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For immediate release: December 18, 2015

BWC Board of Directors holds milestone meeting

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors today reached a milestone, conducting its 100th meeting since it was established in 2007. The 11-member board is an independent body comprised of members who represent the interests of Ohio workers, employers and the public at large, and lend their professional expertise to overseeing the agency’s operations.

"Each month, this board demonstrates an impressive commitment to fulfilling BWC's mission to protect Ohio's workers and employers through the prevention, care and management of workplace injuries and illnesses at fair rates," said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "They take a serious, hands-on approach to crafting policy that serves the best interests of our customers and welcome public discussion and feedback about how best to meet their needs."

The board was created to strengthen operational accountability and transparency, and guide overall administrative policy. As fiduciaries of Ohio’s workers' compensation system, the board maintains the solvency of the State Insurance Fund and provides independent verification of BWC's financial and operational performance.

Since its first meeting, the board has taken a number of steps to help ensure strong governance and a workers' compensation system that benefits all Ohio workers and businesses, including:

  • Formed a governance committee responsible for developing policies and advising on best practices.
  • Began hosting public forums to invite feedback from BWC customers and hear their suggestions for improvement.
  • Adopted a net asset policy to maintain prudent funded net assets to support the financial strength of the State Insurance Fund.
  • Approved BWC's first-ever formulary to allow for a thorough clinical review of each new medication and assure access to medications aid in the recovery of injured workers and support their return to work.
  • Approved $2 billion in rebates to private employers and local governments.
  • Expanded statewide efforts to protect Ohio's workers by tripling funding for safety grants.
  • Voted seven times to reduce private employer rates, and eight times to reduce local government employer rates. Premiums for private employers are down 21.4 percent overall since 2011 and local governments have been reduced an overall 26.5 percent over the same time period.
  • Approved the issuance of $1.2 billion in premium credits to Ohio employers as part of BWC's transition to prospective billing.
"This board has improved governance of the agency, elevating the level of professionalism in decision-making, and reestablishing public confidence," said David Caldwell, who represents employee organizations and has served on the board since its inception.

"I believe the system today is vastly improved and better prepared to provide the quality service Ohio employers and injured workers deserve," added Ken Haffey, the appointed Certified Public Accountant on the board and also an original member.

As part of the 100th meeting recognition, Caldwell and Haffey participated in a blog, which can be viewed at https://ohiobwcblog.wordpress.com

The board meets monthly, typically the last Friday of the month, and each member serves on at least one of the board committees: Actuarial, Audit, Governance, Investments and Medical Services & Safety. Learn more about the BWC Board of Directors at bwc.ohio.gov.

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