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Report: Battles Brew Over Comp Proposals

  • State: Colorado
  • Topic: WEST
  • - Popular with: Insurance

The Denver Business Journal reports that a battle is brewing over bills that would give Colorado injured workers more freedom to choose a treating provider and revise the definition of “overpayment” for comp benefits.

Senate Bill 197, by Sen. Robert Rodriguez, D-Denver, would allow injured workers to treat with any Level I or Level II accredited physician. Current law allows comp carriers to offer workers a choice of four doctors.

Supporters say the measure would level the playing field for injured workers, while opponents say the bill would drive up system costs.

Rodriguez reportedly said he plans to introduce amendments to the bill but declined to elaborate. The Senate Committee on Business, Labor and Technology is hearing testimony on the measure at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The other bill, HB 1207, by Rep. Lindsey Daugherty, D-Arvada, would define “overpayments” to include only benefits paid as a result of fraud or duplicate benefits that result from offsets that reduce disability or death benefits paid to a claimant.

The state House of Representatives voted 39-24 to pass the bill on April 8. The Senate Committee on Business, Labor and Technology voted 4-3 to pass it Wednesday.

The Denver Business Journal reports that the bill is passing on party lines, and Democrats hold a smaller majority in the Senate than they do in the House.

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