For the first time in more than a decade, Colorado’s legislature is contemplating changes to the state’s workers’ compensation system. Senate Bill 197 passed a significant hurdle this week when it passed out of the state’s Senate. The bill expands the list of providers that injured workers can choose from when they go through the system. Historically, the state’s regulations have required workers to select from a shortlist of providers. This managed care network often causes significant delays for our clients, and we believe this change would be a game-changer for the system.
As drafted, the bill and amendments offer workers significantly more choices for care and speeding recovery for injuries that keep them from work. Rather than selecting from a handful of providers, workers would have the choice of deciding from a wide range of providers within the first 180 days of their injury. Both supporters and opponents agree that delivering care to workers quickly is essential for full recovery, but legislators are divided over this new system is the right answer. The proposed bill would also enable workers to switch providers at any time during treatment, something the current law doesn’t allow. From here, the bill heads to the House, where legislators will debate the bill’s language in committee in the coming weeks.
Learn more about the bill here (subscription required).