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Monday, September 16, 2013

Legislators consider workers’ comp changes

Wisconsin Republicans look toward limiting workers' compensation benefits.Today's post was shared by WCBlog and comes from

Wisconsin surgeons performing the same arthroscopic knee surgery on two groups of patients in recent years collected on average $1,573 from one group and $3,728 from the other.

The difference? The lower amount came from those with a group health insurance policy, while the higher amount came from those injured on the job and covered under the state’s workers’ compensation system.

The price discrepancy, reported in a recent study of medical payments in Wisconsin, is fueling discussion about the cost to businesses of workers’ comp insurance. In an unusual move, several Republican lawmakers are considering changes to the system.

Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation system is considered one of the best in the country. Injured workers can access quality health care and return to work quickly, keeping costs low.

The average duration of workers’ comp benefits is 60 days, the shortest of all the states and half the national average, according to recently published data from the National Council on Compensation Insurance.

Typically the state’s Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council, with representation from management and labor, sets workers’ comp policy by bargaining changes and recommending bills to the Legislature. Lawmakers often adopt the proposals without changes in order to insulate the system from political swings in leadership
But Republican legislators led by Rep. Dan Knodl, R-Germantown, are reviewing of the issue as part of...
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