The Wisconsin Medical Society was one of a limited number of invited speakers at a rare July state legislative committee hearing Wednesday. Joining with other health care liaisons to the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Committee (WCAC), Society member Mary Jo Capodice, DO, testified at a joint informational hearing of the Assembly Labor and Senate Judiciary and Labor committees at the State Capitol.
Doctor Capodice and representatives of the other liaison groups — the Wisconsin Hospital Association, Wisconsin Chiropractic Association and Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association – informed the committees of the high-quality outcomes the state’s injured workers receive under the current worker’s compensation (WC) system. The liaison groups also highlighted the additional administrative burdens inherent in providing WC care while pledging willingness to find ways to make the WC program more efficient. Following the committee hearing, the groups submitted a joint statement to the media.
Any July hearing is rare for the state Legislature, but one about worker’s compensation is even more so. It may signal some Assembly Republicans’ desire to take a more active approach to shaping changes to the WC system.
Other invited testimony came from the Department of Workforce Development, representatives from both labor and management sides of the WCAC bargaining table, the Wisconsin Insurance Alliance and the Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau. All groups lauded the high quality care available in Wisconsin, but many groups mentioned a desire to “control costs” – especially escalating health care costs – in the WC program.
The WCAC will continue to bargain toward an eventual bill proposal this fall. It has tasked the health liaisons to the WCAC to propose possible cost-containment ideas that can be included in the bill. For more information, contact Mark Grapentine, JD, in the Society’s Government Relations Department.
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