Last Wednesday, the research arm of the Business Council of New York State released a study of the 2007 reforms to the state’s workers’ compensation system. The report finds that the reforms have not been fully implemented.
The Business Council recommends a number of changes to the system, and plans to make them a high priority in the 2013 legislative session. Recommendations include:
• Modernizing the rating system through which schedule loss-of-use awards are determined by updating applicable medical treatment guidelines.
• Eliminating or modifying the indexing of maximum weekly benefits to control growing program costs, allow for future necessary program reforms and reduce any unintended disincentive for claimants to return to work.
• Limiting the duration of temporary disability benefits by assuming, with a rebuttable presumption, that maximum medical improvement is reached two years from the date of an accident to help incentivize quicker classification.
• Mandating the use of employer provider panels of health care professionals for the first 90 days of treatment.
• Eliminating the Aggregate Trust Fund deposit mandate for commercial carriers.