2019 Conference Schedule

MWCEA Conference Offers Specific Alabama Adjuster Programming

We are pleased to announce that the 2019 MWCEA Conference will provide the ability for Alabama licensed adjusters to receive their 8 hours CEU credits required by the Alabama Department of Labor. There is no additional registration fee or other fees required for the Alabama credits.

Application is being made to have the entire 12-hour program approved by the Mississippi Department of Insurance for adjuster and agent CEU credits, and the request for approval will include 2 ethics hours. Application for approval by the Alabama Department of Insurance for Alabama licensed adjuster CEU credits for the full conference programming is also being made.

Please stay tuned for an update on approved credits as we receive them.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019 
Golf Tournament – sponsored by MASI11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Exhibitors Set Up10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
General Registration11:00 AM – 6:30 PM
Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Law Overview Through Analyzing the “Kinamon” Questions (MS)
Moderator: Patrick Cronin – District Manager, Corvel, Jackson, MS
Daniel Culpepper – Anderson Crawley & Burke, pllc, Ridgeland, MS
Donald Moore – Franke & Salloum, PLLC, Gulfport, MS
Shane Tompkins – Tompkins Law Firm, Columbus, MS
Michael Traylor – Schwartz and Associates, Jackson, MS
Every claims professional does it. He or she picks up the phone, calls his or her favorite lawyer, and says “Can a man do such and such and get paid his workers’ comp?” Everyone does it. Every lawyer loves it! So come learn about Mississippi workers’ compensation law by hearing some of the questions these professionals have heard before. Come ask your own “Kinamon” questions and hear some of your favorite lawyers pontificate, explain, argue, and chuckle over the kinds of questions you have every day!
12:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Alabama Adjuster Basic Training An Overview of Issues, Answers, and Solutions for Success in Alabama WC Claims Handling (AL)
Dawn Adams, Senior Vice President, Operations – Alabama Healthcare Workers’ Compensation Fund, Montgomery, AL
Jack Rogers – Webster, Henry, Bradwell, Cohan, Speagle & DeShazo, P.C., Montgomery, AL
12:45 PM – 2:45 PM
BREAK2:45 PM – 3:00 PM
Hey! We Got Your Back!! (MS & AL)
Dr. Lynn Stringer, Neurosurgeon – NewSouth NeuroSpine
Dr. Philip Blount, Physiatrist – Methodist Rehabilitation Center
Back injuries are a major part of the workers’ compensation claims environment. Treating those injuries successfully is often a challenge, and handling those claims appropriately requires an understanding of what the doctors and other health care professionals are talking about. This program is designed to provide the attendees with the terminology, physiology and anatomy involved. The doctors will explain distinctions in diagnoses that make a difference in treatment decisions, will illustrate the diagnostic tools that are available to help define the direction of treatment, and will provide the focus necessary to lead to a successful resolution of those claims.
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Honoring MWCC Commissioners and Administrative Judges and Alabama Participants
Exhibit Hall
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Thursday, April 11, 2019 
Registration & Information Desks Open7:45 AM – 5:00 PM
Faith Based Claims Association Breakfast—EVERYONE IS INVITED7:30 AM – 7:45 AM
Faith Based Program: How Can People of Faith Respond to Today’s Complex Challenges?
All of us live by some set of values no matter how aware or unaware we are of them. Each of us has a set of blocks. As Will Herberg, the great Jewish theologian, has written, “Man lives by values; all of his enterprises and activities…make sense only in terms of some structure of purposes which are themselves values in action.” How then must persons of faith express their values in the face of the complex issues facing our nation? How can we promote that spirit of toleration that has been the hallmark of American diversity from the founders onward?
NOTE: Application is being made to also have this session approved for ethics credits with the Department of Insurance for those needing those credits.
7:45 AM – 8:45 AM
Continental Breakfast served in the Exhibit Hall7:45 AM – 8:45 AM
Exhibit Hall Open
NOTE: Exhibit Hall to remain open all day and not close during lunch.
7:45 AM – 5:15 PM
Welcome, Introductions
Mark Formby, Chairman – Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission
9:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Meet the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission (MS & AL)
Moderator: Gary Jones – Daniel Coker Horton and Bell, Jackson, MS
Mark Formby, Chairman – Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission
Beth Aldridge, Commissioner – Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission
Mark Henry, Commissioner – Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission
The Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission administers the workers’ compensation system in Mississippi and the three Commissioners will present their ideas regarding the important issues facing the Commission, their plans for the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation System over the next few years, and respond to questions from the audience.
9:15 AM – 10:15 AM
Break10:15 AM – 10:45 AM
“Your Honor…I would Like to Make a Motion” (MS & AL)
MWCC Administrative Judges – Honorable Trey Arnold, Honorable Alan Goodman, Honorable Cindy Wilson
Claimant attorneys:
Willie Abston – Abston Law, Flowood, MS
Keith Carlton – Wood, Carlton & Hudson, Corinth, MS
Chris Neyland – Morgan and Morgan, Jackson, MS
Defense attorneys:
Betty Arinder – Wells Marble & Hurst, PLLC, Ridgeland, MS
Virginia Gautier – Wise Carter Child & Caraway, PA, Jackson, MS
Jeff Moffett – Markow Walker, PA, Ocean Springs, MS
Three different Motion hearings will be presented as illustrations of issues, which are addressed in a workers’ compensation proceeding. Participants will gain a better understanding of what the motion hearings are like, how the lawyers present and argue their cases, the legal challenges often presented in such proceedings, and how the Judges handle disputes and the bases for their decisions.
10:45 AM – 11:45 AM
Exhibitor Lunch served in Exhibit Hall. Exhibitors are also invited to attend Conference Lunch with attendees.
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM
CONFERENCE LUNCH – served at 3 onsite restaurants11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
1. The 2019 Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Fee Schedule
Beth Aldridge – MWCC Commissioner, Jackson, MS
Stephanie Kilpatrick – Rehab, Inc., Jackson, MS
Connie Mills – MWCC Cost Containment, Jackson, MS
Chad Hosemann, MD – Capital Ortho, Flowood and Madison, MS
In keeping with the tradition of the Commission in updating the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Fee Schedule on a tri-annual basis, the 2019 edition will provide a new look at some old issues. The Fee Schedule addresses much more than reimbursement levels on codes used by the medical community. Substantive matters are addressed, time deadlines are established, and remedies for disputes are spelled out. Every person involved in Mississippi Workers’ Compensation needs to know these details, and this will be a first look at the NEW for 2019 Fee Schedule.
2. Adjuster Ethics—The Complex Brain Injury (MS & AL)
Moderator: Bruce Brawner – Brawner and Associates, Madison, MS
Alice Messer, NP – NewSouth NeuroSpine, Flowood, MS
Lynn Love – Genex Services, Jackson, MS
Keven Wilberding – Ambassador Service Group, Raleigh, NC
This program will discuss the ethical dilemmas associated with individuals who have sustained traumatic brain injuries. There will be discussion of nurse case manager responsibilities and coordination of care along with a provider’s perspective of treatment and difficulties they encounter with the injured worker and/or their caregivers.  The audience will hear from a brain injury survivor who has successfully overcome significant obstacles, and he will explain in detail the struggles he faced and continues to have in his daily life with his traumatic brain injury. In addition, attendees will see and hear the family perspective of living with a TBI survivor and how this injury affects the entire family. NOTE: Application is being made to also have this session approved for ethics credits with the MS and AL Department of Insurance for those needing those credits.
Is it Trauma or is it Drama? Understanding Common Mental Health Diagnoses in Workers’ Compensation (MS & AL)
Geralyn Datz. PhD – Southern Behavioral Medicine Associates, Hattiesburg, MS
Jake Epker, PhD – Epker and Ogden, Mobile, AL
It is being recognized with increasing frequency that Claims are presented that include a psychological component. That part of a claim has been there all along but has largely been avoided by the claims community due to the tendency for the treatment to be protracted and expensive. But what is a real psychological claim and what should be done about it? This distinguished panel will help the audience understand the method of establishing an appropriate diagnosis, the testing performed and how it measures effort, faking, lying, and what is normal and what is not in typical medical, forensic and neuropsych populations. The panel will explain the different diagnoses encountered and allow the audience to have a good understanding of what is a legitimate psychological issue in the claims context and how proper treatment will yield a positive outcome for everyone involved.
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Break3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Case Law Update from the Mississippi Supreme Court/Court of Appeals (MS)
Moderator: Honorable Deneise Lott – MWCC Senior Administrative Judge
Honorable Kenny Griffith – Associate Justice, Mississippi Supreme Court
Honorable Virginia Carlton – Presiding Judge, Mississippi Court of Appeals
Honorable Jack Wilson – Presiding Judge, Mississippi Court of Appeals
Honorable Latrice A. Westbrooks – Judge, Mississippi Court of Appeals
In a dynamic and informative format, a Mississippi Supreme Court judge and Judges from the Mississippi Court of Appeals discuss and dissect recent workers’ compensation opinions over the past year. The session will offer insight into the Courts’ reasoning behind these very important decisions.
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Alabama Case Law Update (AL)
Jamie Sanders – Eraclides Gelman Law Firm, Birmingham, AL
Matt Williams – Eraclides Gelman Law Firm, Birmingham, AL
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Elbee Awards Cocktail Reception (MS & AL)
Awards Ceremony to begin at 6:00 PM.
• Injured Worker’s Return and Recovery (R&R) – An award to a worker injured on the job in Mississippi who has demonstrated exceptional motivation to obtain physical recovery and return to the productive workforce
• Kids’ Chance of Mississippi (the official charity of the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Educational Association) – Scholarships are awarded to children of workers who were seriously injured or killed in an accident, which is covered by the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Law
• Mississippi’s Safest Employer – A partnership with Mississippi Business Journal, Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Educational Association, and Mississippi Association of Self Insurers—An award to a company doing business in Mississippi with an exemplary record for safety, a well-managed workers’ compensation program, and/or a positive focus on injured worker recovery
• Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Hall of Fame – Inductees are members of the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Community who devoted a substantial portion of their careers to workers’ compensation issues in Mississippi and deserve to be remembered and thanked for exceptional contributions
• Sam Cox Spirit Award – An award to a non-attorney member of the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Community who epitomize enthusiasm, commitment, vision and integrity
• Kenneth G. Perry Professionalism Award – An award to an attorney whose career is focused on Mississippi workers’ compensation who personifies civility, honesty, competence and irreproachable ethics
The “Elbee Awards” is a collection of awards for different components of the Mississippi workers’ compensation community, which were started and/or supported during the time Liles B. Williams served as Chairman of the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission.
5:15 PM– 7:30 PM
Friday, April 12, 2019
Exhibit hall to remain open through the break Friday morning at 10:15 AM.
MS Bar WC Section Breakfast7:45 AM – 8:00 AM
Ethics Session – Return to Work – Really? Ethically Navigating Out-of-The Box Approaches While Working With the Opposing Party to “Encourage the Return to Work of the Injured Worker” (MS & AL)
Amy Topik – Markow Walker, PA, Ridgeland, MS
Michael Williams – Davis Goss & Williams, PA, Jackson, MS
Ty Pennington – Rehabilitation, Inc., Jackson, MS
Everyone recognizes that the “return to work of the injured worker” is a goal of the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation system. Accomplishing that, however, is often easier said than done. The competing goals of the parties and their attorneys often impair that smooth transition back to work, and this session will explore some of those obstacles and address the ethical dilemmas often encountered in “trying to do the right thing”. NOTE: Application is being made to also have this session approved for ethics credits with the Department of Insurance for those needing those credits.
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Adjusters Continental Breakfast7:45 AM – 8:00 AM
Medical Issues are the Heart of Claims Handling (MS & AL)
Kevin Donahoe, MD – Alabama Orthopedic Clinic, Mobile, AL
Tara Lockett – Carr Allison, Daphne, AL
Bill Pipkin – Austill, Lewis, Pipkin & Maddox, PC, Mobile, AL
Cesar Roca, Jr., MD – Alabama Orthopedic Clinic, Mobile, AL
All professionals need an understanding of the difference between objective and subjective complaints; the diagnostic tools available to permit accurate diagnoses and therefore appropriate treatment; the appropriate way to handle pain treatment; and protocols for handling patients who do not respond to treatment. This panel will address those issues in an informative session. Bring your questions!
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Continental Breakfast – All Attendees Welcome7:45 AM – 8:45 AM
Registration & Information Desks Open8:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Dude—Is Medical Marijuana a “High” or “Low” Point in Workers’ Compensation (MS & AL)
Mark Pew – Senior Vice President, Product Development & Marketing – The Preferred Medical, Atlanta, GA
The opioid epidemic, started with their over-prescribing in the mid-1990’s, has ignited a variety of discussions around the country. For good reason much of that discussion is about the human tragedy that has come from dependence, addiction and death. However, there has also been a renewed discussion about how to best manage non-cancer chronic pain. That involves a return to common sense in using NSAIDs for acute pain and a variety of coping mechanisms to manage chronic pain. This has renewed the discussion of the #BioPsychoSocialSpiritual treatment model in addressing the whole-person. But it has also led to the momentum in the legalization and acceptance of marijuana as medicine, which in the minds of many and codified into some state laws is seen as a reliable substitute for opioids. So should Work Comp switch from opioids to marijuana?
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Break/Certificates – Exhibit Hall closes10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Settlements in the Modern Era where CMS Now Has a Stake: Submit vs Non-Submit? Professional Administration? Using a Structure? (MS & AL)
John Cattie – Cattie, PLLC, Charlotte, NC
Lavonya Chapman – Medicare Secondary Payer Compliance Counsel, Optum, Tampa, FL
Paul Sighinolfi – Senior Managing Director, Ametros, Brewer, ME
Nick Womack – VP of Client Services, Chronovo, Atlanta, GA
Medicare has changed the way settlements are evaluated and implemented. The traditional MSA is being challenged by a new focus on a non-submit program. What are the pros and cons of each? How does one evaluate the risk associated with each approach? Should a structured settlement be utilized? Should professional administration be utilized? Who is getting sued and why for doing it wrong? This session will present all of the latest details of what to do and how to do it if Medicare is involved.
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM