Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 2152

       H.D. 2

       S.D. 2




Honorable Shan S. Tsutsui

President of the Senate

Twenty-Sixth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2012

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 2152, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to increase the fee schedule of compensation for medical care, services, and supplies in workers' compensation cases from one hundred ten per cent to one hundred thirty per cent of the Medicare Resource Based Relative Value Scale applicable to Hawaii, as prepared by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, effective January 2, 2013.


     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from Hawaii Rehabilitation Counseling Association; ILWU Local 142; Kaiser Permanente; Hawaii Medical Association; and four individuals.


     Your Committee received written comments in opposition to this measure from Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc; American Insurance Association; and one individual.  Written comments on this measure were received from the Department of Human Resources Development; Department of Labor and Industrial Relations; and Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.


     Your Committee finds that only ten per cent of Hawaii's physicians currently are willing to treat workers' compensation patients.  Those physicians experience a high cost in paperwork and reporting requirements and must spend extra time and effort to communicate with employers and insurance carriers because disability benefits are included.


Your Committee also finds that the lack of qualified physicians who are willing to treat workers' compensation patients means that these patients may go untreated or may obtain substandard care.  Your Committee further finds that the current workers' compensation reimbursement rate may not cover the cost of the provided health care treatment.


     Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by deleting its contents and instead requiring the Office of the Auditor to conduct a study on the workers' compensation system in the State so that the Legislature may appropriately address this issue.  Your Committee recommends that the Auditor consider the framework used by the Legislative Reference Bureau to conduct its 2007 report, "Workers' Compensation Fee Schedules, Maximum Allowable Fees, and Comparative Reimbursements" when conducting the study required under this measure.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2152, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2152, H.D. 2, S.D. 2.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,