NYS Seal



An examination of the proposed workers' compensation fee schedule in New York State.

The purpose of this hearing is to examine the potential impacts of the proposed New York State workers' compensation fee schedule on injured workers' access to quality medical care services and return to work rates as well as the potential impacts on the no-fault system.


Friday, December 19, 2014
Hearing Room B
Legislative Office Building
Albany, New York

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.

Carl Heastie
Member of Assembly
Committee on Labor
Kevin Cahill
Member of Assembly
Committee on Insurance


Persons wishing to present testimony at the public hearing, An examination of the workers' compensation fee schedules in New York State, are requested to complete this reply form by Wednesday, December 17, 2014 and mail, email, or fax it to:

Jermaine Brookshire, Jr.
Committee Assistant, Assembly Committee on Labor
Room 520 - Capitol
Albany, New York 12248
Email: brookshirej@assembly.state.ny.us
Phone: (518) 455-4311
Fax: (518) 455-7095
I plan to attend the public hearing, An examination of the workers' compensation fee schedules in New York State, to be conducted by the Assembly Committee on Friday, December 19, 2014.
I plan to make a public statement at the hearing. My statement will be limited to 10 minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.
I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

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