Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 695

       S.D. 1




Honorable Colleen Hanabusa

President of the Senate

Twenty-Fifth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2009

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Labor, to which was referred S.B. No. 695 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this measure is to require an employer to continue paying for medical services for an injured employee despite disputes over whether treatment should be continued, until the Director of Labor and Industrial Relations determines whether medical services should be continued.


     Testimony in support of this measure was submitted by two organizations.  Testimony in opposition of this measure was submitted by two state agencies, one county agency, and seven organizations.  Two organizations supported the intent of this measure.  Written testimony presented to the Committee may be reviewed on the Legislature's website.


     Your Committee finds that this measure addresses the disruption of medical care to injured employees which is a major impediment to their prompt return to work.  Your Committee further finds that a quicker return to employment may ultimately lower costs, benefitting both employers and employees in an equitable way.


     Your Committee acknowledges the concern that employees may seek unnecessary treatment as a result of this measure, resulting in higher costs to employers and insurers.  However, your Committee believes that it is a priority for injured workers to receive the proper care and treatment they need to return to work.  Furthermore, this measure addresses the expressed concern by providing that employers and insurers may recover benefits paid past the deadline for allowed treatment and that employees who obtain medical services unlawfully may be charged for those services.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by making technical, nonsubstantive amendments.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 695, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 695, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Labor,