About the Speakers and Presentations
Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation Ryan Brannan
Keynote Speech: The State of the Texas Workers’ Compensation System
Commissioner Brannan will discuss the state of the Texas workers’ compensation system and touch on the performance of the workers’ compensation line of insurance, the agency’s beefed up anti-fraud and enhanced workplace safety programs, upcoming initiatives, and the future of the Texas system.
Appointed in August of 2014 by Governor Rick Perry, and re-appointed twice by Governor Greg Abbott, Commissioner Brannan is responsible for strategic planning and operation of the workers' compensation system. He has expanded efforts to improve outreach to injured workers and introduced transparency measures, while streamlining operations to reduce costs for employers. He has re-purposed existing resources to increase compliance from carriers and providers to ensure better outcomes for both employers and employees within the system.
Prior to his current role, Commissioner Brannan served as a policy advisor to Governor Rick Perry, and before his service at the Governor’s Office, he spent several years as a policy analyst, and he has extensive experience both as an attorney and as a business owner. Commissioner Brannan serves on the board of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Self-Insured Guaranty Association and the International Workers’ Compensation Foundation, is president-elect of the Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators, and is an advisory committee member of the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute.
Jay Thompson, Partner at Thompson Coe and General Counsel for ICT
Legislative and Regulatory Update
Mr. Thompson will give an overview of the major legislative issues from the 140-day regular 2017 legislative session and discuss workers’ compensation legislation that was passed during the session. He will also discuss the upcoming rule-making that the Division of Workers’ Compensation has proposed.
Jay Thompson has considerable experience in both regulatory and legislative issues involving the business of insurance. He regularly participates in regulatory proceedings involving contested case hearings, contested rate hearings, policy form approvals, rulemaking, licensing, mergers, acquisition and dissolution of insurance companies and other regulatory matters before the Texas Department of Insurance. Mr. Thompson has also represented insurers in litigation involving insurance bad faith, tax disputes against the state of Texas, appeals from administrative actions at the Texas Department of Insurance, disputes involving reinsurance, and disputes between companies and agents.
As a registered lobbyist, Mr. Thompson has represented both the property/casualty and life, accident and health insurance industry on legislative issues impacting those insurers. He has worked closely with leadership in Texas to find constructive solutions to legislative issues. Mr. Thompson has written numerous bills and amendments to the Texas Insurance Code and has been recognized as a leading expert on insurance regulation.
DC Campbell, Director, Workers’ Compensation Research and Evaluation Group, Texas Department of Insurance
The Success Story Continues: Workers’ Compensation by the Numbers
Mr. Campbell will provide an overview of recently completed studies that examined key system indicators, medical utilization and costs, the 2017 network report card results, compound drugs costs and utilization trends, and the latest closed pharmacy formulary trends.
Mr. Campbell has 18 years of workers’ compensation experience, beginning as a medical data analyst with the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission and researcher with the Workers’ Compensation Research Oversight Council. He has researched and published reports on major aspects of the Texas workers’ compensation system, such as medical and pharmaceutical utilization trends, patterns of employer participation in the system, and safety and return-to-work best practices.
Mark Pew, Senior Vice President, PRIUM
What You Need to Know About Compounded Prescription Drugs
Mr. Pew will provide an overview on compound drugs that includes a discussion of what constitutes a compound drug, national and Texas utilization trends, how doctors use compound drugs, and the clinical efficacy of the drugs. He will also discuss legislative and regulatory action nationwide and what Texas is doing to deal with compound drugs.
Mark Pew, Senior Vice President of PRIUM and The RxProfessor, has more than 35 years of experience in the property and casualty, healthcare and technology industries. Mr. Pew is a popular speaker at workers’ compensation conferences around the country as well as individual continuing education venues. He has spoken at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference, National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, and 61 other national or statewide gatherings around the country.
A frequent media source for stories on pharmacy, chronic pain and marijuana in workers’ compensation, Mr. Pew is a regular article contributor to Claim Management Magazine, Workers’ Compensation Magazine, Insurance Thought Leader and LexisNexus. He also publishes thought-provoking original-content on LinkedIn and @RxProfessor.
Margaret M. Knott, Partner, Knott & Doyle
Ethics and Workers’ Compensation
Ms. Knott will discuss ethical considerations when handling workers’ compensation claims. She will also talk about best practices that should be observed when investigating a claim, the accurate determination and payment of claims benefits, compliance with required notice requirements under the Texas Labor Code, and the Division of Workers’ Compensation’s enhanced enforcement program.
Knott has 29 years of experience in the defense of personal injury and workers' compensation cases, representing insurance carriers and self-insured businesses. She is board certified in personal injury trial law and workers' compensation law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell. Her areas of practice include personal injury and workers' compensation litigation, in courts and administrative hearings, nonsubscriber defense and civil litigation. She frequently provides continuing education presentations to insurance carriers and professional associations regarding workers' compensation matters, and served on the planning committee for the Texas Bar Association's 2011-2016 Advanced Workers' Compensation Seminars.
Ms. Knott was elected by her peers to be the Vice Chairman of the Workers' Compensation Law Section of the State Bar of Texas for the 2015 to 2016 term. Ms. Knott was elected as the Chairman of the State Bar of Texas Workers' Compensation Law Section for the 2016-2017 term.
Workers’ Compensation Legal Issues Panel Discussion
The panelists will discuss the continued expansion of benefits for first responders, the current status of litigation related to air ambulance services, the effect of a Designated Doctor system dominated by chiropractors, pharmaceutical benefit issues and medical marijuana, issues associated with the DWC’s 135 day deadline for indemnity disputes, and the complexity of the Texas workers’ compensation system.
Moderater: Stuart Colburn, Shareholder, Downs Stanford, P.C.
Mr. Colburn is a shareholder who opened the Austin office of Downs Stanford, P.C. Colburn manages the Board Representative Services. He attends Division and Legislative hearings and is a registered lobbyist. Mr. Colburn has extensive experience in all phases of dispute resolution before the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation and in district courts across the state. He is board certified in workers’ compensation by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Colburn routinely handles workers’ compensation, non-subscriber, subrogation, and bad faith litigation.
Anna Ansari, Partner, Burns Anderson Jury & Brenner, L.L.P
Ms. Ansari is a workers’ compensation and insurance defense attorney who has been practicing law since 2007. She represents clients at benefit review conferences and administrative hearings.
Ms. Ansari is a graduate of Texas A&M where she earned a bachelor degree in business administration and Baylor University School of Law where she obtained her law degree. She has spoken at a past ICT workers’ compensation seminar.
Trey Gillespie, Assistant Vice President, Workers' Compensation, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America
Mr. Gillespie is a Senior Workers Compensation Director in the Policy Development and Research Department for Property & Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) with primary legislative and regulatory responsibility for 17 states.
Prior to joining PCI, Mr. Gillespie was Staff Counsel and Litigation Director for Zenith Insurance Company in the Zenith Texas Regional Office. He was a contributing editor to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Manual published by Flahive Odgen & Latson from 1977-1994. He was also a contributing author to Texas Employment Law (Sterling Press).
Robert E. Greenlaw, Associate, Stone Loughlin & Swanson, LLP
Mr. Greenlaw is an associate at Stone, Loughlin & Swanson, LLP. Prior to joining Stone Loughlin & Swanson, LLP, he was a Hearing Officer for the Texas Work Force Commission from 2004 to 2007, and Administrative Law Judge for the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission/Division of Workers Compensation from 2007 to 2015.
Mr. Greenlaw is a graduate of University of Tennessee and University of Texas School of Law.
Alan Tysinger, Law Office of Alan Tysinger
Mr. Tysinger is a veteran claimant attorney with over 18 years of experience practicing law. After graduated from law school, he returned to San Antonio to begin his law practice. Mr. Tysinger joined the firm of Miller and Henderson as an associate attorney to represent injured parties, primarily in workers' compensation cases before the administrative agency then known as the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission. He has been a solo practitioner since 2011.
Mr. Tysinger graduated cum laude from Baylor University in Waco as a University Scholar in 1996. He attended law school at the University of Texas at Austin and earned his law degree in 1998.