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Workers compensation reform legislation headed for Delaware Gov. Jack Markell's office would impose more responsibility on insurers to ensure employers provide doctors with lists of jobs available for injured employees.
The lists containing potential jobs for claimants not capable of performing their normal duties because of workplace injuries is seen as an important step for speeding the return of injured employees to the workplace, according to a Delaware General Assembly synopsis of H.B. 175.
Rep. Bryon Short, D-Highland Woods, sponsored the bill, which gained Senate approval on Wednesday after passing the House on June 6.
The bill also would allow insurers to conduct worksite safety inspections and set a 45-day limit for appealing utilization review decisions.
Another section of the bill would reduce an annual inflation increase allowed for hospitals treating workers comp claimants and include more procedures in the state's existing medical fee schedule, according to the synopsis.
In January, Delaware Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin approved a 14.6% average increase in workers compensation rates.
The Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau Inc. had sought a 38% increase.
The Delaware Department of Insurance is set to hold a series of public hearings in the next few weeks to discuss a proposed 38.27% hike in the state’s workers compensation rates.