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Keeping Costs Down for Delaware Employers, Including Nonprofits that Employ 60,000 in Delaware

Posted By John Baker, Monday, June 24, 2013

House Bill 175, sponsored by Rep. Byron Short and Senator Patricia Blevins, both on the Governor’s Task Force on Workers Compensation Insurance, was passed through both houses of the Delaware General Assembly without a single dissent and is ready for the Governor to sign.

HB 175 was crafted from the work of the Task force that the Governor established in January, chaired by former Insurance Commissioner, Lt. Governor Matt Denn. The task force concluded its work in May and presented their proposed recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly.

Lt. Governor Matt Denn provided solid leadership for this task force and the members were diligent in their work, with committee meetings beginning February 8th and taking place every Friday until May 10th. DANA represented the nonprofit sector at each meeting.

The Task Force and resulting bill were in response to workers’ compensation insurance increases of 31 percent over the past two years. This after four years of decreases when Senate Bill 1 was passed in 2007 to fix the system.

HB 175 will make the following changes to the Delaware’s workers’ compensation system:

  • A two-year freeze on all inflation increases for medical providers, with limits on increases after the two-year freeze
  • Increase number of medical procedures in the current fee schedule
  • Inclusion of all radiology and pathology/laboratory reimbursements in the current fee schedule
  • Inclusion of ambulatory center reimbursements in the fee schedule
  • New pharmaceuticals price controls
  • Cap drug testing costs and frequency
  • Reduce the number of physical therapy sessions allowed, and a review of the treatment protocols
  • Cap anesthesia reimbursements
  • An independent "Advocate Attorney” will be hired by the Department of Insurance, in place of the typical second Actuary, to advocate on behalf of ratepayers in the rate setting process
  • The Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau (DCRB) will be required to provide data to the Workers Compensation Data Collection Committee regularly for analysis
  • Streamline the process for employers to inform treating doctors of available light duty for inured workers
  • The workplace safety credit will be available to employers that demonstrate that their insurance providers safety exam is at least as rigorous as that of the Department of Labor

The committee will continue to work on controlling costs and reforming the process to make it one of the best in the country. DANA will continue to work with the group and with the nonprofit sector to introduce programs for improved workplace safety, and to introduce new Workers Compensation Insurance options.

You can view the report by clicking HERE, and the bill by clicking HERE.

-John

Tags:  General Assembly  Governor  Insurance  Workers Compensation 

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