Tuesday, September 25, 2012

PA Chamber of Commerce Attacks Injured Workers

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry (the Pennsylvania chapter of the United States Chamber of Commerce) often suggests changes to the Workers' Compensation Act that will harm injured workers rights' and help major cooperations big business.  Every year they come out with new proposals to limit the rights afforded under the Workers Competition Act to injured employees.  This year is no different.  I'm not going to give them a link....so google them if you want to find their site.

Some of the major suggestions to the Workers' Compensation Law that the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce is suggesting:  

1.  Alter the fee schedule.  The Chamber proposes to change the amount of money that workers' compensation insurance companies have to pay doctors for the treatment of injured workers.  Obviously, they are not proposing to pay more.  They want the insurance companies to pay the doctors less.  

2.  The Chamber has proposed to double the time that an injured worker has to treat with a panel physician.  Currently, it is 90 days.  The law says that if your injured at work you have to treat with a panel physician for the first 3 months after the work injury.  Now, the Chamber wants to increase that to 180 days.  

3.  The Chamber proposes to take away the Workers' Compensation Judges' ability to determine if medical treatment provided to an injury worker was "reasonable and necessary" thus requiring the insurance company to pay for the treatment.  Currently, judges are the individuals who ultimately decide whether or not a doctor will get paid for treatment that renders an injured worker.  If that treatment is related to the work injury and is reasonable and necessary, the workers' comp insurance has to pay.  Now, the Chamber is proposing to take away that right from a judge and to rely upon "independent" peer review doctors to make that decision.  

4.  The Chamber is proposing to limit the places where injured workers can get prescription drugs.  The Chamber has proposed the use of a prescription benefits manager to provide drugs to injured employees.  How it normally works is that you can go to any pharmacy you wish and send the bill to the workers' compensation insurance company for payment.  However, the insurance companies want to retain the right to dictate where you can get your medications.  

As you can probably tell, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is not on the side of working Pennsylvanians who are injured.  They are on the side of big business and the insurance industry.  I urge you to contact your State Representative and your State Senator and ask that they do not enact laws that harm the rights of the injured workers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  

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