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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: November 5, 2015 02:56 PM
From: Representative Ryan E. Mackenzie
To: All House members
Subject: Workers’ Compensation Treatment Guidelines
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation which will fundamentally transform and improve the delivery of medical treatment to Pennsylvania’s injured workers.

Specifically, my proposal will amend Articles III and IV of the PA Workers’ Compensation Act (Act 338 of 1915) to require that all “reasonable and necessary treatments, services, products, or accommodations” be consistent with nationally-recognized, evidence-based medical treatment guidelines selected by the state Department of Labor & Industry.

Workers’ Compensation “treatment guidelines” have been implemented in other states – New York, Texas, Colorado and Massachusetts, to name just a few – and have successfully controlled costs, mitigated the frequency of surgery, and have reduced the volume of addictive pharmaceuticals needlessly administered to workers.

Studies have also demonstrated that medical practitioners who utilize evidence-based treatment guidelines experience lower costs, have fewer patients who require continued care after a certain number of months, and their patients show improved physical functioning 12 months after injury.

To ensure that these treatment guidelines work for both healthcare providers and injured workers, my legislation will task the Secretary of L&I with appointing a diverse panel of medical providers to review and propose modifications to the adopted guidelines. My legislation will also give injured workers the ability to challenge the reasonableness or necessity of any medical treatment through the proven Workers’ Compensation utilization review process.

It is my sincerely held belief that instituting treatment guidelines in our Workers’ Compensation system will control costs and will enhance return-to-work outcomes for thousands of injured and disabled Pennsylvania workers. Please join me in sponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as HB1800