Previously a sole advocate for workers’ compensation cost control, Florida’s Chamber of Commerce now sees its work coming full circle as a state-appointed panel issued a triad of documents recommending systemic change today in Tallahassee.
Legislation introduced in 2014 by State Sen. Alan Hays and State Rep. Charlie Stone to study the state’s fee schedule resulted in a Workers’ Compensation Three Member Panel’s agreement this morning to accept revised reimbursement guidebooks for health care providers, outpatient surgical centers and hospitals.
Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, who serves as chair of the Three Member Panel, made a motion instructing the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) to study ways of transforming a skewed charge-based system to one that can contain costs while continuing constituents’ ability to obtain a high standard of care.
The impetus for the rule stemmed from the desire to view the fee schedule system in comparison with “usual and customary” charges. Many U.S. states employ a fee system such as Medicare.
The manuals will now make their way through a regulatory process, with the end goal being ratification by the Florida Legislature. If adopted, the set of three rules will result in a total cost increase of 2.8 percent effective as of July 1, 2017.