ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
In 2013, the Workers' Compensation Board initiated a business process re-engineering (BPR) effort to reassess the workers' compensation system in New York State. This initiative has been spearheaded by the Workers' Compensation Board to determine if the workers' compensation system effectively serves the needs of injured workers and employers. As part of this BPR effort, the Board is proposing to adopt a resource-based relative value scale (RBRVS) based fee schedule used by Medicare.
According to the Board, the current fee schedule has not been updated since 1996. The proposed fee schedule would match fees to Medicare which would in effect reduce payments to certain specialty medical service providers such as Orthopeadic Surgeons and Radiologists as well as other diagnostic testing facilities. There are concerns that reducing reimbursement rates for these services would cause providers to withdraw from the workers' compensation system, causing a reduction in the quality of accessible providers and services. It is well understood that access to swift, appropriate quality care after a work related injury enables workers to return to work faster allowing them to continue to be productive members of the workforce. This decreases the burden on the Workers' Compensation system, employers, and the taxpayers. Similarly, due to the fact that the no-fault system utilizes the fee schedule promulgated by the Workers' Compensation Board, there are analogous concerns regarding reimbursement rates for no-fault claimaints. The Committee is interested in hearing testimony on how the proposed fee schedule would impact both the access and quality of services for the workers' compensation system and the no-fault system.
Any persons wishing to testify or wishing to present pertinent written testimony to the Committees at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form by Wednesday, December 17, 2014.
Oral testimony will be limited to ten minutes' duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committees will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible.
Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committees would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements by Wednesday, December 17, 2014.
In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.