Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Worker's Compensation - Trouble Brewing

Work comp is an area that lots of folks don’t think about much. Like a good hurricane evacuation plan, however, if you need it the system needs to be in place and functioning well.

A very important part of WC is getting doctors to treat injured workers, and paying the doctors. This cog in the machine is slipping right now. We’ll see what effect this will have on the overall system.

Late in the session in the 1995 legislature, Sen Goedde (R – Kootenai Cty) slipped in a bill changing the way doctors are paid by the WC system. He was trying to achieve cost controls and keep WC premiums low. The state agency charged with oversight of the comp system, the Idaho Industrial Commission, had to implement the new fee schedule by April 1, 2006. The IIC has done that, but some doctors don’t like it.

A number of the orthopedic surgeons have now stated that they will no longer accept WC patients, because of the new schedule. If this continues, it may lead to injured workers not getting the treatment they deserve.

I’ll post more later, but it will be a long post.

No comments: