The Workers Compensation Reform Bill from 2007 made several changes that proved to be significant to the workers compensation law. As part of these changes, the development of a pharmaceutical fee schedule was put into place in the hopes it would save the State of New York money.
However, after the legislation passed and was signed into law, the language in the law took away an employee’s ability to choose the pharmacy they would use for prescription medication. By having control over the pharmacy chosen, the employee can receive the best possible care and it takes away an employer or insurance carrier’s control over health care options of the employee.
The freedom to choose a pharmacy is allowed in most states in the country and now New York is looking at new legislation to restore employee rights over pharmacy choices as long as the pharmacy adheres to the fee schedule. If the bill passes, it will be effective immediately at repealing Section 99 of the Workers Compensation Law.
The provisions of the new bill would also allow a pharmacy to have a standing in a workers compensation claim that is being disputed. It also addresses the issue of initial prescription fills which cannot be for longer than 14 days within the first 72 hours of initial medical treatment.