Day One is concluding with a discussion of legislative and regulatory trends, a panel of legislators and then your devoted author discussing “Thieves, Profiteers, and Enablers”; the bad actors infesting workers comp.
Peter Burton led off with his discussion of what’s happening nationally on workers comp reform/evolution/changes. He led with medical cost containment initiatives; Peter sees this as the dominant theme in the regulatory world. The Sandy Hook shootings are leading to legislative initiatives around expanding compensability of medical injuries (SB 823); there’s some concern that Connecticut’s workers’ comp costs, already ranked second highest in the nation in the Oregon premium rate ranking study, will increase if SB 823 becomes law.
Maryland’s privatization of IWIF (to be called Chesapeake Employers) which will likely happen in a few years did not make much progress this year; an effort to control pricing for physician dispensing of repackaged drugs was not successful. Alas.
Much discussion of Florida; the resolution of the four-year-long repackaged drug problem; rate increases (6.9% this year, third straight year of increases), and the final resolution of a key court battle will have an impact on work comp in the Sunshine State.
Tennessee is looking or comprehensive reform, moving to an administrative from a court-based system (SB 200) which will be effective 7/1/2014; there will be benefit adjustments as well.
Some parties in Illinois are looking to potentially create a competitive state fund, while employes want to strengthen the industry causation standard. No word on when – or more likely if – these or other possible changes will come co fruition.
Oklahoma’s the biggest mover, with opt-out passed and the state fund moving to a mutual model as the most visible changes; however other moves will result in a 14 percent reduction in work comp costs.