Workers’ Comp Bill Gets Second Committee OK
Another legislative committee has approved a proposal to help control rising workers’ compensation medical costs in Connecticut.
This week, the Public Health Committee approved SB 61 by a strong 20-3 bipartisan vote. Previously, the Labor Committee also gave its bipartisan approval to the bill.
The bill now moves to the Senate where it can be called at any time for a vote by the entire chamber.
The bill allows the Workers’ Compensation Commission to establish a pre-determined fee schedule for hospital or ambulatory (outpatient) surgical centers services.
Use of the fee schedule can help ensure hospital service reimbursement rates that are fair both to employers and hospitals for the treatment of work-related injuries or illnesses.
SB 61 will enable hospitals to recover costs more quickly, workers’ compensation claimants to focus on their recovery, and the Workers’ Compensation Commission to avoid having to divert key resources to resolving fee disputes.
Use of a fee schedule also will help calm rising workers' compensation costs throughout Connecticut. As of Jan. 1, 2014, workers’ comp rates increased 5.7% in the state.
The idea of a pre-determined fee schedule is common—currently 41 states have such a fee schedule, which is based on a multiplier of Medicare for both hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers. Currently, as written SB 61’s multiplier is 200%; the federal multiplier is 150%.
CBIA supports SB 61 with some changes as it offers a reasonable and viable remedy for employers, employees, and hospitals.
For more information, email Faith Gavin Kuhn.
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