Andover, MA – In an op-ed letter submitted to the Albany Times Union, Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Martino of Injured Workers’ Pharmacy, LLC (IWP) questioned the current state of workers’ compensation in New York, believing there is a common misconception with regard to patient choice of medical care.
Martino is voicing his support for a bill currently pending in the New York Legislature which would restore patient choice of pharmacy in the state of New York. Assembly Bill 5183, filed by New York Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D–Astoria, Queens), would give injured workers in need of prescriptions the right to choose their own pharmacy and strip insurance companies of the power to choose an injured worker’s pharmacy. This right was taken away when the workers’ compensation reforms proposed by former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer passed in 2007. AB 5183 is currently on the Senate calendar, however, with the legislative session scheduled to end on June 21, AB 5183 has yet to be scheduled for debate.
“The workers are being forced to give up rights to things like choice of medical care and are required to follow bureaucratic rules in order to receive the benefits they are entitled to under the law,” remarked Martino.
Martino goes on to say, “What everyone is failing to see is that the real problem is not cost – it is duration; the time it takes to close the claim. Cost is just a symptom they keep treating to make the system better, but it is only getting worse. The challenge facing New York is that the span of time from when the claim is reported to the time the claim is settled and closed takes too long. This is what is driving costs to be so high. Unless legislators clearly understand that the problem is actually duration and stay focused on solutions that address duration, knee jerk reforms on costs will only exacerbate the problems.”