In the event of a work-related injury or illness, the PA Chamber supports the payment of reasonable and necessary medical treatment and, when necessary, wage-loss benefits to the injured employee. However, the workers’ compensation law must only provide benefits to eligible employees with legitimate, work-related injuries or illnesses. The PA Chamber opposes any effort that could erode employers’ rights and protections under the WC law, or weaken its “exclusivity doctrine”.

Bad For Business: State House Advances Trio of Overreaching Proposals

May 08, 2023

Last week, House lawmakers advanced several bills with the potential to significantly impact Pennsylvania employers: H.B. 950 Would amend the state constitution for the stated purpose of prohibiting future lawmakers from enacting “Right to Work” legislation, which guarantees that individuals cannot be forced to join or contribute financially to a union as a condition of […]

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The PA Chamber is committed to promoting safe and healthy workplaces. In the event of a work-related injury or illness, it is the employer’s obligation to pay for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment and, when necessary, wage-loss benefits. This obligation was codified in 1915 through passage of Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act and this ‘grand bargain’ has generally served its purpose of establishing a structured, more predictable process with a guarantee of support for eligible claimants.

Employers’ top workers’ compensation priority is the same today as it was in 1915: providing effective treatment to facilitate the injured worker back to full function, health and work as soon as possible.

In addition to focusing on improving outcomes for injured workers, public policy should also help address cost-drivers in the system. While overall statewide system costs have been generally stable in recent years, it is important to recognize that this trend is mainly due to a decline in workplace injuries offset by rising costs per claim.

After over one hundred years, it is ever important to ensure the law is being applied properly and to identify, combat and root out fraud and abuse in the system, including conflicts of interest, and avoid policies that unnecessarily drive up costs. The PA Chamber opposes any erosion of employer rights and protections under the workers’ compensation law, including undermining the “exclusivity doctrine.”

The PA Chamber supports changes to the law to help achieve important objectives:

  • Promote medical cost containment without impeding claimant access to reasonable and necessary care;
  • Adopt evidence-based medical treatment guidelines for workers’ compensation based on nationally-recognized standards of care;
  • Combat prescription drug overutilization, abuse and addiction, including implementing a prescription drug formulary;
  • Provide additional tools to mitigate rising prescription drug costs, including allowing employers to utilize a prescription benefit manager throughout the duration of a claim;
  • Enhance employers’ direction of care authority, including extending the duration in which an employee receives treatment through a healthcare provider panel, the utilization of which has been demonstrated to lead to better outcomes, greater patient satisfaction and shorter periods out of work;
  • Reform the workers’ compensation dispute adjudication process to provide for the equitable resolution of claims and ensure that evidence is guiding decisions; and
  • Update the fee schedule for workers’ compensation to ensure that, to the extent possible, it accurately reflects current procedures and reimbursement rates.

The PA Chamber also supports the Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund, a business community-financed program that covers medical and wage benefits for injured workers whose employers do not have workers’ compensation coverage. The PA Chamber supports efforts to address noncompliant employers, including reasonable fines and stopwork orders, as well as reforms to help control costs and ensure the program is focused on providing benefits to only its intended beneficiaries.

Revised by the Policy Subcommittee. Approved by the Board of Directors on October 5, 2021