Workers’ Compensation Interest on Medical Payments Passes!
The ICS is pleased to report that the legislature voted to override Governor Rauner’s veto of the workers’ compensation legislation (SB 904) regarding interest on medical payments. We understand that many of our chiropractic physicians have waited for long overdue medical payments and never received the interest owed. The ICS and other health care organizations supported the override and passage of the bill as originally written because the bill gives providers, including chiropractic physicians, access to courts to enforce interest payments on overdue payment for workers’ compensation treatment. The veto override has now passed the Senate with a vote of 55-1-0 and the House with a vote of 110-2-0. Therefore, the legislation becomes law as it was originally passed by the legislature.
We would like to thank everyone who responded to our action alerts on this very important issue. Without your continued response and support, our achievements would not be possible.
As reported previously, the General Assembly had passed this legislation in the Spring to provide a remedy for workers’ compensation insurers’ frequent payment delays and failure to pay interest as required by the Workers’ Compensation Act. When the bill reached the Governor’s desk, he vetoed it and made changes that did not benefit health care providers.
Additional Legislation Passed
Also, during the veto session, two additional pieces of related legislation were passed, one to provide clarification on interest payments and another that requires providing an explanation of benefits. These two pieces of legislation still await the Governor’s signature.
To simplify the issue, below we have listed the changes from all three pieces of legislation to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. Please note, these three pieces of legislation were not necessarily a package. They have been outlined together so our members may have a simplified view of the changes passed by the General Assembly:
- It allows medical professionals to file lawsuits to enforce interest payments from insurance companies on future medical workers compensation claims that are paid late. Remedies a recent court case that held that medical professionals are unable to take court action to enforce interest payments owed to them by insurance companies. (Essentially, this means medical providers, including chiropractic physicians, can take court action to enforce interest payments owed to them by insurance companies for workers’ compensation claims. These changes in legislation give medical providers the required “standing” in court that they did not previously have.)
- It clarifies that medical providers may sue for interest only on claims that have been paid.
- Legislation requires the Medical Fee Advisory committee to establish rules that would detail the requirements of the Explanation of Benefits.*
- Adds a provision that requires the insurance company to give a health care provider and the employee an Explanation of Benefits when care is being denied.*
- Requires insurance companies to comply with the current electronic billing requirements.*
* These portions are not final until the Governor signs them into law, and we anticipate the governor will sign and they will become official.