Several changes were made to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Law in the 2017-18 New York State budget.
Here’s a summary of the updates that have been determined to date. Additional changes will be determined in December, 2017 and January, 2018.
- Establishes duration caps for permanent partial disability 2.5 years after the date of injury. Employers would be credited for temporary disability payments beyond the threshold.
- Claimants receiving permanent partial disability payments no longer need to demonstrate ongoing attachment to the labor market to receive benefits.
- Claimants may request to be reclassified as totally disabled for extreme hardship if their loss of wage earning capacity is greater than 75%, a reduction from the current threshold of 80%.
- Development of new Impairment Guidelines by January 1, 2018. The current guidelines were created in December 2012 to bring greater clarity to the implementation of the duration caps on permanent partial disability benefits that were an important component of the 2007 Workers’ Compensation reform.
- A Prescription Drug Formulary will be established by December 31, 2017 that will include a tiered list of high quality, cost-effective medications that are pre-approved, as well as non-preferred drugs that can be prescribed with prior approval. The drug formulary will also include a pharmacy benefit strategy, a drug rebate program, drug utilization review, and limits on compounded medication and compounded topical preparations.
- Claimants are entitled to expedited hearings (within 45 days) in cases where the employer is not paying benefits but has not refuted the claim.
- The use of Independent Medical Examinations will be evaluated to ensure high quality, fairness and to combat fraud.
NYCIRB’s authorization is extended until 2028 and the criteria for when a public hearing on loss cost filings is held is changed to instances where the increase is 5 % or more (a reduction from the current 7 %.
- Allows for regulations setting performance standards for penalties and assessments on carriers and self-insure employers.
- Provisions are made to wind down Special Funds.
At Haylor, Freyer & Coon, Inc. we have a staff of Risk Management Advocates, including Workers' Compensation Claims Consulting and Safety Engineering services. Our on-site specialists can assist you navigate these changes and also create a long term strategic plan for mimimizing risk through a proactive safety and loss control program.
- Conduct complete workers compensation audit and reviews
- Determine proper reserve levels.
- Assist with modification to properly determined case reserve
- Review and confirm proper mod rate
- Provide code rule 59 guidance and remedies
- Provide Loss Control and Safety Consultation
Contact us today to learn about these and other Risk Management Solutions for your business.