John Maszinski
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Illinois General Assembly Puts a Hurt on Injured Workers
Illinois General Assembly Puts a Hurt on Injured Workers

Statement by Wayne V. Polek, MD, ISMS President

Illinois doctors are deeply disappointed and frustrated that the Illinois General Assembly took such a one-sided approach when crafting the recently passed workers’ compensation bill. Illinois’ workers’ compensation system imposes tremendous burdens on physicians who treat injured patients. Onerous rules, extremely late payments and inefficient bureaucracy have become defining characteristics of the system. H.B. 1698 does nothing to address these problems. Instead, the pending law lays the groundwork to drive physicians from the workers’ compensation system. 

H.B. 1698 is really a plan to undercut funding for injured workers’ the medical care. These cuts mean fewer health professionals treating workers’ compensation patients, longer waits for care and non-existent savings for businesses. Any alleged ‘savings’ will be offset by higher business expenses due to workers waiting longer for care and  delaying their return to work. The cuts will also hurt business operations of medical practices, which must still pay the tab for the high cost of practicing medicine in Illinois.

“We greatly appreciate the efforts of all those House members who stood with patients and physicians. Everyone who voted against this pending law deserves credit for taking a stand for meaningful reform.” 

ISMS is a professional membership association representing 12,000 physicians practicing in all medical specialties statewide. Dr. Polek is an anesthesiologist from St. Charles.

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