POSITION STATEMENT 805-1
Re:
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION REFORM

WHEREAS, Workers’ Compensation benefits are funded through insurance coverage which employers must carry to cover medical expenses and lost wages in the event of a workplace injury or death; and

WHEREAS, Pennsylvania businesses are the backbone of our economy and communities and as such create jobs, invest and reinvest in our state, and enhance the overall vitality of the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, Workers’ Compensation costs for employers across the state continue to increase while the number of claims decrease; and

WHEREAS, reforms enacted in the mid 1990’s contributed significantly to improvements in the Workers’ Compensation system; legislative reforms proposed in the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 2005 can bring about much needed improvements in the Workers’ Compensation system since the mid 1990’s; and

WHEREAS, the resulting impact of these legislative reforms would include a reduction in Workers’ Compensation costs for employers, increased continuity of care for injured employees, reduction of fraud and fraud related cost inflation and increased fairness in the system that would repay overpayments to employers and insurers. Ultimately, these reforms will help injured workers return to good health and meaningful work, while strengthening the efficiency and effectiveness of the state Workers’ Compensation system.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT, The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry urges the PA General Assembly to advance comprehensive Workers’ Compensation reforms, as proposed in 2005 by House Bill 961 and House Bill 668, that include:

  • permitting impairment rating evaluations to be performed anytime after 104 weeks of total disability ;
  • the extension of the medical review period from 90 to 180 days accompanied by a temporary notice of compensation payable;
  • permitting employers and insurers to recoup overpaid Workers’ Compensation benefits,
  • providing greater legal standing to utilization of review reports; and
  • requiring claimants to report outside income within 14 days instead of the current 30 days.

FURTHER, The Lancaster Chamber urges the House Labor Relations Committee to hear these bills in 2005.

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