RISK INSIGHT: Dual Legislative Proposals on WI Worker’s Compensation

Multiple legislative proposals may reshape the landscape of worker’s compensation in the State of Wisconsin.  This M3 Risk Insight highlights two competing pieces of drafted legislation aimed at worker’s compensation reform.

Worker’s Compensation Advisory Committee Proposed Changes

The Worker’s Compensation Advisory Committee (WCAC) is working with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development to place several agreed-to policies in to a proposed bill to be reviewed by WCAC in their November meeting. The draft bill, once approved by WCAC, is expected to reach the Legislature for consideration.

Highlights of the key policies to be in the draft bill include the following changes:

  • Reduce the statute of limitations from 12 to 6 years
  • Limit charges for physician dispensed pharmaceuticals to the average wholesale price established by the “red book”
  • Permit medical providers to fix charges for electronic medical records at $10, and cap medical reports at no more than $100
  • Deny temporary total disability when an employee is released to light duty work and later terminated for good cause
  • Limit recovery of indemnity benefits when an employee violates a company’s drug and/or alcohol policy

Review a full listing of the agreed-to provisions in the WCAC’s Summary, along with the WCAC’s October 21 Meeting Minutes.

Republicans’ Proposed Bill

Several state Republican lawmakers are currently circulating a draft bill which proposes additional changes aimed to curb abuse of the worker’s compensation system. Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield), Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville), and Rep. Dan Knodl (R-Germantown) have co-authored a proposal to, among others:

  • Reduce the statute of limitations from 12 to 2 years
  • Reduce compensation owed when an employee’s negligence contributed to the injury
  • Require employees to seek treatment within the employer’s healthcare network
  • Grant the state more authority to investigate fraud claim

The Republicans’ proposed bill is expected to reach the floor for public hearing as soon as the first week of November.

Takeaway:

M3 encourages you to review these proposals and consider contacting your legislative representatives to discuss any potential impact. We realize that both proposals could ultimately impact your insurance costs, and M3 will continue to monitor and communicate changes as they develop.

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