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A bill that would reinstate impairment ratings in Pennsylvania passed the House on Friday and is now being considered by a state Senate committee on labor and industry.
The move comes nearly a year after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional impairment ratings, which have historically helped employers and workers compensation insurers deem whether a worker is partially or fully disabled based on guidelines set forth in the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.
The latest push to bring back impairment ratings comes in the form of H.B. 1850, which would reinstate the 104-week permanent disability marker for when an insurer can request an impairment rating evaluation and assign the latest draft of the AMA guide, the sixth edition, as the prescribed guide. The proposal also sets guidelines for impairment: 35% impaired or greater equals permanent disability, 35% or lower is partial disability.
The bill would also limit an injured worker’s partial disability rating after 500 weeks, giving insurers an opportunity to seek a medical evaluation based on the current AMA guide.
The Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau filed a 6.06% loss cost increase as a response to a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision.