Workers’ Comp Overhaul Faces Tough Road
(Chicago Tribune) — Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday unveiled his proposed overhaul of Illinois’ workers’ compensation system, suggesting changes his office says will save employers money while also preventing potential abuses that have attracted the attention of downstate federal prosecutors. The governor’s plan to update the way workers are paid following job-related injury or illness includes limiting payments for injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and slashing the amount of money doctors and hospitals receive for treating hurt workers. The proposal also would prevent workers who are injured while intoxicated from receiving benefits and give the state more power to investigate fraud and penalize employers that don’t maintain proper coverage. Quinn’s office estimates the changes would save private employers at least $500 million a year, while cutting the state’s cost to cover its employees by at least $25 million.