A Labor Committee proposal is offering a good solution to a potentially very costly situation for Connecticut’s economy.

CBIA is supporting SB 61 because it provides businesses, or their insurers, the necessary tools to establish hospital service reimbursement rates that are fair to both employers and hospitals for the treatment of work-related injuries or illnesses.

SB 61 repairs damage done by a state Workers’ Compensation Commission ruling last year that opened the door to out of control medical costs to employers in workers’ comp cases. The ruling said that employers are responsible for paying all hospital costs in workers’ compensation claims.

Yet as Time magazine exposed last year, hospitals routinely charge much more-- often 10 times more--than the actual cost of workers’ compensation medical services, and much more than costs covered by an employee’s health care plan.

Workers' compensation is a core issue for Connecticut employers. Employees are the businesses’ greatest resources, and employers need—and want—to keep them healthy.

But workers’ comp medical claims costs are escalating in Connecticut and legislation must be adopted this year to prevent the system from going into a tailspin as a result of significantly higher hospital charges and hearing backlogs. For the past two decades, most workers' compensation matters have been dealt with on a bipartisan basis that’s resulted in Connecticut’s system being viewed as a model for other states.  

SB 61 will allow the state’s Workers’ Compensation Commission to establish an equitable hospital service fee schedule that will allow hospitals, employers, and employees to be best served by a fiscally reasonable approach.

It’s a win-win-win solution: Hospitals will be able to recover costs more quickly, workers’ compensation claimants will be able to focus on their recovery, and the Workers’ Compensation Commission won’t have to divert key resources to resolving fee disputes.

CBIA urges the Labor Committee to approve SB 61 as a reasonable and healthy solution to a potentially very harmful situation for employees, employers, hospitals, and Connecticut’s workers’ compensation system.

For more information, contact Faith Gavin Kuhn at faith.gavinkuhn@cbia.com or Bonnie Stewart at bonnie.stewart@cbia.com.