We recently had the pleasure of talking to one of our members ─ Chairman Michael Brennan of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC). The Chairman oversees the work of the IWCC, which is to resolve claims made by injured workers for injuries arising out of and in the course of employment. The Commission strives to assure financial protection for injured workers and their dependents at a fair cost to employers.

1) How did you first learn of the WCRI?

My introduction to the WCRI occurred while I was in private law practice. A colleague referred me to a WCRI study (I cannot remember the name or subject) at about the time of a reform movement in our legislature. My recollection is that this happened in 2005. Much to his surprise, the WCRI offered information more consistent with my view than his.

2) What value do you derive from being a member of the WCRI?

My understanding of the methodology and mission of the WCRI has allowed me to appreciate the independent research and findings that populate the WCRI reports. Reports that are not agenda driven assist all to formulate opinions based upon correct information.

3) What is your favorite WCRI study/research area?

Most probably, CompScope™ Benchmarks, in that they provide insight into a given area. Most recently, there was a report regarding opioids that fostered a great deal of discussion internally at the IWCC. There have been other reports that have identified trends, which were the subject of discussion at the IWCC Advisory Committee Meeting.

4) Can you describe a moment when WCRI’s research was really helpful?

These reports provide one with the ability to be conversational regarding trends and actual findings regarding our state’s performance. Most recently, WCRI’s reports have verified that our 2011 Statutory Amendments have worked and brought many of our costs under control. This information verified that the cost of insurance, indemnity, and medical was within ranges that were more geographically appropriate.


Interested in becoming a member of WCRI? Click here to learn about the benefits of membership, and then use the form below to contact us with your interest or any questions you have.

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