On Aug. 23, the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council came to an agreement on proposals to recommend to the legislature. This biennial activity provides the legislature ideas for reform in the worker’s compensation system that have been agreed to by both management and labor.
Historically, the policy recommendations to come out of the Council are adopted by the legislature with few questions asked, but that won’t likely happen this year. While the proposal includes a variety of rate increases and other small items, the most significant component to the agreement is the inclusion of a medical fee schedule. The Council points to Wisconsin’s above average costs of many procedures in worker’s compensation as the need for a fee schedule.
This item was included in the Council’s compromise two sessions ago. That bill did not pass the legislature because of strong opposition from the medical community. Since the hospitals and physicians have not changed their position on the matter, another fight should be expected this session.