DRAMATIC IMPROVEMENTS IN MEDICAL CARE PROPOSED FOR INJURED WORKERS

The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) issued a Press Release on April 17, 2018 proposing a new medical fee schedule and streamlined reporting designed to attract additional health care providers.

In addition, the board is also reviewing the types of providers who are authorized to treat injured workers. This change will expand the provider listing to include Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, among others.

The WCB is proposing a statewide fee increase for medical providers, along with an additional increase for specialty groups where there is a shortage of authorized providers. Though there will be a financial impact on self-insured employers we consider this a positive development. The NYS Workers’ Compensation Fee Schedule has not been changed much since 1996. The increase in fees will allow injured employees the opportunity to access a larger pool of providers and receive qualified treatment in a timely manner. The WCB is proposing this be effective for dates of service on, or after, October 1st, 2018.

Historically, providers have struggled with completing mandated medical forms for the treatment of workers’ compensation patients. The WCB is proposing a transition to the universal CMA-1500 form, for all forms of treatment, effective January 1st, 2019. The implementation of this guideline will immediately save providers administrative time and expense. In addition, the WCB is developing a medical portal that will give providers access to the medical treatment guidelines to determine if treatment requires a variance.

KBM Management expects the WCB proposals to create greater opportunities for prompt, quality care for your injured employees. This should lead to quicker recovery, which in turn, will enable them to return to work sooner.

If you have any questions regarding the proposals, and what they might mean for your plan, please contact us at your convenience.

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