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Finally, Some Relief on New York State Workers Comp Expenses
The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerces efforts to reform New York States workers comp laws have paid off. Some, not all, of what they were pushing for was approved in the 2017 2018 NYS budget. If everything they were pushing for was enacted, all employers would have seen a 15 percent to 20 percent decrease in Workers Comp charges, but the enacted reforms should show an 8 percent to 10 percent decrease. Below is a brief overview of the reforms.

Cost saving reforms include, capping classification of Maximum Medical Improvement at two and one half years by creation of a credit to employers for temporary payments beyond the threshold, the guaranteed development of new Impairment Guidelines, to be adopted by January 1, 2018, that will adhere to modern medical evidence and modern medical outcomes and the issuance of a pharmaceutical formulary by the Workers Comp Board by December 31, 2017.

The reform also includes provisions designed to enhance coverage for injured workers by, decreasing the threshold for the permanent partial disability cap safety net from an impairment of 80 percent to 75 percent, removing the requirement that an injured worker, who was entitled to benefits and attached at the time of classification, demonstrate attachment to the labor market, expedite some hearings to 45 day from date of request and changing threshold for proof for mental health claims for first responders.

Additionally, there are provisions to, create a panel to study independent medical examinations, Wind down Special Funds, create minor modifications to NYCIRBs public reporting and recertify NYCIRB as the rate setting organization until 2028, and establish performance standards for penalties and assessments on carriers and self insured employers.

So there are some benefits and some issues, but we are celebrating it as a NYS win. Both the ABC and the STBA supported the chambers efforts.
April 20, 2017

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