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Workers’ Comp in the News

The problem with news stories, is that even if they’re not accurate they can still shape public opinion.  Take the example of Caterpillar Leaving Illinois.  This has been refuted numerous times by Caterpillar themselves but the story persists.  It becomes part of the conversation and the gives credence to the argument that if pro-business reforms don’t happen now, our businesses are all leaving tomorrow.  Factor in some standard Illinois corruption stories and the tragic downstate story regarding the workers compensation claims of the officer who hit and killed those teens while driving over 100 mph and there is a lot of momentum growing for “change.”

As of right now, the Workers’ Compensation reform bills in the Senate do not have the votes to move.  Those were Republican initiatives and Democratic Leadership had already promised to put forward their own reform bills.  Rumor is that Gov. Quinn will be putting out his own language next week, but it’s yet to be seen if Speaker Madigan or President Cullerton will be on board with that bill.  Change is coming, but first and foremost the ICS is working to ensure that chiropractic physicians are not singled out in the process.  Secondly, we are working with our other health care allies to make sure that we are protecting both our doctors and the patients here in Illinois.  We are entirely opposed to the bills currently in the Senate, and are working to see that the Democrats bill give a more fair treatment to providers.  I’ve outlined some of the points of the Republican’s Senate Bill 1349 below:

CAUSATION – Primary factor. Idiopathic not compensable 

FIREFIGHTER/PARAMEDICS – Deletes rebuttable presumption

CHOICE OF MEDICAL –  Employer choice unless IWCC finds such choice threatens life, health or recovery

WAIVER OF PATIENT-PHYSICIAN PRIVILEGE

WAGE DIFFERENTIAL – Deletes “is able to earn”; cease at SS retirement age, no time limits for review by employer regarding material increase in earnings; and employer ability to get post injury earning records/authorization

PPD-AMA guides

FEE SCHEDULE – Limit charges in out-of-state treatment situations; 160% of Medicare Fee Schedule; Implants=net manufacturer’s invoice plus 25%

UR – Nationally recognized standards, treatment guidelines & evidence based medicine; rebuttable presumption that UR correct; if provider refuses to participate employer not liable for payment; Moves UR program registrations/administration to Department of Insurance (DOI).

 

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