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More calls needed to oppose worker’s compensation bill

The bill that jeopardizes Wisconsin’s successful worker’s compensation program will be introduced officially at any moment. The Society does not support this proposal and is urging members to contact their legislators to ask them to amend it by removing two sections that attempt to create an artificial fee schedule for worker’s compensatino care—one directs the Department of Workforce Development to create five separate regional-based schedules by mid-2015, the other dramatically reduces a current mathematical cap on how much each service can be reimbursed.

Thank you to the Society Key Contacts and other members who have made calls to their State Assembly Representatives, State Senators and the Governor’s office. Additional calls are needed, especially in light of this press release, which was issued earlier today and calls on legislators to support the bill.

The coalition behind the release is comprised of employers who purport a savings of $1 billion over the next 10 years if the bill is passed as written. It fails to acknowledge, however, that Wisconsin’s workers compensation system is a success story: injured employees have ready access to high-quality health care, and insurance rates businesses pay for WC insurance have actually decreased each of the last three years. Making these changes could create a disincentive for providing care for injured workers and ruin what is a national model. Fee schedules are already problematic in Medicaid and Medicare – further government intrusion in health care pricing will only exacerbate these problems.

The Society will e-mail a Key Contact alert when the specific bill and section numbers are known. Meanwhile, you can still contact your State Assembly Representative, State Senator (their contact information is here) and the Governor’s office (either by phone at 608.266.1212 or via Internet) to voice your opposition to the fee schedule portions of the Worker’s Compensation bill, then plan to follow up with an in-person visit to the Capitol on Doctor Day, February 12. More detailed information, including talking points, background and legislative contacts is included in this Key Contact message.

Please contact Mark Grapentine, JD, in the Society’s Government Relations Department with any questions. And if you are not already a Society Key Contact and would like to become one, click here to sign up.

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