On May 23, the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) took the first step toward the development of a worker’s compensation package to send to the Legislature. Proposals were exchanged by the labor
contingents of the WCAC. Labor also submitted a second proposal
focused on opioid treatment.
WHA co-authored a joint letter
from the coalition of Health Care Liaisons to the WCAC and was invited to discuss concerns with the WCAC at their May 30 meeting.
The most concerning proposal involves the worker’s compensation fee dispute resolution process. The proposal not only has the potential to put downward pressure on reimbursement for worker’s compensation services, but could also be a first step toward a government rate setting structure for worker’s compensation. The proposed change would move from the current practice of comparing charges for worker’s compensation services to a system that would compare worker’s compensation services to general negotiated rates. As stated in the coalition letter, this is an unnecessary change that would set up a false and unfavorable comparison for providers. WHA has successfully defeated previous attempts to move Wisconsin’s successful worker’s compensation program to a fee schedule structure. While the new proposal falls short of an outright fee schedule, it is an inadvisable threat to the solid worker’s compensation system in place today.
The WCAC reconvenes June 25 and has stated its intent to finalize a joint (labor and management) proposal by the end of the month. WHA will continue to monitor and report on developments.
For more information about the WCAC, contact WHA Vice President of Public Policy Lisa Ellinger