The Business Council opposes this legislation. We question the need for this proposal, which would compel the Workers’ Compensation Board to biennially prepare and establish new health care service fee schedules at this time, given the weak economy. We believe that the bill would be detrimental and have unintended consequence.
The justification for the bill states that The Workers' Compensation Board has not adjusted rates of payment for health care providers for over 10 years. On the contrary, there was a rate increase on Dec 1, 2010 which increased the fees for Evaluation and Management (E&M) services by 30% in the Medical Fee Schedule and changed the Chiropractic fee schedule to allow for separate billing of treatment modalities rather treating such treatment as part of E&M services.
It is highly probable that each biennial fee schedule would have an overall effect of increasing fees and would cause significant increases in workers’ compensation premiums paid by New York’s employers, in addition to increases already being borne by employers to pay for increased benefit levels agreed to as part of the 2007 reforms.
In addition to the impact this bill would have on private sector employers, we are equally concerned about the unintended affect the bill would have on no-fault insurance and auto insurance premiums. 11 NYCRR 68 adopts the fee schedules prepared and established by the Workers' Compensation Board as the fee schedule for no-fault insurance under Section 5108 of the Insurance Law. Accordingly, this bill would likely impose a biennial increase in both Workers’ Compensation and auto insurance premiums for New York employers and individuals alike.
For these reasons, The Business Council respectfully opposes this bill.