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June 9, 2004

Comp Watch '04: New York must require objective medical guidelines in comp cases

To help rein in workers' comp costs that are among the nation's highest on a costs-per-case basis, New York State should require the use of objective medical guidelines to evaluate injuries and illnesses in workers' comp cases, according to the latest in a series of reports on workers' compensation reform from The Business Council.

New York's Workers' Compensation Board developed such guidelines in 1996 in hopes they would introduce "clarity and regularity" into the process of evaluating injuries, according to Objective Medical Guidelines: A Far Assessment for Everyone Involved, the third report in The Council's Comp Watch '04 series.

But there's no law requiring doctors to use these guidelines, the report noted. Forty-six states use some form of guidelines in evaluating an injury, the report noted.

"New York needs objective medical guidelines with the full force of the law to back them up", the report concluded.

The complete Comp Watch '04 series is available here.