There was much talk last year of overhauling the Georgia workers’ compensation system. Some interests planned (and perhaps still plan) to ask the Legislature to further regulate medical treatment under the Georgia worker’s comp system by imposing medical treatment guideline regulations. This is a bad idea for many reasons, but I want to discuss of a few of these here.
Government-mandated medical treatment guidelines would further involve the government in the lives of Georgians who get hurt on the job, because they would impose even more governmental regulations on the healthcare of injured workers.
Georgia has some really great boasts to make about our system as it stands:
- Our businesses pay the second-lowest comp assessment in the Southeast!
- Georgia businesses also enjoy the third-lowest comp costs per worker in the Southeast.
- We have the number one lowest frequency of ‘lost time’ claims in the Southeast: Our workers return to work more quickly after injury, and this lowers costs to businesses.
- Georgia’s ratio of medical costs to overall costs is better than the national average and much better than the ratios of other Southeastern states, which also lowers costs to businesses.
- Both comp insurance Premium Volume and Premium Rates in Georgia are on a five-year decline, which equals additional savings to our businesses.
- Our most recent Workers’ Comp Rate Filing sought a 7.9% reduction in rates for Georgia businesses, which in turn results in further savings.
These are just a few of the ways that our Workers’ Compensation System is working here in Georgia. In contrast, there is no solid data showing any cost savings for businesses in those states that have adopted medical treatment guidelines. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: In those states, businesses pay higher workers’ comp premiums overall.
Georgia doctors already deliver quality care under the Georgia Workers’ Compensation system. Our doctors, patients, and businesses haven’t asked for these further regulations. It doesn’t make sense, then, that some folks want an overhaul. Why would you fix something that’s working?