By Ed Sealover for the Denver Business Journal
Sponsors of a bill to allow significant expansion of doctor choice for patients going through the workers’ compensation system originally painted it as one they held little expectations for passing this year, saying instead that it was needed to start a long-term conversation.
Not only did Senate Bill 197 pass its first committee last week along party lines, though, but it’s scheduled to come up for full Senate debate as soon as today. And opponents, who largely are business groups and city government leaders, argue the amended version bill could do more harm to the process of getting workers back on the job efficiently and at low costs than the original version contemplated.
“We all had a commitment for finding a solution for workers and employers,” said Colorado Chamber of Commerce vice president Loren Furman, one of the leaders of the negotiations that created the current parameters in law. “We all have concerns about undoing some of the good work that was done in that process.”