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(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

NH Governor Hassan Creates Workers’ Compensation Commission for Reform

In order to help reduce workers’ compensation costs that are a burden on New Hampshire businesses and ensure that injured workers have access to high-quality care, Governor Maggie Hassan today issued an Executive Order creating the Commission to Recommend Reforms to Reduce Workers’ Compensation Medical Costs.

“Employers and workers have done their part to increase workplace safety, but New Hampshire has become one of the most expensive states in the nation for workers’ compensation, a burden on businesses across the state,” Governor Hassan said. “By bringing together business leaders and experts from insurance, health care and labor, the Commission to Recommend Reforms to Reduce Workers’ Compensation Medical Costs provides an opportunity for stakeholders to identify ways to reduce workers’ compensation medical costs and ensure that injured workers have access to quality care. With these reforms, our businesses will be able to re-invest these dollars in growing their companies, creating new jobs and keeping our economy moving in the right direction.”

Tasked with making recommendations to reform New Hampshire’s workers’ compensation system, the commission will review the data behind New Hampshire’s high workers’ compensation costs; analyze efforts by other states to successfully reduce workers’ compensation costs; review how other states ensure continued access to quality care for injured workers; and develop comprehensive reforms that will reduce costs and premiums and improve New Hampshire’s workers’ compensation system while ensuring that injured workers have access to quality care.

According to the Oregon Workers Compensation Rate Ranking Study, New Hampshire rose from the 14th-most expensive state for workers’ compensation coverage in the country in 2008 to the ninth-most expensive in 2012. In addition, data from the National Council on Compensation Insurance shows that workers’ compensation surgical procedures in New Hampshire are 83 percent more expensive than those in the region and more than twice as expensive as they are nationally. For more information on New Hampshire’s workers’ compensation costs, visit www.nh.gov/insurance/media/pr/2014/documents/052214.pdf .

“New Hampshire is among the most expensive states for workers’ compensation, an unnecessary disadvantage for businesses that operate here,” said New Hampshire Insurance Department Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “I look forward to working with the commission to improve our workers’ compensation system by making recommendations to reduce costs and premiums while ensuring that workers have access to quality care.”

Commissioner Sevigny will be the chairman of the Commission to Recommend Reforms to Reduce Workers’ Compensation Medical Costs. He will be joined on the commission by New Hampshire Department of Labor Commissioner Jim Craig or a designee from the department, as well as a diverse group of experts representing workers, employers, insurance professionals and the health care sector.

The Commission’s final report is due to the Governor on December 1, 2014.

Other members of the commission are:
Brian Allen, Vice President of Government Affairs at HELIOS (formerly Progressive Medical/PMSI)
Donald F. Baldini, AVP and State Affairs Officer at Liberty Mutual Insurance
Pamela Bronson, Administrator at Access Sports Medicine & Orthopedics
Paul W. Chant of Cooper Cargill Chant
Tammy Denver, Director of Claims & Coverage Programs at NH Public Risk Management Exchange (Primex3)
Edward Dudley, Executive Vice President/CFO of Catholic Medical Center
Mark Erdody, Director of New England Claims for Cove Risk Services, LLC
Marc Lacroix, New Hampshire Physical Therapy Association and Director of Specialty Services at Concord Hospital
David Lang, President of Professional Firefighters of NH
Mark Mackenzie, President of NH AFL-CIO
Peter McNamara, President of NH Automobile Dealers Association
Dr. Gregory Soghikian of New Hampshire Orthopaedic Center
Ben Wilcox, President & General Manager of Cranmore Mountain Resort

Full text of the Governor’s Executive Order