STAND. COM. REP. NO.  525-08


Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2008


RE:   H.B. No. 2388





Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say

Speaker, House of Representatives

Twenty-Fourth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2008

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Labor & Public Employment, to which was referred H.B. No. 2388 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this bill is to protect the health and welfare of injured workers by ensuring that injured employees receive uninterrupted medical care, even when disputes arise over whether treatment should be continued.


     The Hawaii State AFL-CIO and ILWU Local 142 testified in support of this bill.  The Hawaii Chapter-American Physical Therapy Association supported the intent of this measure.  The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Department of Human Resources Development, Hawaii Insurers Council, National Federation of Independent Businesses, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Building Industry Association of Hawaii, American Insurance Association, and Hidano Construction, Inc. testified in opposition to this bill.


     The workers' compensation law was established as a "no-fault" law designed to be a "win-win" situation for all the parties involved.  An injured worker would receive necessary medical treatment to allow them to return to work but would give up the right to sue the employer.  In return, the employer would regain a productive employee without having to worry about a lawsuit.  However, this system has proven to be more adversarial in nature than was envisioned.


     Although obtaining proper medical treatment is the best method to returning an employee to gainful employment in a timely and efficient manner, medical treatments are often a point of contention between the employee and employer.  Your Committee finds that ensuring that medical treatments for an injured employee are continued until a decision is rendered by the Director on the appropriateness of the treatment is in the best interest of both the employee and employer.


     However, your Committee is also cognizant that employees may receive unnecessary treatments at a cost to an employer or insurer prior to the Director rendering a decision. In these cases, the employer or insurer may recover the costs they have expended from the employees health care provider or other occupational or non-occupational insurer.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Labor & Public Employment that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2388 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to the Committee on Finance.



Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Labor & Public Employment,