Refreshing and Progressive Proposals from New York Agents

June 7th, 2006 by

New York’s workers’ compensation system is expensive, adversarial, administratively cumbersome and, in many ways, harmful to the very people it is supposed to serve, employers and injured employees. Now, the Professional Insurance Agents of New York State (PIANY) have authored an insightful, forward-thinking and very intelligent Legislative Position paper that addresses the state’s serious workers’ compensation problems. It should be widely read and discussed.
To quote from the document:

“The present workers’ compensation system acts as a detriment to New York’s economic development and fails to function well for the benefit of workers. PIANY supports a comprehensive reform of the workers’ compensation system in New York to preserve and enhance worker benefits, prevent work-related disability and reduce inefficiency and fraud.”

PIANY’s proposals (a pdf can be found here) are refreshing, because not only do they address predictable issues such as fraud and rate setting procedures, but also because they shine a bright light on the state’s problematic benefit levels and the way it delivers them, as well as the lack of a fee schedule for prescription drugs and a slowness “to allow and encourage the workers’ compensation system to benefit from the application of managed medical care.”
Perhaps the most employer-helpful recommendation is the first one the agents make. Straight from the top they focus on workplace safety, pointing out that two major credit programs were approved by the legislature in its reform of the statute in 1996, but never implemented. The agents ask, “Why?” Pretty good question.
The PIANY has issued a clarion call for reform. Good for them.