Workers Comp Reforms Vetoed

In what the Illinois State Medical Society termed “a huge setback for the medical community, employers and injured workers,” Gov. Rauner last week used an amendatory veto of Senate Bill 904, permitting workers' compensation insurance companies to continue skirting existing law on payment of claims.  

As passed by the Illinois General Assembly, Senate Bill 904 made three changes to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act:

● Allowing physicians to collect 1% interest on late medical claims by filing a claim for this interest in circuit court. Currently physicians cannot collect the 1% interest because there is no enforcement in current law.

● Requiring workers' compensation insurance companies to send an Explanation of Benefits to medical offices explaining why they have denied the authorization of medical care, or what additional information insurers need to make a decision on that care. 

● Preventing workers' compensation insurers from ignoring the law that requires them to use electronic billing for workers' compensation claims. 

"The important care provided by doctors, hospitals, and other providers is threatened because of a loophole being exploited by workers’ compensation insurance companies that allows them to authorize treatment and then not pay a medical provider," ISMS president-elect Paul E. Pedersen, MD, said in a statement.

Currently doctors in Illinois are owed millions of dollars for approved workers' compensation medical care.

Noting that the legislation enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support in the General Assembly, ISMS will seek an override of the Governor’s amendatory veto.