Update - Summer 2004
FASI E-Newsletter
Summer 2004
September 22, 2004
Inside This Issue:

35th Annual Convention & Trade Show Update

Membership Report

FASI Annual Golf Outing 2004 Update

Thank you to our 35th Annual Golf Sponsors

First Audit Report - New Law

Self-Insurance Committee Report

Contact Us:

FASI Website

E-Mail FASI Headquarters

35th Annual Convention & Trade Show Update
--by Bethan Hyde of York Insurance Services Group, Inc.

The FASI 35th Annual Convention and Trade Show was held Sunday, July 25, 2004 to Wednesday, July 28, 2004 at The Ritz Carlton, Naples, Florida.

FASI’s annual golf outing was Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club (see golf article for details). The Welcome Reception was in The Club Room with music featuring Rodger’s Professional DJ Services. Attendees and guests were greeted by the FASI Officers and the Board of Directors, while they enjoyed the opportunity to socialize in anticipation of an excellent educational program on the "Changes & Challenges" facing the industry.

Monday morning Beach Walk/3K Run raised more than $300 in Honor of Mike Reid and Fran Brown that will be donated to the American Heart Association in their memory. Many thanks to Black Diamond Transportation and Translation Services and York Insurance Services Group, Inc., for sponsoring the tee shirts and for being there to greet the walkers and runners. Thanks to those who signed up and participated and to those who bought a tee shirt.

The general session opened with "Presumption”. The panel was made up of a diverse group of professionals providing pertinent information surrounding this topic. Many thanks to the panel of Joel Storm, M.D., USF Physicians Group, Tampa; Lou Stern, Esq., of McConnaughhay, Duffy, Coonrod, Pope and Weaver, P.A., Tallahassee, Gail Shuffler, Risk Manager, City of Tallahassee and Moderator, Sondra Seay, Choice Medical Management, Tampa. Dr. Strom and Attorney Stern addressed the medical and legal ramifications of the existing Presumption legislation while Ms. Shuffler and Seay discussed the financial challenges faced by municipalities. There was a spirited question and answer exchange that focused on the proposed "First Responders" Legislation.

The next session of “Employment Law Issues” was presented by Peter Corbin, Esq., managing partner of the law firm of Ford & Harrison LLP, Jacksonville. This presentation brought us up-to-date on the legal challenges of this continuing problem in the work place.

Nancy Cavey, Esq., of St. Petersburg and Martin Leibowitz, Esq., of Jacksonville reviewed 36 recent Florida Workers’ Compensation Appellate Decisions in just over an hour. The lively discussion was moderated by John Darin, Esq., Wicker, Smith et al, of Orlando.

Dennis Ross (R), of the Florida House of Representatives, and Ross, Vecchio & Trussell, P.A., of Lakeland, Florida, presented in the session the "Legislative Update". Dennis did an outstanding job summarizing the recent Workers' Compensation Legislative and bringing us up-to-date on the “changes & challenges” of the laws that become effective as of October 1, 2004. Dennis also discussed some bills which did not pass both houses last year but can be expected to be discussed again in the upcoming legislative session, such as the First Responder Bill, which would grant generous causation presumptions to emergency personnel.

“TPA Best Practices” by Michael McClain, CPCU, Bourchard Insurance, of Clearwater, FL was a wonderful and concise “nuts and bolts” discussion of what every self-insured should be looking for in the selection of a third party administrator. If you couldn’t make the seminar, you may want to contact FASI or Mike for a copy of his power-point. It was great!

The Exhibitor's Showcase, Reception and Prize Drawings were held Monday in the Plaza Ballroom with music once again featuring Rodger’s Professional DJ Services. The festive atmosphere offered an excellent opportunity for camaraderie amongst the self-insureds, exhibitors, attendees and guests who filled the room. Names of registered attendees were placed in a bucket and the exhibiting company representative drew the names and presented the winner with that company 's door prize. Winners had to be present to win.

Tuesday's sessions began with “Vendor Selection”. Sondra Seay with Choice Medical Management, Tampa, explained there criteria procedures for selection of facilities for there managed care network. Mike McDonald with Danka Business Systems, St. Petersburg, explained what Danka looks for and expects in an RFP (Request for Proposal) in the selection process for Third Party Administrative Services. Susan Moore with Osceola County Human Resources presented her prerequisite for selecting vendors to provide surveillance, rehabilitation, transportation and DME to name a few. Jack Winter of Black Diamond Transportation & Translations, Ft. Lauderdale, as Moderator was able to encourage audience participation making the session lively and educational.

Next was a very informative session on "Corporate Fraud”. Gail Shuffler, Risk Manager, City of Tallahassee shared with the audience that “Corporate Fraud” does not only take place in the largest of corporations, but is prevalent and ongoing in many companies of all sizes. Stating that the City of Tallahassee has a “Corporate Fraud Policy” in place, she provided in-sight on what a company or entity will go through while investigating a possible department fraud. Scott Woodall, of Woodall & Broome Investigative Services, Acworth, GA., explained how and when a fraud is suspected as well as when it is necessary to bring in a third party to investigate suspicions.

We were pleased that Brian Gee, Executive Director of Florida Self Insurers Guaranty Association, Inc. (FSIGA), Tallahassee joined us again this year and agreed to be the speaker in a session titled “How to Re-Enter Self-Insured Status”. If you missed this session and are thinking about re-entering it, FSIGA is the agency to contact.

During our Annual Business Lunch, the 2003-2004 Board of Directors were recognized for their contributions this past year. The new slate for the 2004-2005 Board of Directors was read and approved. John Steele will begin his second year as President and retain ownership of the Presidential Gavel. Thank you to those who have served and to those who are about to.

FASI was privileged to have Doug Davidson, Bank of America Global Treasury Management as our guest speaker. He is an experienced speaker having given many informative presentations regarding “Fraud and Identity Theft”. It was an eye opener for many of us on how easy it is to steal an identity. The presentation prompted a lively discussion with many questions from the audience with extremely important consumer information shared by Mr. Davidson. This will be a continuing and growing problem as time goes on and we hope that Mr. Davidson will agree to return and update us as new safe guards are developed.

The evening ended with FASI's 35th TropiCasino Dinner Party, featuring music by Rodger’s Professional DJ Services, delicious cuisine and desserts. There were more than 15 door prizes provided by FASI which all guests had an opportunity to win (everyone received a drawing ticket at the door). Thank you to Black Diamond Transportation and Translation Services, Free State Adjusters and Woodall & Broome Investigative Services for donating prizes along with FASI for the bidding with casino winnings on more than 10 prizes auctioned off at the end of the evening. Lots of bidding wars ensued, with bids as high as $2 million dollars. Wow!

Thank you to all of our sponsors, exhibitors and attendees for making this convention a success. We look forward to seeing you again next year. Mark your calendars for July 24 – 27, 2005.

Membership Report
--by Mark C. Resler, CPCU, AIC of Anderson Columbia Co., Inc.
Membership Committee Chair

The FASI membership renewal process for the 2004 was quite a success. Our membership increased by 24 percent. We are also encouraged by the continued upward trend of members from self-insured public sector, as well as from the corporate self-insured. We hope this continues.

Our future focus will be on the 440 self-insured entities in Florida. In addition, we feel FASI has expansive opportunities throughout the Southeast.

I now want to take a moment to extend a warm welcome to the following new members for 2004:

  • Albors Alnet Language & Transportation Services, Winter Park, FL
  • Bayfront Health Systems, Inc., St. Petersburg, FL
  • Broadspire, Matthews, NC
  • Broward County Board of County Commissioners, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • CHOICE Medical Management Services, Tampa, FL
  • City of Deerfield Beach, Deerfield Beach, FL
  • Claim Control, Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Clay County Board of County Commissioners, Green Cove Springs, FL
  • CompManagement, Inc., Tampa, FL
  • CRC Alternative Risk Transfer, Birmingham, AL
  • Dean, Ringers, Morgan & Lawton, PA, Orlando, FL
  • WSIS, Inc., Roswell, GA
  • Florida Claims Bureau, Inc., Sarasota, FL
  • Forcon International Corp., Brandon, FL
  • Indian River County Board of County Commissioners, Vero Beach, FL
  • International Paper, Memphis, TN
  • Martin County Board of County Commissioners, Stuart, FL
  • Momentum Healthcare, Inc., Jacksonville, FL
  • NuQuest Resources, Longwood, Fl
  • Professional Insurance Underwriters, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Pyszka, Blackmon, Levy, Mowers & Kelley, Miami Lakes, FL
  • Recovery & Claims Services, Rochester, MN
  • Scott J. Brook, PA, Coral Springs, FL
  • Sea Star Line, LLC, Jacksonville, FL
  • Smith, Andrews & Brady, Tampa, FL
  • Sports & Orthopedics Rehab Services, Palm Harbor, FL
  • Stiles, Taylor & Grace, Tampa, FL
  • Target Corporation, Minneapolis, MN
  • Unisource Administrators, Sarasota, FL
  • W.W. Gay Mechanical Contractor, Jacksonville, FL
  • York Insurance Services Group, Inc., Longwood, FL
  • ZSKS, Orlando, FL
As noted in previous newsletters, please contact FASI directly at 1-800-226-FASI (3274) if you know of anyone interested in discussing FASI memberships, or pass this number on to the interested party, or refer them to the FASI website www.fasi-fl.org. Again, welcome to the new members of FASI, and many thanks to all our renewed members.

FASI Annual Golf Outing 2004
--by Bethan Hyde of York Insurance Services Group, Inc.

On July 25, 2004, The FASI Annual Golf Outing was played at a Greg Norman Course. Tiburon Golf Club, home of the Franklin Templeton Golf Shootout in Naples Florida. The format was a scramble with a requirement of using a minimum of two (2) drives per player, no matter how bad.

Tee times began at 8:30 a.m., and it was hot. Thank you to Albors Language /Alnet Transportation Services for sponsoring our much needed beverages. Awards and prizes were given out after a delicious lunch buffet, co-sponsored by Heritage Consultants, Inc. and Black Diamond Transportation and Translation Services, Inc., was awaiting the players in the Sydney Room at Tiburon at the end of play. Golf tee sponsorship signs were displayed at tee boxes, recognition and acknowledgment flyers placed on each golf cart; and a sponsorship sign was displayed daily throughout the conference. Each registered sponsor was given a ribbon recognizing their continued support and dedication to The Florida Association of Self Insurance.

Congratulations to our team winners. 1st Place winning honors and prizes awarded to Alan Kalinoski, Chris Kalinoski, Jeff Ballou and Nick Cooper. 2nd Place winning honors and prizes awarded to Trent Lyght, Mark Crowley, Michael Graham and Jerrold Young and 3rd Place honors and prizes awarded to Sean Tobin, Marc Wilder, Jim Moody and Bob Bodolay

Congratulations to Pam Staub for Women’s Closest to the Pin and Bob Widmer for Men’s Closest to the Pin. Proximity hole and prizes sponsored by York Insurance Services Group, Inc. Congratulations to Mary Beth Michael for Women’s Longest Drive and Bob Bodolay for Men’s Longest Drive. Proximity hole and prizes sponsored by Genex. Congratulations to Jeff Ballou for the Men’s Straightest Drive, Bob Widmer for the Men’s Longest Putt and Joann Gallo for Women’s Longest Putt. Congratulations to Mark Crowley for winning the Putting Contest, sponsored by Sports & Orthopedic Rehabilitation Services, Inc.

I would like to thank all of those who participated in the new 50/50 raffle established this year in Honor of Fran Brown. The inaugural year raised $200 and I hope it will continue to grow. 50% of the proceeds go to the winner and 50% donated to the American Heart Association in Memory of Fran Brown.

At the golf outing, with a $20.00 donation you receive an envelope that contained a ticket to participate in the Putting Contest, play “The Golf Poker Hand” around the course and win prizes and cash for 1st and 2nd Best Hands” and “The Worst Hand” and two Mikeigans (mulligan). Proceeds from the envelopes are used for cash prizes for the three winners of the golf poker hand and $200 will be donated to the Mike Reid Scholarship fund.

The Golf Poker Hand and electronic games were sponsored by York Claims Service, Inc. 1st Best Poker Hand, Electronic Game and $75.00 to Gary Dove, 2nd Best Poker Hand, Electronic Game and $50.00 to Jim Moody and the Worst Poker Hand, Electronic Game and $25.00 to Mike McDonald.

Thanks to Bonnie Windsor of Pro-Med who was able to capture the moment by providing foursome photographs for each golfer and thanks for having pictures available to be picked up at Welcome Reception and at Registration throughout the conference.

Throughout the eighteen holes of play, golfers hope their drive is in the fairway, their short game is good and they are on the green. Some may shot par, others bogey, even a birdie or make and eagle or some just come to have fun and help. Thank you to all of Commercial Risk Management who volunteered there “time” to assist with the golf poker hand and thanks to John Steele, Miller Electric and Sheryl McLain for helping at registration and for running the putting contest.

Our thanks too Diane Mummaw of Free State Staffing, Inc., for collecting and assembling goody bags for all the golfers and thank you to the companies who donated items. (Please see flyer insert)

Thank you to everyone who participated for his or her commitment and loyalty to FASI. Without your dedication and continued support this event would not be possible.

Thank you to our FASI 35th Annual Golf Tournament Sponsors
as of July 16, 2004

Albors, Alnet Language & Transportation Beverage Sponsor
Black Diamond Transportation & Translations BBQ Lunch Buffet
Commercial Risk Management Golf Tee Sign
CorVel Corporation Golf Tee Sign
Dean, Ringers, Morgan & Lawton, P.A. Golf Tee Sign
Edwin Watts Bags
FASI 1st Place Prizes; 2nd Place Prizes; 3rd Place Prizes;
Proximity Prizes and Door Prizes.
Florida 1st Service Administrators, Inc. Golf Tee Sign
Forcon International Corp. Golf Tee Sign
Free State Staffing, Inc. Snacks; Door Prize
GENEX Women’s & Men’s Longest Drive & Winning Prizes
Heritage Consultants, Inc. BBQ Lunch Buffet
Hurley Rogner Miller Cox Waranch & Westcott PA Golf Tee Sign
Investigation Specialists, Inc. Pens
Lauderdale Orthopaedic Surgeons 2 Golf Tee Signs
Pro Med Foursome Photographs, Bags & Pens
Robson Lapina Golf Tees Package
Sports & Orthopedic Rehabilitation Services, Inc. Putting Contest
TechHealth Golf Tee Sign
Woodall & Broome Investigative Services Golf Tee Sign & Door Prizes
York Insurance Services Group, Inc. Golf Poker Hand; Golf Tees and Proximity Prizes
York Special Investigations, Inc. Beverage Holder

First Audit Report - New Law
--by Gail Shuffler, City of Tallahassee

The audit notice letter specified that the state would review all claims, open and closed, which had any payment activity for the period 06/01/2001 through 03/31/2004. We had a TPA for part or that period and no specific notice of audit was sent to them. We learned one week prior to the auditors arriving on site that they were also going to audit their files as well. We have been self administered since 04/01/2001 and this resulted in the pre-audit pulling and review of over 1500 files and completing a spread sheet for the state prior to their arrival. The auditors examined less than 400 files and then notified us that they need to examine our TPA's files. Fortunately, our TPA is located in Tallahassee and part of the audit team went to their site. We do not yet have the final audit report but the exit interview indicated that we, the City's WC Claims section faired well. We were penalized for a few late medical payments, etc. Our TPA, however, had several late indemnity payments, many late medical payments, miscalculations, etc. We were advised that the carrier/employer will be fined, not the party responsible. We fully intend to pursue recovery of these fines from our former TPA. It should also be noted that the auditors stated that they have fined two different carriers, $300K each. Please also note that penalties and fines are now also calculated, for some items, as a percentage of one's annual assessment. All in all, I was pleased with the outcome but chilled by some of the informatio n the auditors shared regarding their purpose, mission, etc. In fact, as one of them stated, they were told in some of their staff meetings, "There is a new Sheriff in town"

We did a great deal of advance preparation and our files were noted to be quite neat, orderly and easy to audit. The auditors commented that they had great difficulty with some other carriers/employers whose files were not well organized or well documented.

Self-Insurance Committee Report
--by Bob Widmer and Kenneth M. Johns, III

If you missed the 35th Annual Convention and Trade Show, you missed an excellent presentation by Brian Gee, Executive Director of the Florida Self-Insurers Guaranty Association, Inc. Brian explained how to reapply for self-insurance, how to maintain your self-insurance privilege and gave an overview of the operations of the Guaranty Association. We are fortunate to have two FASI Board members, Claude Revels and Arden Young, serving on the Guaranty Association Board.

The process for re-entering self-insurance is the same as a new applicant. Former self-insurers are given credit for assessments paid under a former self-insurance privilege. Currently, once you have paid 59 quarters of assessments to the Guaranty Association, the assessment rate drops to zero.

As a result of 2002 legislation, the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Workers’ Compensation was given the authority to contract with the Florida Self-Insurers Guaranty Association, Inc. to perform the day-to-day administrative activities relative to self-insurance oversight. The Guaranty Association makes recommendations to the State with final approval or disapproval of the recommendations being made by the State of Florida.

If you are interested in reapplying for self-insurance or have questions on your ongoing self-insurance requirements, a visit to the Guaranty Association’s website is in order. The website is quite comprehensive and easy to navigate. The address is: www.fsiga.org

The Guaranty Association is working with the Division of Workers’ Compensation in drafting new rules for self-insurers. At this point, however, the rule changes as a result of the 2004 legislation are taking precedence. FASI will be actively involved in this process once it is initiated. Brian did indicate the Guaranty Association would support the increase in the maximum self-insured retention to $500,000 which is the lowest retention currently being offered to Florida self-insurers by the excess insurance market. This would potentially reduce the additional security deposits currently being required by the State. The maximum self-insured retention under the current rules is $350,000 or 1.0% of the employer’s net worth, whichever is greater. Many self-insurers have seen their security deposits increase by $300,000 or more due to this rule and the current excess insurance market.

One item that was discussed during our convention was the prospect of the Division of Workers’ Compensation claims audits. One of our Board members has received notice of an impending audit to be performed the first part of August, 2004. We have seen the “Hypothetical” penalty exhibits from the State which were being sent to all carriers and self-insurers. Our experience has been that these reports are not entirely accurate and our members should be vigilant in the future as these “Hypothetical” penalties become a reality.

If you have questions or comments about the FASI E-Newsletter, please contact: Bill Kautter at bkautter@kmgnet.com (800-226-3274) or Newsletter Chair John Darin at jdarin@wickersmith.com

Please note that letters and comments sent to the publisher are automatically considered for use in upcoming issues unless you expressly request that they not be used. You may request that you remain anonymous in the case that your letter or comments are used. We reserve the right to edit for brevity and/or clarity.

This eNewsletter is automatically sent to all FASI members as an added, free benefit of membership.

FASI, P.O. Box 150127, Altamonte Springs, FL 32715-0127, 800-226-3274.