Bill Restricts Employer-Physician Workers' Comp Communications

If a workers compensation claim is appealed employers will not be able to discuss an employees condition with that employees physician according to a measure now before the State Legislature.

AGC adamantly opposes the legislation SB5627/HB1402.

This legislation removes a useful claims management tool said AGCs Government Affairs Manager Christine Swanson. The most expeditious way to move a claim along is through communications - the employer can explain to the doctor the physical requirements of the job and the doctor can describe the physical limitations of the claimant. This legislation would short circuit that conversation and make claims resolution more time consuming and costly.

AGC is working with a broad business coalition to oppose the bill and is reaching out to the health care community to seek its participation.

Hearings have been held on the bill in both the House Commerce and Labor Committee and the Senate Committee on Labor Commerce and Consumer Protection.

The House version is sponsored by Reps. Williams Campbell Conway Moeller and Green. The Senate version is sponsored by Sens .McDermott Kohl-Welles Keiser Kline and Pridemore.

Contact Christine Swanson AGC Government Affairs Manager at 360-352-5000 with questions or comments.

Copies of the bills and summaries can be viewed via the Washington State Legislature Bill Information website.