Conference Program



Conference Program
17th Annual
Absence & Disability Management Strategies for Today’s Workforce
egistration Rates
Start at $625
Employer Group
Discount Available
Up to 21 CEUs Within
10 Certifications &
Register Today at
august 12 › 15
sheraton denver
800. 789. 3632
[email protected]
International Conference
Conference Benefits
Gain Insights
Photo: Visit Denver
from those on the front line of today’s most challenging
issues through personal accounts, case studies, and
applied research. Employer representatives from various
sized companies, with real-world experience, show you
how to address similar issues that you are facing today.
Dear Leave Management Colleague,
Share ideas
As a critical component of their business
strategy, employers must find better ways
to control the escalating costs associated
with workforce absence and disability, while
remaining compliant with state and federal
leave laws. We invite you to join your peers
from across the country in learning how to
better manage the frequency and duration
of workforce absence, bring your programs
into compliance with complex leave laws,
safely return people to work, and come away
with practical, real-life solutions to your most
pressing challenges.
Throughout this conference we encourage
you to take the time to connect with other
attendees by developing new professional
alliances, building rapport, sharing ideas, and
discussing the implications of the presentations
you attend. Many of our presenters will be
participating in the conference as well, offering
a unique opportunity to engage in detailed
discussions beyond the traditional Q&A
See you in Denver!
Marcia Carruthers
President and CEO
Charles Fox, Esq
Executive Director
with peers and executive thought leaders from across the
country during your choice of 50 scheduled sessions and
events. Outstanding networking opportunities provide
enriched relationships and invaluable contacts to call
upon when you get back to the office.
Take the Lead
at your company to initiate new cost-saving strategies
with demonstrated outcomes and measurable results.
Who Should Attend
Professionals responsible for
» Absence and Disability Management
» Claims/Case Management
» Human Resources/Benefits
» Employee Assistance Programs
» Risk and Litigation Management
» Occupational Health and Safety
» Health and Productivity Management
Certifications & Designations
DMEC has applied for recertification CEUs for the
following certifications and professional designations.
Please check the DMEC website for approval status and
credit hour approvals.
SPHR/PHRSenior Professional/Professional in
Human Resources
Associate Disability Management Specialist
CPDMCertified Professional in Disability Management
Certified Case Management Professional
Certified Case Manager
Certified Disability Management Specialist
Certified Rehabilitation Counselor
Workers’ Compensation Claims Professional
CA-BRNBoard of Registered Nursing/CA and
reciprocal states
The use of this seal is not an
endorsement by the HR Certification
Institute of the quality of the program.
It means that this program has
met the HR Certification Institute’s
criteria to be pre-approved for
recertification credit.
Meet us in the Mile High City—where 300 days
of sunshine, a thriving arts and cultural scene,
diverse neighborhoods, and the backdrop
of the Rocky Mountains combine for a
spectacular setting for the country’s premiere
annual gathering of Workforce Absence and
Disability Management professionals.
Conference Venue & Accommodations
Sheraton Downtown Denver
1550 Court Place
Denver CO 80202
Located in the heart of Denver’s vibrant downtown, the
Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel puts you in the center of
the action. Complimentary shuttle service extends the full
length of the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall, connecting you to
downtown’s diverse shopping, dining, and entertainment
venues. During downtime, take a dip in the hotel’s heated
outdoor pool, complete with a large sun deck and
magnificent city views, or stay in shape at the fitness center,
featuring state-of-the-art cardiovascular and weight-training
$169 (plus tax) Includes guest room internet
Cut-off July 31, 2012
Reservations 888.627.8405
To make your reservation, contact the hotel and request
a guest room within the DMEC room block. Book early as
rooms may sell out before
the July 31 cut-off. The DMEC
Group Rate is valid for up to
August Weather
two days before and after
Average High › 86°F
the conference, based upon
Average Low › 57°F
availability at the time of
Average Sunshine › 99%
Getting There
Denver International Airport (DEN), located 20 miles from
the Sheraton Denver Downtown, is served by all major
airlines, offering nonstop service from 130 destinations
worldwide. Super Shuttle and taxi service are available from
the airport to the conference hotel. For complete information
on transportation options from Denver International Airport
to our conference hotel, visit
16th Street Mall
Designed by world-renowned architect I.M. Pei, the onemile-long 16th Street Pedestrian Mall is home to a diverse
collection of more than 500 retailers, restaurants and bars.
Seating areas along the Mall’s tree-lined median and adjacent
to cafes and restaurants attract crowds throughout the
summer. Free alternative-energy shuttles operate seven days
a week, providing an excellent source of transportation from
one end of the Mall to the other.
Getting Around
If you don’t find everything you need at the 16th Street
Pedestrian Mall, Denver’s Regional Transportation District
(RTD) has five light rail lines that stop at more than 35
stations, including attractions such as the Theatre District,
Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Pepsi Center, and Park
Meadows Shopping Center. One-way fares range from $2.25
to $5.00, depending on your trip, and there is a light rail
station just a few blocks’ walk from the hotel.
Schedule at a Glance
Schedule At
A Glance
Sunday // August 12
Value added! These morning and afternoon PreConference LearnShops are included in your full
conference registration fee.
Registration Open
DMEC Chapter Presidents’ Meeting
Pre-Conference LearnShop 1 »
Included in registration fee. Pre-registration required.
11am-noon Healthcare Industry Group Meeting
1-5pm Pre-Conference LearnShop 2 »
Included in registration fee. Pre-registration required.
6-8pm Opening Welcome Reception
Sponsored by the DMEC Executive Advisory Board
Monday // August 13
7am-4pm Registration Open
7-8am Heart-Healthy Breakfast with Exhibitors
8-8:30am Opening Remarks and Award Recognition
8:30am-noon Keynote and General Session
» See page 6
10:30-11am Coffee and Conversation Break with Exhibitors
noon-1:30pm Networking and Idea-Sharing Luncheon
Sponsored by Jackson Lewis
1:30-5pm Concurrent Focus Sessions
» See pages 6-8
2:30-3pm Dessert with Exhibitors
5-6pm Attitude Adjustment with Exhibitors
Pre-registration required
Pre-Conference LearnShop 1
» 9am-12noon
Back to Basics: Essentials of Disability
and Absence Management
Too often the very fundamentals of effective
disability and absence management are
glossed over, thus creating a disconnect among
practitioners, department managers, vendor
partners, and employees. This introductory-level
class explores key programs, practical concepts,
and accepted best practices, and provides a case
study demonstrating the significant advantages
that program integration gives employers.
Attendees will gain insights into the fundamental
building blocks—tools, resources, and knowledge
—required to design and streamline program
efficiencies, along with an overview of key legal
and legislative compliance requirements within
the areas of FMLA and ADAAA.
Tuesday // August 14
Back to Basics offers a practical look at the
essentials of program structure for maximum
efficiency and reinforces fundamental Best
Practices. Led by experienced, qualified CPDM
instructors, this interactive LearnShop is perfect
for those new to the field or those who wear a
number of hats.
7am-4pm Registration Open
LearnShop Leaders
7-8am Heart-Healthy Breakfast with Exhibitors
Adrienne Paler, CPDM, SPHR
8am-noon Chapter Award Recognition and General Session
» See page 9
HR Manager, Leaves & Accommodations,
7:30-10:30pm Mile High Monday Night Event
Transportation provided
Sponsored by Liberty Mutual
10:30-11am Coffee and Conversation Break with Exhibitors
noon-1:30pm Networking and Idea-Sharing Luncheon
Sponsored by GENEX Services
1:30-5pm Concurrent Focus Sessions
» See pages 10-12
2:30-3pm Dessert with Exhibitors
8:30-11:30pm Denver After Hours
Transportation provided
Sponsored by MetLife and The Advocator Group
Wednesday // August 15
Loyd A. Hudson, MS, SPHR, CPDM
Manager, Integrated Disability,
American Electric Power
Mike Moses, ARM, CPDM
ADA Case Manager,
Integrated Disability Management,
Kaiser Permanente
7:30-8:30am Last Chance Networking Breakfast
8:30-11:45am General Session
» See page 13
9:30-9:45am Coffee and Conversation Break
11:45am $1,000 Grand Prize Drawing!
Sponsored by Allsup Inc
Roy Little, MBA
President and CEO,
Insurance Educational Association
» 1-5pm
Pre-registration required
» 1-1:15pm
Welcome and
Behavioral Risk & Wellness
in the Workplace
As a critical element of corporate risk management,
behavioral risk and wellness initiatives take a proactive
approach in identifying potential mental health and
behavioral disorders in the workplace and outline
strategies designed to prevent and minimize risk, thus
ensuring the overall financial health of the company and
well-being of its employees.
reasonable accommodations. Innovative
strategies for managing performance
problems in the context of behavioral
health disability will be highlighted.
Clare Miller
» 2:15-2:30pm
Director, Partnership for Workplace Mental Health
Comfort Break
» 1:15-2:15pm
Benefits of Keeping Employees
with Behavioral Health
Disabilities at Work
What is a reasonable accommodation
for a condition that is not visible and
is subjective in nature? Does removing
employees from work while recovering
from mental health conditions help
or hurt?
Research tells us work is central to one’s
identity. Isolation and lack of structure
while away from the work routine can
be detrimental for employees with
anxiety and depression. Unfortunately,
the known psychological benefits of
being productive at work do not always
translate in recommendations from
treating clinicians who advocate for
unreasonable accommodations due to
non-medical factors.
During this session, our focus will be
on seeking creative solutions to help
employees remain productive and
successful in the workplace. Case
examples on specific mental health
diagnoses will illustrate the importance
of having credible medical information
to support impairment and for assessing
» 2:30-4pm
Mental Health First Aid: An
Evidence Based Workplace
Wellness Program
Highlighted in recent articles in the New
York Times, Washington Post and HR
Magazine, and in stories on National
Public Radio and ABC News, Mental
Health First Aid is a groundbreaking
mental health and wellness program
that helps managers identify,
understand, and correctly respond to
behavioral indicators of mental illnesses
and substance use disorders.
This evidence-based LearnShop has
certified more than 1500 instructors
and 45,000 first-aiders around the
country and is being used by HR and
EAP professionals to increase employee
morale, increase productivity and
reduce turnover.
» 4-5pm
The Fear of Pain & the
Pain of Fear
Uncertainty, physical distress, concern
and, more importantly, “plain ole fear”
can drastically impact outcomes when
managing the treatment of injured
Perceived aches and pains can have a
significant influence on patient behavior.
From complying with prescribed
treatment plans and drug regimens
through sincerity of effort during
the diagnostic phases of the claim
process, the impact fear and associated
avoidance has on injury management is
an often overlooked factor. Learn how
to respond to this critical behavioral
risk with objective evidence to sort out
the real from the imagined; separate
psychosocial and psychosomatic
response from real physical pain; and
explore how even the physician can
drive patient behavior.
pre-conference learn shops
LearnShop Leaders
Jennifer Nash-Wright,
PsyD, LP
Manager, Clinical Services,
Behavioral Medical Interventions
John Early
Benefits Manager, Absence Plans,
Delta Airlines
Bryan Gibb, MBA
Opening Welcome
» 6-8pm
Director of Public Education, The
National Council for Community
Behavioral Healthcare
Photo: Eric Lindberg & Visit Denver
The DMEC Executive Advisory Board invites you to join them as we kick off the
official opening of the 17th Annual Conference and DMEC’s 20th Anniversary in
mile-high style! Everyone is welcome to join the festivities for a very special evening
of great food and fun.
Kerwin Williams
Senior Vice President, Med-Tek LLC
Sponsored by
Marco Vitiello, MD
President, CMAP Interpretive Services,
Med-Tek LLC
monday sessions
» 7-8am
Heart Healthy
Sponsored by
General Session
» 8-8:30am
Opening Remarks & National
Award Recognition
» Chet Miller Leadership Award
» DMEC Partnership Award
Marcia Carruthers, MBA, ARM, CPDM
President and CEO, DMEC
Charles Fox, Esq
Executive Director, DMEC
» 8:30-9:30am
The History and Future of Integration
The concept of integration started in
the early 90’s and was thought of as the
new paradigm for the decade. However,
in spite of strong employer acceptance,
some thought it was a “flash in the pan.”
Fast forward to 2012, and you’ll find
integration has not only endured over
the past 20 years, but is maintaining a
stronger foothold every year. National
healthcare reform, FMLA, ADAAA and
other compliance complications have
only served to support the need for this
concept to assist in keeping employees
productive and at work.
Join a panel of veterans and futurists
to take a look at where we’ve come
from, where we see things moving, and
what you need to know to keep up with
this model that continues to be on the
“cutting edge of common sense.” Bring
your questions for this highly-interactive
panel and open discussion.
Karen Amato, RN, CCM, CPDM
Director, Wellwithin and Corporate Responsibility Programs,
SRA International
Lisa Carlisle, BA, MSM, PHR
Disability Mgmt Team Leader, Henry Ford Health System
Deborah Jacobs, CPDM
Manager, Disability Mgmt, Southern California Edison
Sharon Kaleta, ARM, CPDM
Chairman of the Board, Co-Founder, DMEC
Terri Rhodes, CPDM, CCMP
Principal, Mercer
Carrie Craven, SPHR
Vice President, Employer Segment, OptumHealth
Marcia Carruthers, MBA, ARM, CPDM
President/CEO, DMEC
» 9:30-10:30am
Code Red, White & Blue
Election 2012 and the Impact of
Healthcare Reform on Benefits
Seismic changes are disrupting
employers’ future planning efforts,
as the significance and long-range
implications of this summer’s
Supreme Court decision on health
care are digested and analyzed.
On the horizon are political
rumblings which will be felt as
after-shocks from the fall 2012
Presidential and Congressional
elections. The Great Recession
is slowly coming to an end and
companies are thinking about and
preparing for the next steps in the
future economy.
Where does this leave benefits and
risk professionals as they navigate
through the next few years and try
to understand the implications for
their companies?
Hear from a nationally recognized
expert how these industry
earthquakes will shake your world
and what you can do to mitigate
risk and impact.
learn key strategies to “future proof”
your employee benefits, workforce
management and productivity
Foon Lew, FSA, MAAA
Vice President and Group Actuary, Insurance Services Group,
The Standard
» 12noon-1:30pm
Networking &
Idea Sharing
Luncheon with Exhibitors
Sponsored by
Please join us from 2:30-3pm
for Dessert with Exhibitors
Sponsored by
Track A
» 10:30-11am
Coffee Break
with Exhibitors
Sponsored by
» 11am-12noon
The New Normal in Absence and
Disability Management
The world is changing at a faster pace,
and so is your workforce. But what
changes do you need to pay attention
to and which are just noise?
Join Foon Lew, head of The Standard’s
actuarial practice, as he examines the
changing economic, demographic
and cultural landscapes. Uncovering
emerging trends behind the headlines,
Foon will provide practical predictions
of the effects these changes will have
on disability and absence management
and HR professionals. Get the big
picture on what should be top of mind
for you and your organization, and
» 1:30-2:30pm
A1. Detecting, Assessing and
Managing Claims with PsychoSocial Barriers to RTW
Hidden psycho-social issues can delay
return to work for months or years,
turning routine workers’ compensation
claims into “creeping cats.”
This session will examine both high
tech and low tech ways to ferret out
and assess the impact of these issues
and look at the various options for
managing these claims effectively
once the complicating factors are
understood. We will focus on asking
the right questions and evaluating the
answers and then selecting the most
effective management options. The
session will include a look behind the
scenes at one high tech system based
solution but we will review paper and
pencil approaches which get results as
well. The real reasons that a claimant
does not recover or return to work on
a timely basis are often not to be found
in any medical report or in a routine
claimant statement.
Track B
» 4-5pm
B3. Ask the Experts
Gary Anderberg, PhD
» 1:30-2:30pm
Practice Leader, Data Analytics and Outcomes, Broadspire
» 3-4pm
A2. Return-to-Work: A
Collaborative Approach
Join us to gain insight into the
University of Michigan’s collaborative
effort to launch a pilot Return to
Work (RTW) program encompassing
the campus and health system, and
including unionized employees. In the
first year, the University returned more
than 85% of eligible employees to
transitional work in the pilot areas. We
will explore how program components
such as formalized guidelines, funding
strategies, and an internal work group
can be utilized to increase the success
of identifying transitional work and
reducing lost work days.
Valerie Palazzolo, LMSW, MSHROD
B1. Rising To The Challenge:
Strategies for Effectively
Managing FML and ADAAA
Interactive Processes
In this two pronged session, learn about
innovative and proven methods for
managing intermittent FMLA as well
as strategies for navigating the various
intersections of State, Federal and
Company Medical disability programs.
HealthNet will outline their Intermittent
Intervention Program, which focuses
on the most highly disruptive types of
absences. Additionally, we will discuss
the impact of policy and process when
determining when and if an additional
accommodation is needed, after the
employee has exhausted all State and
Federal protected time away work.
Carol Novoa, CPDM
Director, Absence and Disability Management, Health Net
Return to Work Coordinator, University of Michigan
Bryon Bass, CPDM
Kathleen Rychlinski, BSBA
VP, Absence Management Practice Leader, Sedgwick
Assistant Director, Risk Management, University of Michigan
» 4-5pm
A3. Remote Ergonomics:
Successful Safety and RTW
Strategies for a Changing
The modern workforce relies heavily on
telecommuters, remote workers, and
alternative work environments. In this
context, preventing repetitive motion
injuries and improving safety and risk
management in home and remote
workplaces presents unique human
resources, safety, and risk management
challenges and opportunities.
Employers are faced with legal and
moral obligations in providing safety to
home and remote workforces.
Ina Fargher, SPHR
HR Manager, Northrop Grumman
Steve Thompson, ARM, COSS
Principal, ERGOhealthy and Aspen Risk Management Group
» 5-6pm
with exhibitors
Sponsored by
Behavioral Medical Interventions
» 3-4pm
B2. How a Comprehensive
Absence Management Approach
Can Reduce Liability
Whether your company outsources its
absence management, or manages it
in-house, if you’re focusing mainly on
leaves that fall under the FMLA, you
could be placing yourself at risk for
failing to comply with the Americans
with Disabilities Act. With the recent
implementation of the ADA’s final rules,
companies need to be more diligent
with how they handle employees who
may be protected under the ADA.
Throughout this presentation, we
will focus on what it means to take
a comprehensive “holistic” approach
to absence management, including
understanding how the FMLA and ADA
interact, and examine best practices
regarding the ADA, such as how to
communicate with employees who may
have a disability and why it’s important
to have clinical resources as part of
your absence management team. The
presentation will also discuss common
FMLA and ADA mistakes employers
make that increase liability exposure.
David Mohl, Esq
Senior Counsel, Cigna
Back by popular demand! This session
will start off with a review of the latest
relevant legislation and regulatory
guidance impacting employers on
issues related to FMLA and ADA. From
there, we will kick into high gear with
an interactive “open mic” Q & A. Come
prepared to ask your tough FMLA/ADA
questions in order to help strengthen
policy management and administration,
and keep you from administrative and
legal woes.
Frank Alvarez, Esq
monday sessions
We will show you how to ask the
questions that get you the serious
answers and the best claim outcomes
for the employer and for the claimant.
Senior Partner, Jackson Lewis
David Mohl, Esq
Senior Counsel, Cigna
Track C
Employer Tools
& Tactics
» 1:30-2:30pm
C1. Leveraging Technology to
Manage & Track FMLA Efficiently
Are you faced with the challenges
that many HR teams are up against
today—ranging from compliance
concerns, extended leave durations, and
administrative overload?
In this session, uncover industry
best practices and learn how FedEx
Ground integrated multiple leave
types (military, FMLA, STD, Personal,
and WC), accommodations, and their
transactional return to work program
into a single web-based solution.
Through the use of an automated
system, multiple FedEx Ground users
throughout the country can view and
access an employee’s case, allowing
them to achieve consistent, enterprisewide enforcement of state and federal
FMLA policies. Additionally, task
management tools and alerts help
facilitate day-to-day activities and
reduce administrative burdens.
Richard Silva
Leave of Absence Specialist, FedEx Ground
David Spring
Business Development Analyst, OCI
» 3-4pm
C2. Efficiencies Gained
Integrating FMLA with STD and
Workers’ Compensation
Building Bridges to Productivity
Disability leave management can be a
monday sessions
challenge for employers. Outsourcing
is another option, but requires careful
Britt Rascoe, SPHR
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Management by UT-Battelle (ORNL)
will discuss the risks, benefits and their
experience of outsourcing FMLA, STD
and LTD after managing it in-house
for years. In addition, they will provide
an overview of the tactical challenges,
cultural issues and benefits gained in
using an external vendor.
Linda Southard
A legal viewpoint will be provided
to help employers better navigate in
this regulatory environment. Subject
matter experts will describe present day
regulation/compliance scenarios and
how to address them. In addition, best
practices will be provided on how to
reduce liability around job protection,
track legislation, and consolidate
federal, state and company leaves.
Scott McIntyre, CIC, CRM
CBA Manager-Employee Services, Oak Ridge National
Laboratory Managed by UT-Battelle for the Dept of Energy
Sarah Brydon, JD
Process Owner: Short Term Disability and Leave
of Absence, Aetna
Janice Beeker, JD
Counsel, Aetna
» 4-5pm
C3. Managing Multiple Leave
Entitlements Simultaneously
With the explosion of FMLA leaves,
leave stacking is unavoidable.
Administering one leave type was
difficult; it becomes more complicated
when multiple leaves apply. Leave
eligibilities, length, and reasons may
differ. Administering multiple leaves
correctly requires knowledge of their
differences and strategies to correctly
administer them in order to comply with
regulations and minimize company risk.
In workshop format, we will review
differences between common leave
entitlements, provide hints and tips
on best practice strategies, and allow
participants hands-on practice.
Director of Regulatory & Compliance, Work & Well
President, Work & Well
Track D
Models &
Best Practices
» 1:30-2:30
D1. Reducing Disability Claim
Duration via Clinical Case
Clinical case management facilitates
timely and effective communication
with the employee, employer, and
engaged clinicians for pertinent medical
treatment. An effective clinical case
management process may not only be a
key driver in reducing the duration and
associated cost of a disability—but also
the catalyst to educating stakeholders
on the expected duration of a specific
Aon Hewitt partnered with a large
retailer to customize and implement
a clinical case management services
program within their STD benefits
program. A detailed, phased approach
was incrementally introduced to the
organization. This panel will review
the core elements of the initial pilot
program, and highlight the key success
factors recognized in reducing STD
claim durations by 7% as compared to
baseline, as well as reduced durations
by 19% as compared to a control group
with matching demographics and claims
Michelle Steen, SPHR
Benefits Analyst Manager, Pay & Benefits, Target
Deborah LaBonar, PhD
Lead, Absence Management Analytics, Aon Hewitt
Alyson Smith Lebow, MS
Community Counseling, Licensed Psychologist,
Program Manager, Aon Hewitt
Evening Activity » 7:30-10:30pm
Mile High Monday Night Event
LoDo District
» 3-4pm
D2. ADA and FMLA: Learn
American Foods Group’s Recipe
for Integration
Say an employee, previously on an
FMLA leave, comes back to work
requesting an ADA accommodation. Do
you feel comfortable enough with these
overlapping laws to make the right
decision, or do you tread lightly?
Setting the stage, attendees will receive
an overview of the FMLA and ADA
and the interplay between them. We’ll
move to learning when to evaluate leave
cases for ADA, with focus on the most
common issues employers face.
American Foods Group will share their
own decision-factors, challenges, and
measurable outcomes in moving to a
comprehensive, integrated disability
and absence management approach.
Through this real life story and the
expertise of an industry Compliance
Officer, attendees will walk away from
this dynamic presentation with practical
advice and tools they can relate back to
their own organizations.
Trudy Gokey
Director, Employee Benefits/HRIS, American Foods Group
Allan Compagnon
Compliance Officer, Presagia
» 4-5pm
D3. LTD Designs That Minimize
Litigation Exposure and
Maximize Participant Value
A significant amount of benefits
litigation relates to long term disability
benefits—a level disproportionate to the
number of claims. This occurs because
of the nature of disability benefits and
the concept of disability:
he amount in controversy is typically
in the tens of thousands of dollars, and
» Disability
determinations often depend
on interpretations of the contractual
definition of disability, assessments of
restrictions and limitations resulting
from the diagnosed condition, and
vocational assessments.
So, any adverse benefit determination
is open to attack over the definition of
disability, the condition diagnosis and
the vocational assessments. Defending
litigation arising from such claims
generates substantial administrative and
legal costs.
Get together with your friends and fellow conference attendees
to enjoy Denver’s spectacular views at one of the country’s
top 10 rooftop nightclubs. With the sun setting, drinks pouring,
music playing, and conversation flowing—you
Sponsored by
certainly won’t want to miss this evening of
Mile High Fun!
This session will review recent litigation
and offer a “point of view” on designs
that optimize benefits and minimize
litigation and its costs.
Continuous transportation provided
Jack Towarnicky, CEBS, MBA, LLM, JD
» 7-8am
Sponsored by
General Session
It’s all unscripted, unrehearsed and
Kimberly Burkey
Manager, Human Resources, Verizon
Tracy Messineo
CEO, SutterSelect and Vice President, Total Health and
Productivity Management, Sutter Health
» 8-8:30am
Opening Remarks & Chapter
Achievement Awards
New this year, DMEC has instituted a
Chapter Merit Program (CHAMP) to
recognize those chapters that best
promote the mission and goals of DMEC
through their member relationships,
educational programming and
networking, support of membership
growth within their geographical areas,
and their partnership with the national
organization in support of cooperative
Sharon Milligan
DMEC Chapter &
Volunteer Liaison
Joseph Wozniak
National Board Treasurer, DMEC
» 8:30-9:30am
A Provocative Conversation on Key
Issues Impacting Work, Health and
MetLife’s Jim McConville moderates
a panel discussion with some of the
leading–and most outspoken–thinkers
in our industry discussing the future of
work, health and productivity in an everchanging world…and a business climate
that is becoming more global by the day.
Whether it’s the implications of
health care reform, how new, mobile
technologies will change how we work,
the employers’ role in benefits, the
dilemmas of managing a workforce
that may be spread amongst different
locations and countries or the impact
of a sputtering economy on how we
all think about our roles, this dynamic
session is sure to elicit spirited
conversation between speakers who
aren’t afraid to voice their opinions.
Carol Harnett, MS, GBDS
Health and Absence Consultant and Trendspotter
Gary Earl
Vice President of Health Transformation, UnitedHealthcare
James McConville, ARM
Vice President, Health and Risk Products, MetLife
» 9:30-10:30am
for Implementing Best Practices
Providence Health and Services is an
integrated health care delivery system
with operations in WA, OR, CA, AK &
MT and has over 52,000 employees.
Their Providence, OR operation
alone has almost 20,000 employees.
Despite continued efforts and a strong
commitment to employee wellbeing, the impact of absence on the
organization was a noticeable pain point
for employees and for managers.
This session will first explore
Providence’s journey to identify the
issues, and the process undertaken to
understand the gaps. From there, they
will share how they built the business
case for change, resulting in the
organization’s multi-year Roadmap to
achieving an integrated best practices
» 11am-12noon
to Link Lost Time to the Bottom Line
These results from IBI’s third CFO
survey show benefits managers the
specific evidence CFOs want and need
to approve investments in healthrelated lost-time management and
improved productivity to drive value to
the bottom line. What factors related
to health-related outcomes must be
included? What types of information are
likely to be most helpful and credible
and from what sources? How does the
expanding discussion of outcomes
from value-based benefits design—to
include lost-time and lost-productivity
outcomes—play into the CFO’s equation
and improve employees’ quality of life?
tuesday sessions
Heart Healthy
during the presentation where panelists
will give their on-the-spot reaction to
these and other issues.
Hear a CFO tell how he convinced
his company to promote wellness as
a means to improve productivity for
their workforce and how they took
their lessons-learned to the market to
improve workers’ compensation results
for their insureds.
Jeff Tetrick, AIF, MBA
Chief Financial Officer, Pinnacol Assurance
Thomas Parry, PhD
President, Integrated Benefits Institute
» 12noon-1:30pm
Networking & Idea
Sharing Luncheon
Don’t miss the drawings for
exciting prizes!
Sponsored by
Akbar Sultan, MBA
Director Compensation, ADM, HRIS & HR Service CenterOregon Region, Providence Health & Services
Denise Fleury, MBA, SPHR
Senior Consultant, Mercer
» 10:30-11:00am
Coffee Break
with Exhibitors
Sponsored by
DMEC attendees are invited to submit
topics for discussion before the
conference, at the conference and
tuesday sessions
Please join us from 2:30-3pm for
Dessert with Exhibitors
Sponsored by
Track A
» 1:30-2:30pm
A4. Measuring What You Can’t
See, Managing What You
Stay At Work/Return to Work. Sounds
easy. Sounds straight-forward. Right?
In reality, some of the biggest claims
dollars in both occupational and nonoccupational cases are the result of lost
work days. Measuring what you can’t
see (functional ability) and managing
what you measure (functional ability
to work) is key decision support for
safe and productive return to work,
regardless of injury or disability. Job
modification, job accommodation, and
transitional work no longer have to rely
on the physician’s “guess” of a patient’s
ability to perform work. Technology
and software available today enable
sound decisions on the ability for safe
work and identify specific functional
areas where alternatives to traditional
task performance require evaluation
and potentially modification or
Our panelists are all every-day users of
this technology. Join us for a high techreal solutions approach to objective,
measurable decision support for claims
management and return to work.
Alex Grohol
Director, Medical Case Management Services,
Chartis Insurance
Kelly Day, OTD, CVE
Program Manager, Functional Testing, BTE
Tammy Bradly, CCM, CRC, CPDM
Vice President, Coventry
» 3-4pm
A5. Collaborative Journey:
Addressing RTW Issues through
Comprehensive Integration
Now what? You have selected vendor
partners, identified your cost drivers,
and established program metrics and
goals, yet navigating the ADA, job
performance and disability or leave
policies remains challenging.
As a follow up to the 2011 DMEC
presentation on Discerning Disability
and Discipline, this program will talk
about steps to take your program to
the next level. What happens when the
employee, managers, HR, legal, and
physicians share the common goal of
returning the employee to work but
each stakeholder has different motives
and concerns related to how this goal
will be achieved? What if the common
goal is separating the employee from
the company? And what if there is no
common goal?
As a large employer with a centralized
Total Absence Management function,
UnitedHealth Group has integrated
internal and external resources to
facilitate successful return to work
planning that addresses diverse
stakeholder considerations. Updated
program results and in-depth case
studies will demonstrate the benefits of
working collaboratively with all partners
to achieve successful resolution of these
challenging cases.
Ann Macheledt, CRC
Associate Director, Total Absence Management/
Accommodations & RTW, UnitedHealth Group
Becka Erickson, JD
Associate Director, Total Absence Management,
UnitedHealth Group
Jennifer Nash-Wright, PsyD, LP
Manager, Clinical Services, Behavioral Medical Interventions
Lesley Kochel, MS, CRC, CVE, AIC
Assistant VP and Operations Program Manager, Sedgwick
» 4-5pm
A6. Benefits of the Physical
Demand Analysis (PDA): How
You Can Improve Your Return-toWork Program
Rehabilitation and RTW:
Learn how to use PDAs as a tool to:
(a) measure physical aspects of your
employees’ jobs, (b) help you answer
the questions about RTW and fitnessfor-duty (FFD), (c) clarify benefit
entitlement, (d) facilitate making
reasonable accommodations, and (e)
save money by identifying alternate/
modified work programs for employees
returning to work, getting them back
to work sooner. Hear perspectives
from both an OccMed physician and a
Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) on
how PDAs work best and what should
be included in the PDA to make your
RTW successful.
Accident/Injury Prevention:
In addition, learn how PDAs can help
you to: (a) identify jobs, work processes,
and equipment that require further
ergonomic analysis and intervention, (b)
identify and prioritize safety concerns,
and (c) together with Functional
Capacity Examinations (FCEs), match
new employees with jobs and assist
with hiring and training
John M. Dobby, CIH , CSP, LIH
Director, General Industrial Hygiene Services, Carnow,
Conibear & Associates Ltd
Jeanne Boysen, SPHR
Vice President, Human Resources, The OMS Ltd
Shirley A. Conibear, MD, MPH, FACPM
President and Senior Scientist, The OMS Ltd
Track B
» 1:30-2:30
B4. The Interactive Process
The Job Accommodation Network
(JAN) will thoroughly dissect the
interactive process, providing a
comprehensive overview of the
job accommodation process, from
request for accommodation through
negotiation, selection, implementation
and monitoring; including scenarios of
exceptions, barriers, and “re-do’s” that
will fully inform attendees.
JAN will cover: Disability determination;
negotiation; practice tips for managing
barriers to successful negotiation;
accommodation scenarios for a broad
range of disabilities, including comorbidity, chronicity of disability, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and
“unique” accommodation ideas. JAN
will also address return-to-work (RTW)
post-leave events; the benefits of lightduty work assignments for Americans
with Disabilities Act leave cases; and
transitional RTW as an individualized
RTW strategy vs. “all or nothing” fitness
for duty policies.
Lou Orslene, MPIA, MSW, CPDM
Co-Director, Job Accommodation Network
Anne Hirsh, MS
Co-Director, Job Accommodation Network
» 3-4pm
Unscrambling the Legal and
Medical Requirements
When all is said and done do you still
have questions or confusion around
FMLA Certifications, including when and
if to ask for a second medical opinion
exam? If so, you are not alone!
This session will focus on the intricacies
of the FMLA/ADAAA from a medical/
legal perspective, including discussion
of second opinion medical exams and
the interface of FMLA with ADA. The
panel of presenters includes Lynn
Soliday, the Lead Disability Program
We will address the “true costs” of
medical leave and accommodation
for the employer. We will discuss the
intricacies of the new ADA amendments
and how that impacts FMLA on a
go-forward basis. The presenters will
give real-life examples where clarifying
and validating the medical condition
prevented the need for second and/or
third opinion exams.
Lynn Soliday, CPDM
Lead Disability Program Manager, Group Health
Dr. Rick Stopek, DCM
COO and Executive VP, Exam Coordinators Network
Linda Ellzey, RN
AVP, Matrix Absence Management
Christi Doe, CPDM, M.Ed.
DOS, Western Region, Exam Coordinators Network
» 4-5pm
B6. Ohio States’ Disability
Professionals Changing Role
in ADAAA Accommodation
The implementation of the ADAAA
in May 2011 significantly impacted
disability professionals everywhere.
In this session the Integrated Disability
and ADA Coordinators at the Ohio
State University will take attendees
from the first step of an employee’s
request for an accommodation to the
implementation of the reasonable
Using recent case studies, attendees
will be able to follow the review of
the request for accommodation, the
challenges faced when reviewing the
accommodation as well as how the
ADAAA has impacted the interpretation
of unpaid leave policies, FML
implementation, transitional work and
attendance policies and placements.
Come join us for a practical application
session with real-life challenges,
including the transforming landscape of
employer’s responsibilities with regards
to persons with injuries and illnesses,
and ways to best respond to the
changing regulations.
Rebecca Brown, CDMS
Disability Program Manager, Ohio State University
Jennifer Hertzfeld, MA, CRC
Manager of Integrated Disability, Ohio State University
L. Scott Lissner
University ADA Coordinator, Ohio State University
Track C
Employer Tools
& Tactics
» 1:30-2:30pm
C4. The Delicate Balance of
Culture and Cost
Healthcare organizations are unique
in their challenges to maintain a
competitive benefits package for a
knowledgeable workforce that has
a high awareness of their time away
from work benefits. They are, however,
similar to others in that costs have to
be reduced, and absences need to
be tracked and managed, in order to
impact overall outcomes.
This session will describe why absence
is important to Memorial SloanKettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), and
how its costs and complexities drove
the organization to change. Specifically,
we will hear how MSKCC overcame
cultural barriers to centralize and
insource leave management, and how
they strategically leveraged technology
for better communication across the
We will also compare and contrast
MSKCC’s activities against the results of
the First Annual DMEC/Spring Employer
Leave Management Survey, and share
lessons learned that can be applied to
employers of all sizes and industries.
Margie Negron
Manager, HR Services, Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Cancer Center
Karen English, ARM, CPCU, ACI, AU
Partner, Spring Consulting Group LLC
» 3-4pm
C5. Getting Out From Under
Accumulated Sick Leave:
A Road Map for Transition
Many employers, particularly those in
the healthcare industry, have existing
accumulated paid sick leave programs
that are costly, difficult to administer,
and negatively impact disability
management and return to work
strategies. They also can be perceived
as an “entitlement” program, yet often
leave employees with limited service
credits—any income protection at all.
The liabilities are often found in an
environment where cost management
and increased employee productivity
are emerging priorities.
policies, short term benefits plans, and
plan designs.
This session will highlight examples of
benchmarking and analysis that benefits
managers have applied and program
options they have evaluated. A large
health system will present their plan and
share their results in transitioning away
from an accumulated sick leave plan to
a contemporary plan design and policy.
This will included the financial analysis
and ROI projection the make the case
for change.
Sheri Brown
Manager, Human Resources, Deaconess Hospital
tuesday sessions
Manager for Group Health Cooperative.
Based in Seattle, Group Heath has over
10,000 employees and is one of the
largest employers in the greater
Seattle region.
Kristin Tugman, CRC, LPC
Senior Director, Health and Productivity, Unum
J. Philip Bruen
Vice President, National Client Group, Unum
» 4-5pm
C6. Cognitive and Psychological
Disabilities—How to Recognize
and Handle Abusers
Dr. Fisher has reviewed thousands of
IME reports and is uniquely qualified
to help participants to identify cases
that are outside the scope of typical
cognitive or psychological difficulties.
His background and experience
allow him to provide insights about
psychological and neuropsychological
standards for assessment of cases that
have high potential for exaggeration
and secondary gain.
We will identify red flags to watch for
in records that could suggest validity
problems, and problems associated
with treating doctors’ assumptions of
accuracy in the claimants’ self-reporting
of difficulties.
John Sharp, M.Ed, LPC, CRC, CDMS
Disability Care Manager, Shell Oil Company
David Fisher, PhD
President, PsyBar LLC
Using the Track System
Attendees are encouraged to select
the sessions across various tracks that
best fit their informational needs.
As a result, benefits managers are
beginning to actively evaluate options
to restructure these programs in order
to implement more contemporary
tuesday sessions
Track D
» 3-4pm
» 4-5pm
Models &
Best Practices
D5. The Onsite Model: Two
Employers’ Absence and
Disability Management
D6. Enhancing Health Through
Integrated Benefits and
Organizational Practices
» 1:30-2:30pm
Are you one of the many employers
who suffer from lost productivity and
the lack of integration between your
absence and disability programs?
D4. The Electronic Activity
Prescription Model: Changing
the Work Disability Paradigm
Employers and benefit administrators
rely on accurate and timely information
in order to best manage their disability
programs, consistent with regulatory
and jurisdictional requirements.
Based on almost a decade of feedback
from its customers, members and
physicians, Kaiser Permanente (KP)
embarked on a visionary project to
develop a communication and tracking
tool within their electronic health record
that would allow the clinician to clearly
and efficiently document their patient’s
level of safe activity throughout the
healing process, regardless of the cause
of injury or illness.
Fast forward four years and their
“Activity Prescription Tool” is now
functional and allows the KP clinician
to readily access disability duration
guidelines and associated management
This presentation will describe the initial
challenges through the final processes
that led to the successful development
and implementation of the tool. Plus,
we’ll see a “live” demonstration of the
tool and the critical role of clinician
education in maximizing the benefits of
the process.
Steve Wiesner, MD
If so, you’ll benefit from the first-hand,
front-line experiences of two employers
who have introduced an innovative
absence and disability management
model that addresses productivity loss
caused by employee absences.
Join us to hear HR leaders from
Apria Healthcare, a provider of health
equipment and clinical services with
15,000 employees and Jefferson County
Public Schools, an employer with 13,000
employees in Denver, discuss the onsite
model and the positive impacts the
model has had in their workplaces.
They‘ll describe best practices of
the onsite model, including: early
intervention, program integration,
transitional work, nurse case
management and onsite delivery of
services. You’ll also learn about their
results in the areas of absence and
disability prevention, as well as return
to work. Is this approach right for your
workplace? Get the scoop on what
works and first steps you can take.
Bobbie Elrod
Manager, Employee Leaves, Jefferson County Public Schools
Laura Horn
Director, Benefits, Apria Healthcare
Michael Klachefsky
National Practice Leader, Workplace Possibilities,
The Standard
Wise employers are expanding benefits
and resources related to health
promotion, work performance, disability
management, employee assistance, and
occupational health to better manage
healthcare and disability costs and
productivity challenges. Even wiser
employers are successfully addressing
ways to integrate internal personnel and
external vendor/partners for targeted
planning and delivery, reduced program
redundancy, and clear communication
with employees and their families. Wiser
yet are those employers who address
factors that help employees thrive
at work.
Join us as we explore the benefits
and challenges to integrating healthand-performance related benefits and
strategies, as well as specific employer
case examples of effective practices.
Employer representatives will share
approaches to screening and targeting
at risk individuals; aligning teams of
professionals and negotiating scopes of
practice; data integration and outcomes
measurement; and organizational
culture and leadership practices that
support health and performance.
Brian Patterson
Manager, Leave Management Group, Sprint
Maria Henderson, CPDM
Senior Director, Workforce Health and
Productivity, Pacific Gas and Electric
Nancy Spangler, PhD, OTR/L
Consultant, Partnership for Workplace Mental Health,
American Psychiatric Foundation
Physician Advisor, National Integrated Disability
Management Program, The Permanente Medical
Group/Kaiser Permanente
Jon Seymour, MD
President, Guidelines, Reed Group/MDGuidelines
Robin M. Nagel, MS, CDMS, HEM
Private Consultant
Evening Activity » 8:30-11:30pm
Denver After Hours! SoHo District
We’re in the homestretch and there’s no better way to let loose and
relax after several busy days than to join your fellow conference
attendees at our popular Tuesday Night After
Hours Party! Enjoy a great dance band (our
Sponsored by
Tuesday Night tradition!) while you mingle with
your DMEC friends at one of Denver’s SoHo
district hot spots.
Continuous transportation provided
» 9:45-10:45am
» 10:45-11:45am
Last Chance
Advantages of Returning
Employees Back to Work by
Maximizing Internal and External
Vocational Resources
Research to Reality: Effective
Return to Work Programs and
Their Impact on the Bottom Line
Sponsored by
General Session
» 8:30-9:30am
The Impact of Government
Insurance Programs and
Changing Demographics
on Integrated Absence and
Disability Management
Participants will learn how changes in
government insurance programs and
America’s changing demographics will
impact companies’ absence and disability management programs, the challenges employers will face and best practice
strategies to minimize disruption within
companies. Jody Hunter, Senior Director
of Benefits for Koch Business Solutions
(KBS), will discuss some specific actions
KBS has taken to prepare for what’s
to come. Paul Barden, CEO of Pacific
Resources, will provide an overview of
the current state of government insurance programs, what we can expect
to see over the next few decades and
the strategies that companies need to
consider to ensure the effectiveness of
their absence and disability programs.
Paul Rogers, President & COO of Pacific
Resources will moderate this timely
Jody A. Hunter
Senior Director, Benefits, Koch Business Solutions
Paul Barden
CEO, Pacific Resources
Paul Rogers
President & COO, Pacific Resources
Return to work has gained and will
continue to gain more and more
attention as a result of the changes
in the ADA. Desires to do more with
less and spiraling costs associated
with workers’ compensation drive the
ever increasing need for vocational
rehabilitation. The aging skilled
vocational workforce will continue
to present an ongoing challenge
to employers. Everyone wants
more employees returning to work
quickly, with reduced out-of-work
durations, higher retention of skilled
personnel, and sustained outcomes.
A largely untapped resource available
to employers is skilled vocational
rehabilitation consultants.
While vocational consultants are
selectively utilized in workers’
compensation, a wholly integrated
approach to vocational rehabilitation
that bridges sick leave, long term
disability and workers’ compensation is
rare. Without an integrated approach
between employer and consultant
to help understand and maximize
the employer’s own RTW programs,
resources, culture, and ability to
accommodate, return to work initiatives
are haphazard and inconsistent
throughout the organization.
Since 2009, American Electric Power
and Prudential Insurance have tapped
into the concept of onsite vocational
rehabilitation resources to assist in
returning employees back to work from
a disabling event as soon as possible.
Loyd Hudson, Integrated Disability
Manager of AEP and Steve Lambert,
Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist
at Prudential, will discuss the success
that AEP and Prudential have had by
bringing integrated vocational services
Research shows that absence has
a negative impact on workplace
productivity, morale and the bottom
line. Parallel research shows that
older workers appear to fare better
than younger workers after a work
injury; their relative advantage may
be primarily due to longer workplace
attachment and the healthy worker
A successful return to work program
can play a critical role in managing
absence and keeping employees at
work. This session will address research
findings that highlight the critical role
and varying approaches return to work
coordinators and managers play in an
organization through collaboration,
communication, and accommodation
based on the employee population
being served.
Then, moving from research to reality,
hear from Wells Fargo and how
they have developed an integrated
Accommodation Management Team
that works across their business to keep
employees at work and return them
back to work safely after a prolonged
absence. They will share their challenges
and best practices that can be applied
to organizations of any size.
Maranda Childress
Manager, Human Resources and Delivery, Wells Fargo
Diane Vancini
Manager, Accommodations Management Team, Wells Fargo
Glenn Pransky, MD
Director, Center for Disability Research Institute,
Liberty Mutual
Greg VanDam
Senior Vice President, Claims and Technology,
Liberty Mutual
» 11:45am-12:00noon
Steve Lambert, CRC
Closing Remarks
and Grand Prize
Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist, Prudential
Sponsored by
Loyd Hudson, MS, SPHR, CPDM
Manager, Integrated Disability, American Electric Power
wednesday sessions
» 7:30-8:30am
» 9:30-9:45am
Comfort Break
DMEC Products & Services Showcase
The DMEC Annual Conference features more than 40 exhibitors
with a wide range of services, programs and products for
disability and absence managers. This is your opportunity to
see how the products and services work, bring back new ideas,
build new contacts, and make your specific needs known.
Representatives will be available to meet you during breakfasts,
luncheons, and scheduled breaks. Be sure to seek them out!
Passport to Prizes!
Three ways to win fabulous prizes! All full conference
attendees received a game card, or “Passport,” in their
conference bag at registration. Attendees visit each exhibitor
to get their Passport validated, provide a business card to
participating exhibitors, and then get entered into special
drawings for a chance to win great prizes!
2012 Products & Services
Showcase Exhibitors
Although exhibit space for the DMEC Conference is sold out,
several conference sponsorship opportunities are still available.
Contact [email protected] for more information.
Allsup Inc
MLS Group of Companies
Anthem Life
National Council for
Community Behavioral
Aon Hewitt
Behavioral Medical
Interventions (BMI)
Broadspire, a Crawford
Pacific Resources
BTE Technologies
Partnership for Workplace
Mental Health
CareWorks USA
Prize Drawing Schedule
ClaimVantage Inc
» Monday Luncheon with Exhibitors – All registered attendees
will be entered into drawings for fun prizes provided by DMEC
PsyBar LLC
Doherty, Cella, Keane LLP
Reed Group
Exam Coordinators
Network (ECN)
FastTrack RTW
GENEX Services Inc
Social Security Advocates
for the Disabled
» Tuesday Luncheon with Exhibitors – tons of prizes! Did you
provide a business card at participating exhibitor booths? If
so, you have a chance to take home one of more than twenty
exciting prizes. Last year’s prizes included a new Wii Nintendo
Game System, iPod Touch, Garmin Nüvi 250 GPS Navigation
System, $250 Gift Card, iPod Nano, & more!
» Wednesday General Session — Grand Prize Drawing!
Completed Passports will be entered into our Grand Prize
Drawing for $1000! Must be present to win.
Heartland Therapy
Provider Network
DMEC National Sponsors
Spring Consulting Group
Insurance Educational
Association (IEA)
SSDC Services Corp
Integrated Benefits Inc
The Guardian
Job Accommodation
Network (JAN)
The Hartford
Liberty Mutual Group
Thank You
Risk & Insurance
Lincoln Financial Group
MES Solutions
The Advocator Group
The Standard
Workcare Inc
Work Loss Data Institute
Products & Services Showcase Hall
Stop by the Relaxation Station and
treat yourself to a seated upper
body massage. Melt away classic
tension areas to help you remain
refreshed, alert and energized
throughout the day.
Sponsored by
Registered attendees
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The Premier 2012
Workforce Absence &
Disability Management
» FMLA/ADA Compliance
» Intermittent Leave
» Return to Work
» Job Accommodation
» Benefit Cost-Containment
» Workers’ Compensation
» Employee Health & Productivity
And more…
Who Should Attend
Professionals responsible for
Absence and Disability Management
Claims/Case Management
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Employee Assistance Programs
Risk and Litigation Management
Occupational Health and Safety
Health and Productivity Management
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