The state legislature late last week abandoned a proposed bill that would have updated the state’s workers’ compensation laws to include a much broader list of qualified medical providers that can provide care. The bill, which was the first significant update to the state’s workers’ compensation laws, was killed in committee after its sponsor, Sen. Steven Woodrow, admitted it didn’t have enough support to pass. As drafted, the bill and amendments offered 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.
Sen. Woodrow told the Denver Business Journal (subscription required) that he would spend the time after this legislative session building support for similar legislation that he plans to introduce next year. Woodrow admitted that after the bill had passed through the Senate on a largely partisan vote that he was inundated with concerns from municipal organizations and businesses that wanted more input into the legislation. We will continue to monitor the state legislature for similar legislation, so stay tuned.