Partnerships: the key to achieving high quality care in workers’ comp

By Dr. Stephen Woods, BWC Chief Medical Officer

DrStephenWoodsOn arrival at BWC as Chief Medical Officer in 2012, it was like the proverbial “drinking water from a fire hose” with respect to the amount and complexity of information.  Medical school prepares you for that kind of processing, but it was still a challenge. Early on though, opportunities for improvement in health care delivery became apparent.  In working with the medical team, one of the ideas was to create more of a partnership with physicians to reach a common goal of high quality of care.

Different systems approach the challenges of achieving quality of care in different ways.  Lately, some of the more popular methods used by others have been to offer a stick, a carrot, or both.  At BWC, we’ve taken the partnership route. Although we’re raising the bar on expectation of physicians of record, we’re also providing them with the tools to meet those expectations.  For example, CMEs are a necessary requirement for licensure, but the process can be expensive and time consuming.  Our Medical & Health Symposium offered 13.5 CMEs in a cost effective (free) and convenient (central local in home state) venue.

The symposium ran in conjunction with BWC’s annual Ohio Safety Congress & Expo (OSC), which offered an ideal opportunity to collaborate with physicians. Medical education has been provided at OSC in various forms over the years.  We started to enhance offerings three years ago.  Last year, with the help of the OSC planning committee, we put together a full day of medical lectures focused on provider education.  This year, we’ve branded the offerings to begin the first in a series of Annual Medical and Health Symposiums. It turned out to be two-day event focusing on topics that align with BWC’s initiatives. Two tracks were offered to address improving care in the areas of pain management and neuromusculoskeletal management.

symp comboThe Medical & Health Symposium helped drive record breaking attendance at the Ohio Safety Congress and Expo. Although we’re awaiting the formal feedback from participants through electronic surveys, members of the planning committee were approached by participants who were very pleased with their experience as far as the subject matter, the quality of the content and speakers, and the overall organization of the program.

We were pleased to have a diverse group of dynamic speakers from across the state and country who each also happen to specialize in more than one discipline. Comments so far have been that their lectures were very engaging and high quality.

We’re already looking to next year’s symposium and hope to build on the success of this year’s event. Stay tuned for dates.

OSC16 – A look back in photos

By Michelle Gatchell, External Communications

Thanks to everyone for coming to OSC16, WE hope you found your road to safety!

Wednesday morning registration kicked off the three-day event.  090077

Administrator Steve Buehrer opened OSC16 to a packed house, with many watching in the overflow room.
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Our three general session speakers spoke to full houses as well, each bringing a message all could take back to work and put to use.

The first general session speaker, L. Casey Choosewood, M.D. talked about the importance of Total Worker Health. Watch video.019

Jason Barger took a look at how to handle our busy schedules.

Mark Kowaleski showed how NASA does safety from Earth to Space.
Watch video.

Lots of networking and purchasing in the exhibit Hall!OSC_16_D2047

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MCO’s, safety councils and PEOs were at OSC16 to help employers and employees.026 spooner aultcomp

Your Road to Safety might have taken you by the BWC Service Station where we offered full service for all things workers’ compensation, including prevention of accidents and care of injured workers.OSC_16_D2042






There were more than 30 tracks to choose from, and almost all of them offered some form of continuing education.
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Many took advantage of the hands-on experience at the OSC16 demo area.031 OSC_16_D2034 OSC_16_D2061

Our Safety Innovations booth spawned lots of good conversation about making workplaces safer.
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Safety Innovations Awards honored some of Ohio’s innovative thinkers.

First place and People’s Choice award went to the same company, Coopers Farm Feed &  Animal.OSC_16_D2026

Also, running concurrently to OSC16 was the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Medical & Health Symposium where pain and nueromusculoskeletal were the hot topics for the two-day symposium.symp combo

If you’re sharing your #OSC16 or #OMHS experience on a blog, newsletter or other platform, let us know by leaving a comment here so we can tweet about it! If you have event photos you’d like to share with other readers, just post a link to your shared file in the comments section below.

Many thanks to those of you who shared your experiences via Twitter! Here’s a storified look at tweets.

We look forward to seeing you all again next year! Thanks thanks for making this year such a success, and #BeSafeOhio.

OSC & OMHS bring the latest innovations to safety and medicine

Yesterday proved to be another great day at the Ohio Safety Congress & Expo a.k.a. #OSC16! The expo hall was in full swing until closing time at 12:30p.m. and classes continued throughout the day.
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Safety Innovations award winners were announced during the morning general session.
Innov group

First Place – Cooper Farms Feed & Animal $6,000
Second Place – Ashland, Inc. $4,000
Third Place – Midmark Corporation $3,000
Fourth Place – City of Cuyahoga Falls $1,500
Fifth Place – AWP, Inc. $1,500
People’s Choice – Cooper Farms Feed & Animal $1,000

You can see video of each award winner’s innovation on YouTube.  Congratulations to all!

In addition to #OSC16, we kicked off the very first Ohio Medical & Health Symposium. BWC’s Chief Medical Officer opened up the event along with Bonnie Burman, Director of the Ohio Department of Aging. Dr. Gary Franklin of the Washington State Department of Labor Industries presented on the opioid crisis, focusing on trends and best practices.

Pain management and neuromusculoskeletal sessions took place throughout the day, including the prescribing panel below.
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A quick peek at a few tweetstweets combo 2tweets combo

Here’s what today’s schedule looks like for both events.

Safety Congress
7 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Registration
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Half- and full-day workshops

 Medical & Health Symposiumfriday at a glance med

Follow along on Twitter @OhioBWC and #OSC16.


Exciting day at the 2016 Ohio Safety Congress & Expo!

Signs on the road to safety suggest that OSC16 registration numbers are higher than ever before, far exceeding expectations.

It’s great to see so many of Ohio’s workers, employers, providers and stakeholders taking advantage of the programming, networking opportunities and the products and services offered by this year’s vendors. (Not to mention the generous prizes many vendors have donated for the “Road Map to Safety” experience).

Here are a few of yesterday’s highlights followed by today’s at-a-glance schedule.

BWC Administrator Buehrer and NIOSH Total Worker Health Director, L. Casey Chosewood, MD presenting to a full house.

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Tweets from the expo hall
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A peek into a couple of sessions
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People’s Choice voting in the Safety Innovations booth (931)innovations ballots

Today’s schedule

Thursday, March 10

7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration

7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Expo Marketplace and Safety Innovations Competition

8 to 9:15 a.m. Educational sessions

9:30 to 10:30 a.m. General session and Safety Innovations Awards
(live streamed via YouTube)

10:30 to 11 a.m. Dedicated Expo Marketplace time

11 a.m. to noon Educational sessions

Noon to 1:15 p.m. Lunch (on your own)

1:15 to 2:15 p.m. Educational sessions

2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Educational sessions

3:45 to 4:45 p.m. Educational sessions

Follow along on Twitter @OhioBWC and #OSC16.

Welcome to the 2016 Ohio Safety Congress and Expo…Your road to safety!

For those of you attending LIVE in Columbus, Ohio we are pleased to see you and glad you have taken time out of your busy schedules to be here.

Whether you’re attending health and medical sessions or injury prevention and cost savings sessions or hanging out in the expo hall with 200+ exhibitors, our hope is that you’ll take what you’ve learned back to your office or workplace and share with others.

For those of you unable to attend or checking in from afar, we will do our best to share some of the highlights here along with live tweets via @OhioBWC. We hope you’ll follow along wherever you happen to be. Feel free to jump into the conversation, ask questions or provide feedback.

By expanding the reach of safety and health messages, products and services, we all play a part in:

  • Achieving better outcomes for injured workers;
  • Reducing workers’ compensation claims costs; and
  • Keeping the workforce healthy and productive.

Now, here’s a quick rundown of today’s highlights. All of this and MORE info can be found in the event guide you picked up at the registration desk. Our staff is also available to help you throughout the event, all you have to do is ask!


Wednesday, March 9
7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Registration

7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Expo Marketplace & Safety Innovations Competition

8 to 9:15 a.m. Educational sessions

9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Opening general session

10:45 a.m. to noon Educational sessions

Noon to 1:15 p.m. Lunch (on your own)

1:15 to 2:15 p.m. General session

2:15 to 2:45 p.m. Dedicated Expo Marketplace time

2:45 to 3:45 p.m. Educational sessions

4 to 5 p.m. Educational sessions

Oh the Places You’ll Go!

By Michelle Gatchell, External Communications

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your safety shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go. So take the Road to Safety at the Ohio Safety Congress & Expo, March 9-11 at the Columbus Convention Center.

small street signYou will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and hand! Do you dare to go left? Do you dare to go right? Let the Expo Marketplace help you stay safe on your journey. Here you’ll find solutions. Here you’ll find services. All focused on making your workplace a safe place.

So…come see the exhibitors Allied Environmental Services Inc., CLMI Safety Training, CompManagement, CompManagement Health Systems Inc., Crescent Electric Supply Co., Genex Services,  Handling Concepts Inc., HD Supply White Cap, Kirk Key Interlock Co LLC, Magid, Sequent and MSDSonline just to name a few. Visit more with Your Road Map to Safety. Many isles you will explore. Filled with booths galore.

places youll goYou’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! The Expo Marketplace is waiting. So…get on your way!

Check out our new products showcase. With safety solutions from Accuform Signs, Airfeet Insoles, Blackline Safety, EasyIH. Ergo Advantage, Glave Guard LP, Lizard Apparel & Promotions LLC and Master Lock Co.

You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! The Expo Marketplace is waiting. So…get on your way!

There are demonstrations on confined space, line rescue and more. Some earplugs, gloves, ice cleats and no-slip mats for the floor.

Out there things can happen, and frequently do, To people just like me and just like you. Take the Road to Safety through the Expo, to help make accidents go.

Be safe Ohio! Hope to see you at OSC16. And hope you liked my ode to Dr. Seuss. Check out the full listing of vendors on our website. You can still register online or just come and do it onsite. PS – Don’t forget to bring your employer policy number to register. 

Expo Marketplace hours
7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, March 9
7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thursday, March 10

Cincinnati man who claimed to be permanently and totally disabled worked two jobs

Bruce WilcoxBruce Wilcox of Cincinnati (Hamilton County) was sentenced Feb. 25 in a Franklin County courtroom after pleading guilty to working two jobs while he claimed a workplace injury left him permanently disabled.

BWC’s Special Investigations Department (SID) identified a potential conflict after the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services reported Wilcox was earning wages while he was collecting permanent total disability. The investigation revealed that Wilcox was working as a consultant for Bavarian Trucking Company and as a Kentucky sales representative for AZO Services Inc. Wilcox worked for a period of five years while collecting the benefits from BWC.

Wilcox pleaded guilty in Franklin County Common Pleas Court to a fifth-degree felony charge of workers’ compensation fraud. Judge Brown sentenced him to community control for five years of basic supervision and set the conditions that Wilcox obtain/maintain employment and have no new convictions.  Wilcox was also ordered to pay $97,203.62 in restitution to BWC. He will serve seven months at Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction if violates the terms of his community control.

Wilcox made an initial $25,000 payment towards restitution to the Franklin Clerk of Court’s office after his sentencing.