Honolulu, Hawaii

                , 2009


RE:   H.B. No. 1390





Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say

Speaker, House of Representatives

Twenty-Fifth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2009

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Labor & Public Employment, to which was referred H.B. No. 1390 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose of this bill is to provide prompt medical treatment for injured workers by:


     (1)  Increasing the availability of medical care for injured workers; and


     (2)  Encouraging more physicians to accept industrial accident claims.


     This bill increases the fee schedule of compensation for medical care in workers' compensation cases from 110 per cent to 150 per cent of the Medicare Resource Based Relative Value Scale system applicable to Hawaii as prepared by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.


     The ILWU Local 142, Hawaii Medical Association, Hawaii State Chiropractic Association, Hawaii Chapter-American Physical Therapy Association, and several concerned individuals testified in support of this bill.  Two individuals supported the intent of this measure.  The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Department of Human Resources Development, Department of Human Resources of the City and County of Honolulu, American Insurance Association, State Farm Insurance Companies,  and Hawaii Insurers Council testified in opposition to this bill.  The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs submitted comments.


     Currently, Hawaii's injured workers are finding it difficult to obtain medical treatment.  One reason is that many physicians are not willing to accept cases involving injuries covered by workers' compensation.  Since workers' compensation claims often necessitate the filing of extensive medical treatment plans and reports, these types of cases are often difficult and time consuming with physicians rarely recovering the financial costs involved because of low reimbursement rates.  By increasing the limitations on reimbursement rates, more physicians may be encouraged to accept industrial claims cases.


     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. 1390 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to the Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce.



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