Senate votes unanimously to update Florida’s workers’ comp reimbursement rates

by | Feb 28, 2024

The Florida Senate unanimously passed a bill to reform the state’s Workers’ Compensation Law, increasing medical treatment reimbursement rates to 200 percent of the Medicare rate and expert witness fees to $300 per hour

In a unanimous vote, the Florida Senate passed legislation on Wednesday aimed at reforming the state’s Workers’ Compensation Law by increasing reimbursement rates for medical treatments and expert witness fees.

The bill, heralded by supporters as a long-overdue adjustment, proposes to elevate the reimbursement rate to 200 percent of the Medicare rate, a move that sponsors of the bill argue will help attract more qualified medical professionals to workers’ compensation cases and ensure that injured workers receive the medical attention they require for recovery.

Under the current law, physicians are reimbursed at 110 percent of the Medicare rate for their services to injured workers, a figure that has remained static for two decades and is the lowest in the nation.

“The current level is the lowest in the nation and has not been increased in 20 years,” said Sen. Jennifer Bradley, who is carrying the bill.

The measure also addresses the payment rates for medical experts who provide expert witness testimony in workers’ compensation disputes. Previously capped at $200 per hour, the legislation would increase the fee to $300 per hour, aligning it with the rates paid by the Division of Workers’ Compensation for their own medical experts.

Critics of the bill, while few, have raised concerns about the potential increase in overall workers’ compensation system costs, which an analysis by the Professional Staff of the Committee on Fiscal Policy estimates could rise by 7.3 percent, or approximately $286 million.


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