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Kentucky workers comp bill heads to governor

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The Kentucky House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill that would change the state’s workers compensation system, a bill that is receiving support from the business community.

H.B. 2 passed in a 55-39 vote and would limit the time period of payment of medical expenses for certain permanent partial disabilities to 780 weeks. It would also limit the number of drug screens for which the employer will be liable and increases maximum compensation rates for employee temporary total disability, permanent total disability and permanent partial disability benefits, according to the bill’s latest texts.

“House Bill 2 is designed to help contain underlying costs and improve the state’s workers compensation system,” Jeffrey Junkas, Chicago-based assistant vice president, state government relations for PCI, said in a statement Wednesday. “It has been more than 20 years since the workers compensation system underwent significant change. H.B. 2 makes changes impacting medical expenses and benefits. It also takes steps to address the opioid crisis with an evidence-based pharmaceutical formulary and medical treatment guidelines to ensure timely delivery of appropriate medical care to injured workers.”

The bill now heads to Kentucky Gov. Matthew Bevin.