As we previously reported, in the immediate wake of the reports of repetitive trauma claims filed by employees of the Menard correctional facility and concerns of impropriety by several arbitrators, State Sen. McCarter (R-Lebanon) introduced a resolution calling for an investigation of the situation by either the U.S. Attorney or the FBI.
In the 2 weeks since that announcement, Sen. McCarter has drafted and now introduced a bill rewriting several portions of the IL WC Act. According to the official summary the changes are as follows:
- Defines “accident” and “injury;”
- Deletes language allowing rebuttable presumptions for an employee employed as a firefighter, emergency medical technician (EMT), or paramedic;
- Deletes language allowing an employee to secure his own physician, surgeon and hospital services at the employer’s expense;
- Provides that the employer shall choose all necessary medical, surgical and hospital services reasonably required to cure or relieve from the effects of the accidental injury at the employer’s expense, except upon a finding by the Commission that the employer’s choice of medical care threatens life, health, or recovery, then the employee may choose a second physician, surgeon, and hospital services at the employer’s expense;
- Provides for a waiver of employee privacy for the employer to obtain necessary decision making information;
- Provides for a wage differential award and that such award shall cease when the employee reaches the full retirement age as defined by the Social Security Administration;
- Provides for reimbursement of out-of-state procedures, treatments, services, products or supplies;
- Provides for a new medical fee schedule after January 1, 2012, in accordance with the Medicare payment systems (160%);
- Moves the utilization review program registration and administration to the Department of Insurance; and,
- Makes numerous changes regarding employee intoxication, partial or total disability, implants, employment verification documents, and other changes.
This bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Kirk Dillard (R – 24th Dist.), Bill Brady (R – 44th Dist.), and Wm. Sam McCann (R – 49th Dist.). Sen. Brady has authored his own bill for changes to the WC Act, SB2155.
Either of these could be voted on in the Senate next week because they both have been sent directly to the floor. According to the ISBA, both are Chamber of Commerce initiatives.
Look for further information and summaries on both of these efforts in the coming days.