The 2018 Regular Legislative Session began on March 12th at noon. Several workers’ comp bills have been filed for this Session, including one which would open carriers up to tort liability if they unreasonably deny medical treatment, which was recently involuntarily deferred in Committee after heated testimony.
Despite the fact that the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA), AFL-CIO, and other concerned parties submitted comments or testified against the motion at the meeting of the Ad Hoc Dedicated Fund Review Subcommittee of Joint Budget on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018, the subcommittee is sticking by its recommendation to reclassify the OWCA statutory dedicated fund as self-generated fees and revenue.
Governor John Bel Edwards gave an impassioned speech to 2018 Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) Labor Summit attendees on Friday, March 24th, lauding Louisiana’s unemployment numbers, but encouraging public servants and citizens generally not to forget how far Louisiana must go to create equitable employment opportunities for all.
The 2018 Regular Legislative Session began on March 12th at noon. The WCAC weighed in during its March meeting on the most of the workers’ comp-related legislation filed for this session, but few bills have moved so far. The Legislature is largely focused Louisiana’s continued budgetary woes.
The WCAC, which met in New Orleans on March 23rd during the 2018 Louisiana Workforce Commission Labor Summit, voted on a series of workers’ comp-related bills that have been filed for the 2018 Regular Session. A main part of the WCAC’s mission is to vote favorably or unfavorably on legislative instruments before they reach Committee.
The 2018 Regular Legislative Session began on March 12th at noon. Several workers’ comp bills have been filed for this Session, including one which would open carriers up to tort liability if they unreasonably deny medical treatment. Notably, no bill has yet been filed that would establish a closed pharmacy formulary for workers’ comp. Formularies akin to Texas’ system were a hot topic in the last two Legislative Sessions.
The bill that would establish the Work Loss Data Institute’s “Official Disability Guidelines” formulary in Louisiana appears to be indefinitely shelved as the deadline for scheduling a final meeting of the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee before the end of the Session has passed.
Although the workers’ comp closed pharmacy formulary bills were voted down at the last Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council meeting in late April and have not yet been scheduled to be heard in Committee, several bills aimed at curbing opioid use among Louisianans generally have moved quickly forward. Stick with Louisiana Comp Blog for full coverage of comp-related happenings until the Session ends on June 8th.
Two closed pharmacy formulary proposals have been filed so far in this year’s Regular Session, which began April 10th and concludes June 8th. One measure, HB 592 by Representatives Talbot, Barras, Davis and Lance Harris, requires the use of the Work Loss Data Institute’s Official Disability Guidelines (ODG) Appendix A. The other, HB 529 by Representative Broadwater, does not require the Louisiana Workforce Commission to implement any specific formulary, but rather, would more broadly ask the LWC and Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA) to create one with input from a range of system stakeholders.
Much like last year’s session, workers’ compensation as a target for lawmakers’ goals appears to be taking a backseat to the state’s ever-looming budget woes. However, several bills have been filed that could impose a pharmacy formulary and restrict opioid prescribing. Stick with Louisiana Comp Blog for full coverage of comp-related happenings until the Session ends on June 8th.