The Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board has recently advised that employers and/or their insurance carriers stop using utilization review to determine whether medical treatment is appropriate.
Because the employer has the right to direct medical care, the Board feels that employers and their insurance carriers should select a physician they have confidence in and provide all recommended treatment by that physician. The Board has suggested that in cases where there is evidence that medical care was denied based on a utilization review, the Hearing Members intend to award bad faith penalties against the employer and/or carrier at the maximum amount allowed by the Act, which is currently $20,000.
To keep you posted-
To summarize, after overwhelming approval in the Senate and House, Governor Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 878 on Tuesday adopting ODG as the standard for evidence-based medical treatment in workers’ comp effective March 1, 2012. “This is a fine piece of legislation”, said Governor Fallin. “It will help us not only retain jobs, but attract new industries while protecting the injured worker.”
The previous guidelines were consensus-based and adapted by the state’s Physician Advisory Committee from the Colorado DWC Medical Treatment Guidelines. Under them, workers’ comp costs escalated, making Oklahoma the 4th most expensive state in 2010 according to Oregon’s widely-followed Workers’ Comp Premium Rate Ranking, and precipitating the need for ODG. Sandwiched between Texas and Kansas, both of which are experiencing the benefits of ODG adoption, Oklahoma is now poised for similar success.
We stand at ready to assist Oklahoma providers, carriers, employers and injured workers with education, training and implementation.
Thanks, as always, for your time and consideration.
Phil LeFevre, Senior Account Executive
Work Loss Data Institute, LLC
169 Saxony Road, Suite 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 753-9992 Tel
(760) 753-9995 Fax