Committee Prepares to Vote on Positive Workers’ Comp Bill
The legislature’s Public Health Committee is about to vote on a bill to help keep workers’ compensation costs from skyrocketing in Connecticut.
SB 61 will allow the state’s Workers’ Compensation Commission to establish a pre-determined fee schedule for hospital or ambulatory (out-patient) surgical centers (ASC) services in workers’ comp medical cases. Some details are still being worked out, but the proposal is on target.
It’s a rare “win-win-win opportunity” for lawmakers—allowing hospitals to recover costs more quickly, workers’ compensation claimants to focus on their recovery and getting back to work, and preventing the state Workers’ Compensation Commission from having to divert key resources to resolve fee disputes.
Without the solution in SB 61, however, workers’ comp costs will in fact rise steeply—as has already been seen in several Connecticut hospitals in recent months.
Forty-one other states are using a fee schedule for workers’ comp medical cases, and in Connecticut, workers’ comp claims—so far—are the only medical services that do not have a set fee schedule (most likely because workers' comp medical services are only about 2% of the healthcare market).
It’s very important to control rising workers’ comp costs. As of Jan. 1, 2014, workers’ comp rates increased 5.7% percent in Connecticut, which is why CBIA, towns and municipalities, and the insurance industry have all testified in favor of SB 61 as a means of an equitable resolution to help prevent workers’ comp costs from their continual rise.
CBIA encourages the committee to adopt SB 61 as a good solution for a potentially costly problem.
For more information, email Faith Gavin Kuhn.
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