June 01, 2011

Workers Compensation Reform Passes Both Houses in General Assembly

June 01, 2011

In the final hours of the legislative session, the General Assembly voted to implement substantive changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act under HB 1698.  The legislation now awaits Governor Quinn’s signature.  Below is a summary of how the legislation unfolded over the past five days.

Friday, May 27, 2011

After months of negotiations between all interest groups failed to produce results, the House passed SB 1933 which would abolish the Workers’ Compensation Act effective January 1, 2012.  This was viewed by all parties as a loud and clear message to reach a compromise.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Senate passed HB 1698 along bipartisan lines by a vote of 46-8-2.   The legislation included the following:  codification of the compensability standard, caps for carpal tunnel claims, caps for wage differential awards,  standards for determining PPD which included AMA guidelines as a factor, establishment of  preferred provider networks, a bar to recovery for intoxication, a reduction of  30% in the medical fee schedule, enhancement of utilization review provisions, a collective bargaining pilot program for binding arbitration, enhanced fraud provisions and changes in Commission personnel/arbitrators.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

After passage in the Senate, HB 1698 went to the House.  The bill was called in the House and failed to pass by five votes.  With only 2 days left in the legislative session, the political haggling continued.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

During the final hours of the legislative session, the bill was called again and passed the House on a vote of 62-43.  The legislation, HB 1698, now goes to Governor Quinn for signature.

If this legislation is signed into law by the governor, an update on the effective date of various provisions contained within the reform legislation will follow.