The Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) met yesterday in Baton Rouge to again discuss pending workers’ comp legislation and address several agency issues that OWC Director Patrick Robinson has stressed since he took office. The controversial closed formulary bill (SB256) was considered, but with the Council unable to determine whether or not the bill was in re-drafted form, the measure was unanimously opposed as before. SB256 will be heard in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee today.
Immediately following the unchanged vote on SB256, Robinson responded to criticism from a member of the public in the last meeting that implied that the department “had already chosen” the Texas/ODG formulary should the bill pass in Louisiana. Robinson told the Council and public assembled that he had reviewed the emails that apparently showed proof of this and found nothing to indicate that Texas had been selected. He stated that Washington and several other state formularies were mentioned in departmental musings on the subject. The remaining three pieces of legislation on the WCAC watch list (HB205, HB393, and SB107) also showed no change in vote.
Additionally, Robinson announced that the agency is on track to have a draft of the fee schedule update by the June WCAC meeting, assuring attendees that it “will contemplate ICD-10.” The Council members will review and edit the draft before the public comment period. Robinson stated that he anticipates the new fee schedule to adopted by rule and published in the Louisiana Register in August. Changes to the Medical Treatment Guidelines are also underway (by the Medical Advisory Council) and expected for the July Register, while recent work on updating the codes for severe burns have come to fruition and will become official in June’s Register.
Read coverage of last month’s WCAC meeting here.