SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE

 

 

March 08, 2005                                                                                                       Hearing Room C

3:10 P.M.                                                                                                                      Tapes 28 - 30

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Floyd Prozanski, Chair

Sen. Roger Beyer, Vice-Chair

Sen. Ginny Burdick

Sen. Charlie Ringo

Sen. Doug Whitsett

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Anna Braun, Committee Administrator

Karen Scoffield, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:        

                                                SB 311 – Public Hearing

                                                SB 386 – Public Hearing

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 28, A

005

Chair Prozanski

Calls the meeting to order at 3:20 p.m.  Announces that SB 944 will not be heard today and will be carried over.  Opens public hearing on SB 311.

SB 311 – PUBLIC HEARING

025

Anna Braun

Committee Administrator.  Provides an overview of SB 311.  Introduces proposed -1 amendments to SB 311 (EXHIBIT A).

040

Chair Prozanski

States that the -1 amendments were received before the start of the meeting.  Asks witnesses to give testimony on what they know and not to be concerned with having a complete understanding of the -1 amendments.

050

J.L. Wilson

Co-Chair, Management Labor Advisory Committee (MLAC).  Testifies in support of SB 311.

075

John Shilts

Administrator, Workers Compensation Division - Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS).  Discusses and submits written testimony in support of SB 311 and -1 amendments (EXHIBIT B).  Suggests that Bob Shiprack testify regarding SB 311.

110

Chair Prozanski

States that after the witnesses at the stand finish testifying, Bob Shiprack can come up.

115

Shilts

States that the -1 amendments to SB 311 contain several recommendations from MLAC from the original SB 311, which was a committee bill from the Senate Interim General Government committee.

170

Shilts

Continues testimony.  Summarizes and concludes.

220

Ken Hector

Member, MLAC.  States that he served as a co-chair on the subcommittee for SB 311.  Testifies in support of SB 311.   

245

Chair Prozanski

Asks if Bob Shiprack should testify now.

250

Shilts

Answers, it would be helpful.

255

Bob Shiprack

Co-chair, MLAC.  Comments that the need for SB 311 is long overdue.  Testifies in support of SB 311.

280

Sen. Whitsett

Asks Hector if the bill will allow DCBS to sanction physicians.

285

Hector

Responds.

290

Sen. Whitsett

Expresses concern that the agency is impinging upon duties that the Board of Medical Examiners has traditionally performed.

300

Hector

Remarks that the Board of Medical Examiners is the appropriate body to deal with regulatory and disciplinary matters with physicians.  States that the Workers Compensation Division will not be dealing with medical treatment.

330

Sen. Whitsett

Comments that the Independent Medical Examiner is making a diagnosis and is therefore practicing medicine.

338

Hector

Remarks that he cannot disagree with that.

340

Chair Prozanski

Clarifies that SB 311 substitutes DCBS to oversee the regulations of how the Independent Medical Examinations (IME) are conducted and that items regarding medical treatment will stay with the Board of Medical Examiners.

350

Hector

Answers, yes.

352

Chair Prozanski

Re-states clarification.

370

Shilts

Comments that Chair Prozanski understands correctly, but clarifies that if a complaint was brought to the Workers Compensation Division regarding an examination they would investigate and decide if a referral to the Board of Medical Examiners would be necessary.  Discusses sanctions.

410

Chair Prozanski

Asks if there is anything under SB 311 or existing regulations that would keep an injured worker from going directly to the Board of Medical Examiners and filing a complaint if they had been mistreated.

420

Shilts

Responds, no there is not.  Comments that employees do not know where to go with complaints.

430

Chair Prozanski

Clarifies that SB 311 will assist individuals to know their rights. 

440

Shilts

Answers, yes.

445

Sen. Whitsett

Inquires if the information could be made available without the SB 311.

450

Shilts

Responds that he thinks they have authority under administrative rule, but would like to get back to the committee.

TAPE 29, A

025

Chair Prozanski

Refers to -1 amendments and inquires regarding what type of notice the worker receives in relation to their appointment.

033

Shilts

Responds.

040

Chair Prozanski

Asks Shilts to address the fiscal impact to SB 311.

042

Shilts

Remarks that they do not have the fiscal impact statement yet from the Legislative Fiscal office.  Discusses the efforts of DCBS to determine the fiscal impact to their department.  Discusses potential fiscal impacts to DCBS.

095

Sen. Beyer

Comments that many parts of SB 311 are made into rule and that they should be statute instead.

110

Wilson

Answers that a clean sanction for physicians and injured workers could not be agreed upon and it was best resolved by rule.

120

Sen. Beyer

Responds.  Discusses confusion of the definition of IME. Asks for clarification of what IME stands for.

130

Wilson

Responds.

135

Sen. Beyer

Discusses need of clarification.

140

Wilson

Remarks that this was not discussed.

145

Chair Prozanski

Clarifies that Wilson is with MLAC

146

Wilson

Answers, yes.

147

Chair Prozanski

Clarifies that Hector and Shiprack are with MLAC also.

148

Hector

Answers, yes.

150

Chair Prozanski

Clarifies that the witnesses are comfortable with administrative rule and will let the committee know if it is working or if any further steps need to be taken.

155

Wilson

Responds.

165

Chair Prozanski

Comments on the efforts of everyone to work together.

170

Wilson

Responds.

172

Hector

Remarks that they have participated throughout the rule process and will continue to work together.

175

Sen. Whitsett

Asks how many valid complaints are received by DCBS per biennium regarding the quality or validity of an Independent Medical Examination.

178

Shilts

Offers to return information.

205

Stuart Schoen

Citizen, Oregon.  Discusses personal experience as an injured worker and having an IME.  Discusses reporting discrepancies in IME’s. 

230

Chair Prozanski

Asks S. Schoen to read SB 311 and the -1 amendments and submit written testimony with his suggested changes to the IME process.

240

S. Schoen

Asks to receive of copy of SB 311 and the -1 amendments.

245

Chair Prozanski

Directs S. Schoen where to obtain copies of the documents.

255

Jackie Schoen

Citizen, Oregon.  Discusses experience assisting her husband, Stuart Schoen, through the IME process. 

275

Chair Prozanski

Remarks that the legislature heard from witnesses with similar experiences to the Schoens in the recent interim and this is why they are moving forward and that SB 311 was drafted.

290

David Allen

Citizen, Oregon.  Discusses personal experience as an injured worker who went through the IME process.  

390

Allen

Continues testimony. 

420

Prozanski

Comments on understanding of Allen’s testimony.

430

Allen

Comments on workers not knowing where to go if they have a complaint.

TAPE 28, B

030

Ken Wells

Citizen, Portland, Oregon.  Discusses personal experience as an injured worker.

075

Chair Prozanski

Inquires if Wells has specific comments relating to SB 311.

080

Wells

Discusses SB 311.

100

Ernest Delmazzo

Executive Director, Oregon Injured Workers Alliance. Discusses problems with the IME system.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT C) and informational packet (EXHIBIT D) in support of SB 311. 

145

Chair Prozanski

Asks Delmazzo if he has comments regarding the -1 amendments to SB 311.

150

Delmazzo

Responds.  Discusses problems with injured workers having to travel long distances to IME’s.

180

Chair Prozanski

Asks Delmazzo to submits comments to the -1 amendments in writing.

182

Delmazzo

Continues testimony.

185

Chair Prozanski

Invites Delmazzo to submit his comments in writing in the interest of time.

190

Delmazzo

Concludes testimony.

220

Chair Prozanski

Discusses plans for SB 311.

230

Linda Barno

Co-Chair, Oregon Self-Insurers Association Legislative Committee.  Testifies in support of SB 311. Comments that they have not had time to review the -1 amendments to SB 311. 

270

Chair Prozanski

Asks Barno to submits comments in writing regarding the -1 amendments to SB 311.

280

Chris Davie

State Accident Insurance Fund Corporation (SAIF). Testifies in support of SB 311.

290

Hasina Squires

Independent Medical Examination Association.  Discusses and submits written testimony in support of SB 311 (EXHIBIT E).  

340

George Goodman

Counsel, Independent Medical Examination Association.  Addresses the -1 amendments to SB 311. Discusses suggestions for revision to SB 311.

TAPE 29, B

005

Scott Gallant

Oregon Medical Association (OMA). Testifies regarding SB 311. 

070

Chair Prozanski

Asks Gallant’s position on SB 311.

075

Gallant

Comments that the bill as currently amended needs significant improvement and definitive clarity on what it means. 

090

Chair Prozanski

Asks if Gallant or anyone from OMA has participated in the process of drafting SB 311.

092

Gallant

Answers, yes.

092

Chair Prozanski

Asks if Gallant’s concerns were raised during the process.

093

Gallant

Responds.

096

Chair Prozanski

Inquires if Gallant has participated in the most recent discussions.

100

Gallant

Answers that his associate has attended the MLAC meetings.

101

Chair Prozanski

Asks if Gallant and the OMA are going to continue to participate in the process.

102

Gallant

Answers, yes.

104

Whitsett

Asks Gallant how many complaints have been logged regarding IME’s.

106

Gallant

Offers to return information.

111

Chair Prozanski

Asks Gallant about complaints against physicians.

120

Gallant

Asks for clarification of the question.

122

Chair Prozanski

Clarifies his question.

130

Gallant

Responds.

150

Chair Prozanski

Asks that the OMA look at the appeal process.

155

Gallant

Responds.

158

Chair Prozanski

Calls the meeting to a recess.

The following testimony was submitted for the record without public testimony:

 

Jason P. Heuser

Intergovernmental Affairs Manager, City of Eugene, Oregon.  Submits written testimony in opposition to SB 311 (EXHIBIT F).

170

Chair Prozanski

Calls meeting back to order.  Closes public hearing on SB 311 and opens public hearing on SB 386. States that SB 573 and SB 935 will be carried over to March 15, 2005. States that SB 944 will not be heard today and will also be carried over.

SB 386 – PUBLIC HEARING

 

Anna Braun

Committee Administrator.  Submits -1 amendments to SB 386 (EXHIBIT G).

217

J.L. Wilson

Co-Chair, Management Labor Advisory Committee (MLAC).  Testifies in support of SB 386.

265

Bob Shiprack

Co-Chair, MLAC.  Testifies in support of SB 386.

300

John Shilts

Administrator, Workers Compensation Division – Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS).  Discusses and submits written testimony in support of SB 386 and -1 amendments (EXHIBIT H).

345

Shilts

Discusses -1 amendments to SB 386.  Comments that sections 2 and 4 are sunset provisions and mirror the language in sections 1 and 3. 

TAPE 30, A

020

Shilts

Concludes testimony.

038

Sen. Burdick

Asks how page 1, line 6 of the -1 amendments would rule out a scenario discussed by Shilts of someone working but for a short period of time.

045

Shilts

Remarks that the definition of gainful would be changed.

055

Chair Prozanski

Asks if Lisa Trussell wanted Wilson to speak on her behalf.

060

J.L. Wilson

Remarks that Trussell wanted him to convey the outstanding issues.

061

Ken Hector

Member, MLAC.  Testifies in support of SB 386.  Discusses points that are unresolved.  

075

Chair Prozanski

Asks if MLAC wants issues resolved before the bill moves forward.

080

Hector

Responds.  States that they hope to resolve all items at their upcoming meeting on March 17, 2005.

090

Sen. Beyer

Comments on need for clarification of Hector’s comments.

095

Chair Prozanski

Clarifies understanding of Hector’s remarks.

100

Hector

Comments that MLAC understands SB 386 will move forward while they resolve the outstanding issues.

102

Linda Jefferson

Co-Chair, Oregon Self-Insurers Association Legislative Committee. Discusses and submits written testimony in support of SB 386 (EXHIBIT I). Comments that they have discussion items that they have presented to MLAC and will continue to work with them.

120

Sen. Beyer

Asks if Jefferson will support the SB 386 if the committee moves forward while the bill is still being finalized.

127

Jefferson

Answers, yes.

135

Jim Egan

Attorney, Oregon Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA).  Discusses and submits written testimony in support of SB 386 (EXHIBIT J).  Comments that they are in favor of moving the bill forward.

200

Dan Holden

Workers Compensation Administrator, City County Insurance Services (CIS).  Testifies regarding SB 386.  Remarks that they opposed the bill because it is not in a proper form to be moved forward, but they are in favor of MLAC continuing to work on the bill as it moves forward.

215

Chris Davies

State Accident Insurance Fund Corporation (SAIF).  Testifies in support of SB 386.  Comments on neutral position to SB 386 because it is a work in progress.

230

Ernest Delmazzo

Executive Director, Oregon Injured Workers Alliance. Testifies in support of SB 386.  Comments on the need of the bill.  Discusses desire for revisions to SB 386.

290

Chair Prozanski

Asks Delmazzo to put his recommendations in writing.  Closes public hearing on SB 386. Comments on future plans for the bill.  Adjourns the meeting at 5:28 p.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. SB 311, -1 amendments, staff, 5 pp
  2. SB 311, written testimony, John Shilts, 3 pp
  3. SB 311, written testimony, Ernest Delmazzo, 32 pp
  4. SB 311, informational packet, Ernest Delmazzo, 12 pp
  5. SB 311, written testimony, Hasina E. Squires, 2 pp
  6. SB 311, written testimony, Jason P. Heuser, 1 p
  7. SB 386, -1 amendments, staff, 4 pp
  8. SB 386, written testimony, John Shilts, 3 pp
  9. SB 386, written testimony, Linda Jefferson, 2 pp
  10. SB 386, written testimony, Jim Egan, 8 pp