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The Illinois Senate on Wednesday voted 55-1 to overturn a veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner that would amend workers compensation law to allow medical providers to charge insurers interest at a rate of 2% a month when bills are not paid promptly, among other changes.
Specifically, S.B. 904, which passed both the state Senate and House in May and was vetoed by the governor in August, has been sent to the state House of Representatives for re-consideration. The proposal that proponents said would make it simpler for doctors to collect unpaid bills from treating injured workers garnered bipartisan support and more than three dozen sponsors in the Assembly.
In addition to imposing interest charges on unpaid services, the bill would permit doctors to sue insurers for unpaid bills, require a medical provider to bill an employer or its designee directly, and would require that the employer or the insurer send to the provider an explanation of benefits, among other changes to the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act, according to the bill’s language.
In his veto comments on Aug. 28, Gov. Rauner recommended additional language, including “requiring a medical provider to submit its bill to the employer or insurer within 90 days of the date on which the services were provided to the injured worker” and “permitting a medical provider to file a petition with the Commission to determine if interest is owed on an undisputed medical bill (rather than permitting a medical provider to file suit against an employer or insurer for interest payments),” among other proposed changes not included in the latest draft of the bill.
Workers compensation medical payments in Michigan are among the lowest in the country, according to a study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute.