Labor and Management representatives to the state’s Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) began this biennium’s “agreed-to bill” process in earnest Wednesday as they exchanged proposals on potential statutory and administrative code changes to the state’s worker’s compensation system. The biennial process requires consensus agreement between the two sides before a bill is drafted to make the agreed-to changes. The Wisconsin Medical Society is one of four non-voting health care liaisons to the WCAC (the others are the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association and the Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association).
This session’s exchange of proposals was not as dramatic for the health care world as two years ago, when a major push began to establish an artificial fee schedule for worker’s compensation health care services. There is no such overt effort this year, although the penultimate item on Management’s list of items includes a reference to creating a system of councils and panels aimed at “medical cost containment.” Management plans to provide more details about those efforts as negotiations continue through the summer.
Labor’s list of proposals concentrates on the more traditional area of benefits related to disability, although one item on their list would limit physician-dispensed drug reimbursement to the worker’s compensation system’s pharmacy fee schedule.
The WCAC meets on June 9; a final agreement between Labor and Management is not expected until late summer.
Contact Mark Grapentine, JD, in the Society’s Government and Legal Affairs Department for more information.
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