Worker’s Compensation Legislative Update: Still No Fee Schedule
The Wisconsin State Legislature chose not to act on the agreed-upon bill negotiated by the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC). The agreed bill would have introduced medical cost containment to Wisconsin in the form of a fee schedule.
Because the legislature failed to act on this measure, however, Wisconsin employers will continue to pay unmitigated costs for medical treatment of work injuries.
Did you know that Wisconsin is just one of six states without a fee schedule for worker’s compensation medical services?
According to the Worker’s Compensation Research Institute,
- Wisconsin had the highest average per-claim medical payments from 2014-2015.
- Wisconsin employers pay more than double the typical price for common services like X-rays and basic evaluations.
According to the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), from 2009-2013 (the most recent years for which that organization has data),
- Wisconsin’s costs for no lost time claims rose by 30 percent compared to just 14 percent nationwide.
- Wisconsin’s costs for lost time claims rose by 22 percent for the same period, compared to just five percent nationwide.
If Wisconsin employers are paying so much more for Worker’s Compensation claims, why hasn’t a fee schedule been approved?
Medical providers are intent on protecting their rich revenue stream from worker’s compensation, which means the healthcare industry contributes a pretty significant amount of money to Wisconsin lawmakers. In fact, the healthcare industry contributed more than $4 million to Wisconsin lawmakers in 2017, according to data from followthemoney.org. That’s more than the combined contributions of the transportation industry, agriculture industry, and labor unions.
It’s imperative that Wisconsin employers stand together and insist the legislature act on their clear demand: Bring medical costs for work injuries in Wisconsin in line with the rest of the nation.
To learn more, read the full article available on our WEEWC website. You’ll gain even more insight about:
- How we can create and propose a fee schedule that more effectively rallies the support of employers and appeals to a wider audience
- Whether a solution beyond a fee schedule could be feasible
- Steps employers can take to control costs under the current law
- Worker’s compensation indemnity benefits and how they could be improved
Wisconsin employers face many issues as our state competes for business and labor. Wisconsin Employers for Equitable Worker’s Compensation provides a forum to understand the challenges and opportunities in our worker’s compensation system, and to stand together for positive change.
For more information on WEEWC, please contact John Tindall at firstname.lastname@example.org.