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Introduced Version House Concurrent Resolution 123 History

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hcr123 intr

(By Delegate Webster, Wooton, Caputo, Shook and Shott)

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study the workers' compensation system and to determine what actions on the part of the legislature is necessary to address any problems.

Whereas, the Workers' Compensation system was intended to assure the quick and efficient delivery of indemnity and medical benefits to injured workers at a reasonable cost to the employers who are subject to the provisions of workers' compensation laws;
Whereas, there is evidence that the legislation has led to the development of a competitive and profitable Workers' Compensation insurance market in the state of West Virginia;
Whereas, not withstanding the positive impact of said legislation, there are reports of injured workers being unable to obtain prompt health care recommended by their treating physicians;
Whereas, the current law does not permit an attorney to receive any compensation for representing injured workers in disputes over the payment of medical benefits. As a result, injured workers are unable to obtain representation for disputed claims over medical treatment and medical benefits;
Whereas, the existing law does not allow any compensation for attorneys when they represent injured workers in their protest and/or appeals of a denial of medical benefits and, as a result, those workers do not have a realistic or meaningful opportunity to challenge the denials;
Whereas, insurers who deny authorization for treatment routinely have legal representation to defend denials against unrepresented claimants;
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to study the issues and obtain factual information in order to determine whether these reported problems with the Workers' Compensation system are true and accurate and, if so, to determine what, if any, action on the part of the legislature is necessary to address those problems; and, be it

Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, report to the Regular Session of the Legislature, 2010, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Legislative expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.
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