, and workplace athlete programs.
Fighting Workers’ Compensation Fraud: The Role Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Health Professionals Can Play. Attorney Stephen Fannon will discuss the many types of workers’ compensation fraud. He will explain the multiple types of red flags at work during medical treatment and how to use social media, investigation, and surveillance to root out and prevent fraud.
A Novel and Comprehensive Approach to Delayed Recovery and Disability Prevention. Dr. Jonathan Torres, MD, MPH will discuss an innovative and effective approach to delayed recovery delivered within the primary occupational health medical office. This program includes disability prevention initiatives within the routine office visits and offers a comprehensive assessment of possible factors causing or contributing to delayed recovery at the appropriate timeframe.
Motivating Employees to Embrace Optimal Health
Dr. Nicholas R.S. Hall, Ph.D. will explain why despite knowing what to do, employees seldom take the steps necessary to improve their health. He will present solutions to help you motivate your employees to change their image-shaping beliefs and embrace optimal health.
Defending Chronic and Pre-Existing Conditions: What Works
Attorney Warren K. Sponsler will discuss how good investigation and record keeping can help identify chronic and pre-existing conditions of the claimant. He will discuss symptoms vs. disease, arthritic and other degenerative conditions, the worsening of these conditions, and the mechanism of injury. He will offer practical suggestions for the evaluation settlements trial of claims involving chronic or pre-existing conditions of the claimant.
Abnormal Findings in Normal People: Significance for Claimants and Their Claims
Dr. Russell L. Travis, MD, FACS, FAADEP will discuss the thoracic and lumbar disc; normal and abnormal findings, including: disc herniations, annular tears, disc bulges, and degenerative disc disease. He will review the research of such findings in asymptomatic people. Dr. Travis will discuss the impact of the aging process in normal people and how these are frequently misinterpreted as abnormal findings and explain why many such findings are of little or no medical significance.
Psychological Testing: Objective Analysis of Subjective Claims of Pain, Brain Injury, or Mental Illness
Dr. Robert J. Barth, Ph.D. will explain how psychological testing provides a mechanism for objectively evaluating claims that are otherwise completely subjective (e.g. pain claims, claims of brain injury, and claims of mental illness). He will discuss the use of testing to: enhance diagnostic accuracy, objectively address whether a case is consistent with a legitimate presentation, and contribute objectivity to determinations of work-relatedness.
Why Attend this Conference
The workers compensation industry is always evolving – new players, new laws and new equipment. Everyone new to this industry should attend the conference and learn new techniques, meet new vendors, and discover the latest service enhancements. Even old hats need to learn about the cutting-edge issues and practical considerations to decrease their workers’ compensation costs.
A conference of this scale can help you expand your professional network while increasing your knowledge and gaining new solutions directly related to:
– Workers compensation
– Disability management
– Return-to-work programs.
  1. Read the brochures when you return home to learn about service providers.
  1. Pass out your business card and network, network, network. Meeting knowledgeable people gives you a resource when you encounter a problem.   The conference offers ample opportunities for networking including a networking Reception and Social as well as numerous meals and refreshment breaks
  1. Learn what you don’t know. Being exposed to new ideas presents an opportunity to learn things you don’t even know you are missing!
  1. Chat with people who do the same things that you do and see where you differ.
  1. Ask about key cost drivers. Attendees come from organizations of varying industries. Find people who work in workers compensation departments you know next to nothing about and ask them whether they are satisfied with their workers comp vendors. Ask them what drives their costs.
  1. Roam through the exhibit hall speaking to vendors and learning about the types of services that are available to reduce workers comp costs.THIS will be the best education you will ever get!
  1. Wear comfortable attire. Bring comfortable shoes. The first day, people are a bit more dressed up than the following days. The last day is more casual because people are traveling back home. Definitely dress professionally because some of the people you meet with become lifelong contacts, so making a good impression is important, but you can be comfortable, too. For an ounce of prevention, bring moleskin to protect the areas of your feet most likely to get blisters.
  1. Attend both the exhibit hall and the educational sessions. 
  1. Start early, leave late, and remember … although your feet may hurt, this is a once-a-year event!
  1. Before the exhibit hall opens, join the group breakfast to network with new friends. You will find people are very friendly and helpful.
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  Contact:
©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Medical Treasure Trove for the Workers Comp Professional: Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

Written by medical experts for risk managers, agents and brokers, and legal practitionersOccupational Injuries and Illnesses is a goldmine of medical data especially designed for the workers’ comp professional. A leading resource for more than 20 years, this LexisNexis/Matthew Bender publication covers every major type of occupational injury and illness.

The book provides important information including

  •     tracks developments on methods of prevention and loss control in the work setting
  •     provides medical analysis to assess, manage and develop risk and litigation strategies for workers’ compensation claims


Well organized and easy-to-follow, each chapter explains the factors that contribute to work-related injuries or illnesses and highlights state-of-the-art technical data required to prove whether an injury or illness is job-related. Rounding out the offerings are helpful practice aids such as medical illustrations, and case annotations.


“As a workers’ comp attorney who trains work comp managers and risk managers, this is a fantastic training tool that can be used in self-evaluation exercises. It is an excellent replacement for an out of print disability duration guide used in the past to teach new work comp managers how to locate and use relevant information such as causation and possible medical complications. Within each chapter organized by injury type, there is discussion of state case law. Work comp adjusters will find this helpful to determine how pre-existing conditions affect case outcomes in various jurisdictions. It’s hard to imagine a workers comp attorney – either defense or claimant – that doesn’t keep this book nearby! ”
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The October, 2011 edition has an updated key chapter on Risk Assessment in the Workplace that pays special attention to lead standards, cadmium contamination, and the growing risk of transmitting HBV.  Additional updates cover the ever-shifting spectrum in revised chapters on Low Back Injuries, Spinal Cord and Nerve Root Injuries, Heart Disease, and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), which reflects advances in the diagnosis, treatment and transmission of this formerly fatal and now chronic disease. Available in e-book format for e-readers and tablets, on-the-go professionals can now bring this entire three-volume set with them as a handy field or courtroom reference.




Coverage of the AMA Guides in the 2011 edition is particularly helpful to the workers’ comp professional that must be well versed in medico-legal complexities. Occupational Injuries and Illnesses includes an AMA Guides Handbook that has been updated throughout to include the most recent noteworthy cases interpreting the industry’s bedrock of impairment evaluation, arranged by jurisdiction. There is also a new chapter that discusses Illinois’s adoption of the AMA Guides Sixth Edition in the wake of that state’s recent workers’ comp reforms, an updated graphic displaying state-by-state use of the AMA Guides, an overhauled chart listing significant issues relating to the AMA Guides with supporting citations, and links to FREE online information available from LexisNexis Impairment Guides Resource Center.



And that is not all. New case annotations were added throughout the new edition, which summarize the most recent medical and legal  issues relating to the Head and Neck, Toxic Neuropathy, Cerebral Deficit, Radiation Exposure, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, the Spine, Chronic Pain, and Mesothelioma.



For a broad overview or a drill down into specifics, this book is the go-to medical information resource for the workers’ comp laypersonOrder your copy of the 2011 Edition today.




Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.


©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at:
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ACOEM Surveys Occupational Medicine Physicians in Federal Workers Compensation System

In case you are one of the many people who doesn't know much about what happens when an employee of the federal government is injured, you aren't alone. Over the next few months, we'll be adding information to educate our readers about this aspect of workers compensation. 

The federal civilian
workforce, nearly 3 million employees, is covered by the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) in the event of a work-related injury or illness. This program, administered by the Department of Labor's Office of Workers Compensation Programs (OWCP) covers civilian employees across the states and those assigned internationally.  

Occupational medicine
(OM) physicians are uniquely qualified to support the federal workers compensation system in a variety of roles, including treating provider, specialty consultant, case reviewer, and independent medical examiner. The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) a very highly regarded organization, is exploring opportunities for its members to become more involved in the federal workers compensation system. To learn more about ACOEM, their website is:
Treating Providers
Some federal agencies employ occupational medical (OM) providers in their employee health units as treating providers, often offering care to injured workers who choose to use the agency's medical services. Physicians interested in providing care for injured federal employees may enroll with ACOEM as a provider. Providers are subject to a fee schedule.
Independent Medical Examinations
OM physicians interested in performing independent medical examinations (IMEs), not subject to the fee schedule, should write to their local , OWCP District Director, and ask to be added to the Physician Directory System.
OWCP independent medical exams are scheduled using a rotation system among the local available providers in the required specialty. If you are contacted to perform an OWCP IME, you need to enroll as a federal provider in order to be paid for the exam. Registration does not commit a provider to providing FECA injury treatment.

Source: American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. “ACOEM E-News,”, January 2011, Volume 9 Issue 1. 
ACOEM is partnering with Managed Care Advisors, Inc., a company specializing in federal workers compensation. To learn more about ACOEM member experience and interest in the federal system
Managed Care Advisors, a sponsor of Workers Comp Kit Blog, is an innovative, woman-owned small business enterprise specializing in managed care, employee health benefits and workers compensation consulting and case management services. Learn more about Managed Care Advisors at:


Workers Comp Resource Center Newsletter

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

ACOEM Guide to Care For Employees Injured at Work

The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), working in partnership with the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC), has released a guide to help employers and employees, insurers, regulatory agencies, and others in the workers compensation system identify the best available physicians to provide care for people who have suffered work-related injuries and illnesses.

Titled “A Guide to High-Value Physician Services in Workers’ Compensation: How to Find the Best Available Care for Your Injured Workers,” the multi-page document provides practical advice, checklists, and other resources and tools to help identify physicians who adhere to best practices and are most likely to provide the best medical outcomes when treating workers comp patients. (WCxKit)

Most participants in the workers compensation system want to direct workers to high-quality medical care, but rarely have access to accurate and comprehensive data about physician practice patterns,” said ACOEM Executive Director Barry Eisenberg. “This guide provides a practical alternative – a methodical approach that helps them ask the right questions and find the information they need to ensure excellent care.”
Included is advice for identifying potential candidates, checking credentials and other criteria, learning about a physician’s practice style and general approach to care, and evaluating relevant clinical performance metrics. The guide includes tips for building a long-term relationship with physicians, including a periodic review process.
The guide is a synthesis of ideas and best practices contributed by a multi-stakeholder group of workers comp system experts – practicing physicians, employers, insurers and regulatory agencies – in a summit convened by ACOEM and IAIABC earlier this year in Nashville, Tenn. The meeting is one of several steps ACOEM and IAIABC are undertaking together to raise awareness of issues in worker’s compensation that are diminishing the quality of medical care for injured and ill workers and negatively impacting employers. (WCxKit)
Statistics show that workers comp medical costs per claim are rising much faster than medical costs in general and faster than indemnity costs per claim. Despite the rise in costs, health outcomes within the workers comp system, according to several major studies, are often worse than those obtained under other benefits systems. Studies also show there are inefficiencies in care delivery in the system and a lack of incentives for medical providers to promote effective, efficient and outcomes-oriented treatment as they diagnose and care for injured and ill workers.
It is our hope that resources such as this guide will encourage workers, employers, insurers and others to increasingly seek out the physicians who are most likely to deliver the best care outcomes, and in the process help drive overall improvement in the workers’ compensation system,” said IAIABC Executive Director Greg Krohm.
Free copies of the guide are available for downloading at the ACOEM Web site ( and the IAIABC Web site ( At the IAIABC Web site, go to the “News” section; at the ACOEM Web site, go to “Policy & Position Statements,” then “Reference Material.”  The guide should be very helpful to employers trying to decrease their workers compensation costs.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact: or 860-553-6604.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
©2010 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

CANADA Newfoundland and Labrador Occupational Disease Panel Formed to Help Workers and Families

The Workplace Health,  Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSCC) of New Foundland and Labrador is ramping up efforts to address occupational disease issues through the creation of an Occupational Disease Advisory Panel (ODAP), to oversee and “address the government’s action plan” on matters relating to occupational disease.

he WHSCC  said this new initiative will “broaden the medical and scientific knowledge available to the commission, which is necessary to determine entitlement to compensation for workers and families impacted by occupational disease.”  Members of the new ODAP include: George Kean, worker representative; Elizabeth Forward, employer representative, and; commission chair Ralph Tucker.

“The awarding
 of fair and reasonable compensation to workers and families impacted by occupational disease is a priority for the WHSCC and for the government of Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Tucker.

The WHSCC also
 announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST), a research firm specializing in the area of occupational health and safety.  

“Occupational disease
 is a complex issue, with decisions regarding compensation requiring expertise from the global medical and scientific community, and we have begun the process of acquiring that information,” said Leslie Galway, WHSCC’s chief executive officer.

Following an assessment
 of the occupational disease issues currently being addressed by the WHSCC, the ODAP approved a medical and scientific review of the literature pertaining to cancer among shipyard workers, which will be completed by the IRSST. According to the WHSCC statement, the Commission is currently finalizing contractual arrangements with the IRSST for the completion of this work.

The creation
 of the ODAP and new partnership with the IRSST “allows for the transfer of key medical and scientific knowledge to the WHSCC, health care professionals and other parties in the province, with an interest in occupational disease, WHSCC said.

“This initiative
 represents a proactive, knowledge-based approach that will give us access to the best scientific and medical advice and evidence available to support the timely and effective resolution of claims for occupational disease,” said Galway. (workersxzcompxzkit)

The WHSCC serves  over 16,000 employers and about 12,000 injured workers. It is an employer-funded, no-fault insurance system promoting safe and healthy workplaces, provides return-to-work programs and fair compensation to injured workers and their dependents.

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers’ Compensation costs, including airlines, health care, manufacturing, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He can be contacted at: or 860-553-6604.

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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker about workers’ comp issues.

©2009 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

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