AIA Applauds Passage Of LA WC Medical Treatment Bill

Washington, DC (CompNewsNetwork) – The American Insurance Association (AIA) applauded the Louisiana Legislature for passing S.B. 303, workers' compensation medical treatment legislation, just prior to adjournment.  The intent of S.B. 303 is to ensure the timely delivery of quality medical treatment to injured workers while controlling rising employer costs.  The legislation aims to achieve these goals by requiring that medical treatments adhere to a new treatment schedule and that such treatments be in accordance with the principles of evidence-based medicine.

"Adoption of S.B. 303 presents an opportunity to help injured workers receive high quality medical treatment when it's most needed without bureaucratic delay," said John Marlow, assistant vice president for AIA's Southwest Region.  "This legislation is a good first step in reforming Louisiana's workers' compensation system," added Marlow.  "S.B. 303 represents a common-sense agreement between labor, employers and the medical community as to what's best for Louisiana's workers," said Marlow.    

The legislation requires the director of the Office of Workers' Compensation Administration to establish a medical treatment schedule, in accordance with EBM principles, which the Administration must formally adopt by September 30, 2010.  The director will also be responsible for appointing a medical advisory committee.  In addition, the director will be given the authority to contract with a medical director in order to oversee the development and mandated bi-annual review of the treatment schedule.   

"AIA will work with advisory committee members to ensure that the new medical treatment schedule adheres to sound evidence-based medicine principles," said Marlow.  "The committee can also take steps to reduce costs by applying Medicare fee schedules to reimbursements, requiring that Medicaid rates be used for pharmaceutical reimbursements, and compelling the utilization of employers' designated physicians and treatment networks," added Marlow.  "Louisiana's workers' compensation system now has a significant opportunity to advance access to quality treatment while reducing employer costs," concluded Marlow.

Gov. Bobby Jindal is expected to sign this legislation.

About American Insurance Association

The American Insurance Association represents approximately 350 major insurance companies that provide all lines of property and casualty insurance and write more than $123 billion annually in premiums. The association is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has representatives in every state.

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