April 13, 2021

Provider Choice Bills Introduced Across the Country

A growing legislative trend across the nation is the introduction of bills that would allow patients the freedom to select their primary healthcare provider for workers’ comp claims. While some states have long established such practices, this front has seen more activity since the beginning of the year.

In quick succession, Colorado, Kansas, Montana and Indiana have all introduced similar bills, each with unique stipulations and rules, and which are at different stages of the legislative process. While these bills have been passed in some states, as legislative sessions continue throughout the year it is possible that even more states will introduce bills such as these.

Colorado introduced Senate Bill 197, which would allow injured workers to select any doctor certified to operate within the state’s workers’ comp system. Current regulation in Colorado requires employers or carriers to provide workers with lists of medical providers to choose from, but this bill would let workers designate any Level I or Level II accredited physician as their treating doctor.

In Kansas, both House Bill 2312 and Senate Bill 203 would allow patients their choice of physician, requiring employers to pay for the services provided by the designated provider.

Montana House Bill 412 would restore a worker’s right to select their treating physician, but the proposal allows an insurer to direct the designation of the treating physician within a managed care or preferred provider organization.

Indiana House Bill 1339 would allow injured workers to choose the attending physician to treat their work-related injury or occupational illness. Patients who were injured prior to the passage of this bill would be allowed to select a new physician of their choice.

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