Romanucci & Blandin, LLC: Historic Workers' Compensation Law May Save Money, But Will It Hurt Injured Workers?

Jun 27, 2011, 18:08 ET from Romanucci & Blandin, LLC

CHICAGO, June 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Illinois' new workers' compensation reform bill, which Governor Quinn is expected to sign tomorrow, June 28, may save businesses and insurance companies money, but could it harm injured workers?

Frank A. Sommario*, a lawyer and CPA who oversees the Workers Compensation practice at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, here, believes that changes in the law may prevent injured workers from getting adequate medical treatment because doctors will now be paid at a lower reimbursement rate, potentially excluding many well-trained and qualified physicians from rendering care.

In addition, injured workers will only have one free choice of a doctor, which denies them the opportunity to find a physician that can best treat their injury.

"We strongly believed that reform was unnecessary and that it could have a devastating effect on workers' rights," says Sommario, who sits on the Board of Governors of the Illinois State Bar Association and is an officer in the Workers' Compensation Lawyers Association. "It was an anti-worker proposal from the beginning."

"The new Preferred Provider Programs will severely limit an injured worker's choice of doctors and will inhibit doctors who are unable to join a company's program from treating injured workers," he states.

Equally disturbing, he continues, is the new limitations on repetitive trauma carpal tunnel claims, as well as on wage differential claims. "These changes were not necessary as they will not lead to lower workers' compensation insurance premiums for employers, but rather will severely impact the injured worker's right of recovery."

SOURCE Romanucci & Blandin, LLC