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Bills would affect pharmacy payments, occupational health

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Pharmacists may be able to collect interest on unpaid bills in the comp system and employers may see occupational health centers in New York as lawmakers on Wednesday sent two workers compensation bills to committee.

A. 242 would add pharmacists to the list of providers working with injured workers who must be paid with 45 days or payers would have to send a letter explaining why the bill was not paid. If obligations are not met, the pharmacist could collect up to 1.5% per month, not including a $50 fee paid to the state for each unpaid bill. Parties who can’t agree to the bill or payment would be subject to arbitration, according to the bill, which was sponsored by three lawmakers and referred to the Committee on Labor. That bill would go into effect 120 days after passage.

Also up for consideration is A. 311, which would appropriate funds necessary to create state occupational health centers to “identify, promote and implement strategies throughout New York state to prevent occupational illnesses and injuries and their related mortality and disability,” according to a first draft. That bill, sponsored by four lawmakers, was sent to the Committee on Health. If passed, the bill would go into effect on the 30th day following a first appropriation.