There is fresh evidence supporting the passage of S3741, which would prohibit the Workers' Compensation Board from continuing its retroactive implementation of the Medical Treatment Guidelines.
The New York Workers Compensation Alliance Board now admits that in the first full year of the Guidelines it has received 202,643 variance applications and another 28,901 applications for optional prior approval of treatment – almost a quarter million requests to depart from the Guidelines.
The Board has rejected almost 28% of the variance requests (about 50,000 applications) and more than half of the applications for prior approval (another 15,000 applications). The Board has held almost 20,000 hearings on the remaining 165,000 applications and continues to schedule about 2,000 hearings per month on variance applications.
The WCA has estimated that the paperwork and process associated with Medical Treatment Guidelines costs employers almost $60 million annually. These costs are far greater than the cost of the treatment that is being denied to injured workers. The full WCA analysis can be found here.
The data clearly demonstrates that S3741 will reduce costs for employers and make more medical treatment available to injured workers. The WCA calls on the Legislature to pass of S3741 for the benefit of all parties in the workers' compensation system.