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Employer group pushes for worker’s comp fee schedule

A group of Wisconsin businesses and insurance companies is calling for a mandatory fee schedule for physicians and others providing care to worker’s compensation (WC) patients – a proposal the Society has opposed multiple times the last several years due to potentially devastating effects on patients’ access to timely and high quality care. Wisconsin physicians currently are subject to a statistical limitation on charges (within 1.2 standard deviations from the mean charged for a service), but not onerous price control.

The group, calling itself “Wisconsin Employers for Equitable Worker’s Compensation,” included the fee schedule item in a list of five proposals, which it presented Tuesday at a monthly meeting of the state’s Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC). With equal membership from the state’s labor and management representatives, the WCAC bargains to consensus on any changes to the state’s WC laws and/or rules changes for a legislative biennium.

To have an outside coalition present such a proposal is noteworthy in its rarity – at this point it is unknown who is organizing and financing the group. The Society is a non-voting health care liaison to the WCAC; other liaisons include representatives from the Wisconsin Hospital Association, Wisconsin Chiropractic Association and Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association.

The labor and management sides plan to trade policy change proposals for the 2013-2014 biennium at the next WCAC meeting, scheduled for March 12 in Madison. The usual goal is for the two sides to reach a consensus agreement in time for introduction of legislation in the late summer, although the process often has lagged into the second year of the biennium in past sessions. For more information, contact Mark Grapentine, JD, in the Society’s Government Relations Department.

Back to February 14, 2013 Medigram