Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. Workers’ compensation laws are in place in every state to protect employees against loss of income and for medical payments because of work-related injuries, accidents, illness, or disease. This system is important to protect employees, but it’s an expensive and complex system that employers and labor groups have tangled over for years.
To help deal with disagreements, the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) was created in 1992 as a permanent council to address issues and recommend legislation pertaining to workers’ compensation. This group has made a big difference in resolving differences over the years and reaching agreements to update and reform the system.
In recent years, the council has worked on coming up with a set of recommendations to remedy some of the disagreements between employers and employees and to help reform the system in general to allow it to work better for all parties.
The recommendations representing a bipartisan agreement will begin to lower costs and provide for a more efficient workers’ compensation system. The bill changes the way hospitals are reimbursed for workers’ compensation billing and insists on prompt payment for hospital bills. If this bill is passed, it will go into effect on January 1, 2016. The legislation focuses on inpatient hospital care, which represent 25% of system health care costs, but triggers are included to begin reforming payments for other forms of medical services.
The bill received a hearing in the Senate State and Local Government Committee this week. (S.F. 2056)