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State of the States June 9, 2023


Lawmakers agreed to passage on a bill that would expand mental injury eligibility in workers’ compensation

injured-workers-pharmacy-blog-connecticutMembers of the House and Senate gave their approval to SB913 following several committee hurdles. The proposal permits any worker in the state who witnesses a traumatic event and develops a mental injury such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. While most mental injury presumptions are reserved for select occupations, including first responders, SB913 would be the first bill of its kind to expand PTSD claim eligibility to all workers. Conditions that would allow a worker to file a claim include viewing the death of a minor, witnessing the death of a person, or seeing a traumatic injury that results in the loss of a vital body part or function while on the job and in the course of attending to work-related duties. If approved by the Governor’s office, the legislation would go into effect on January 1st of 2024.  

  A proposal in the House seeks to provide a formal covid presumption for healthcare workers

injured-workers-pharmacy-blog-massachusettsA bill seeking to implement covid protections for healthcare workers in the Commonwealth will receive a hearing on June 20th. H1895 would provide healthcare workers in the state with a covid presumption enabling easier access to workers’ compensation benefits. Bill language includes presumptive coverage for workers in hospitals or medical facilities who are not in a medical capacity, such as cleaning staff. Paramedics would also be extended coverage under H1895.    

         Statehouse leaders finalized a bill that could improve transparency and fairness in the                                                        state’s workers’ compensation system

injured-workers-pharmacy-blog-nevadaLawmakers agreed on legislation (SB274) that would implement significant changes to the state’s workers’ compensation system. The bill aims to increase transparency and fairness in the system by allowing fines on insurers to become part of public records and permitting for out-of-state adjusters. Supporters of the legislation hope that by making fines a part of public records, insurers will be better held accountable. Bill language would also increase penalties against insurers who refuse to pay or unreasonably deny treatment from $50,000 to $125,000 and clarifies that the Division of Insurance holds the authority to revoke insurance licenses. While passed by the state legislature, the legislation could be subject to changes from the Governor office.  

                    A measure introduced this week aims to reduce the state’s statute of limitations                                                               concerning medical fee disputes

 injured-workers-pharmacy-blog-new-jerseyA legislative proposal introduced in the state assembly (S3905) seeks to reduce the statute of limitations from six years to two years for medical fee disputes in workers’ compensation. If passed, the bill would be effective immediately. As it stands, the legislation is yet to be assigned to a committee and does not have any cosponsors at this time.    

Personnel from the state’s Workers’ Compensation Administration (WCA) are accepting comments regarding IME providers

injured-workers-pharmacy-blog-new-mexicoThe state’s Worker’s Compensation Administration (WCA) announced it will accept comments regarding independent medical examination (IME) providers. Committee personnel in the WCA who select providers as IME’s hope the comments can help guide the committee on potential changes. Comments will be accepted until June 30th.    

A newly proposed measure presented before the Assembly could implement audits on IME providers

injured-workers-pharmacy-blog-new-yorkLegislation introduced this week could change independent medical exams in the state's workers’ compensation system. AB7730 would require IME providers to undergo audits to ensure compliance with state law. Providers unable to comply with audits would be disqualified from the pool of IME’s. Bill language also clarifies that IME’s will conduct medical exams " objectively and impartially.” Practitioners demonstrating bias could be disqualified as an IME provider under the proposal. The bill is currently under review with the Assembly Insurance Committee.    

State lawmakers are considering modifying worker’s compensation protocols related to major surgery

injured-workers-pharmacy-blog-rhode-islandA group of lawmakers would like to remove language requiring a carriers' permission before proceeding with major surgery in workers’ compensation. H6461 also seeks to impose a penalty on carriers of $100 a day for every day payment is delinquent for indemnity benefits. The bill is currently being referred to the House Committee on Labor. If approved by the legislature, the proposal would take immediate effect.  

  Officials from the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) released their final covid results report

injured-workers-pharmacy-blog-texasThe state’s Final Covid Results from the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) show that carriers recorded nearly 100,000 covid claims and 472 fatalities as of April 30. Most claims came from first responders. Overall, the DWC denied 39 percent of positive covid tests, with 27,000 positive covid test claims denied and only 258 disputes filed by injured workers in response. For those with an accepted covid claim, nearly a quarter required medical services beyond one-month injury. Most injured workers with an accepted covid claim were males between the ages of 30-50.  


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