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Governor Crist Vetoes Bill for Controlling Costs in Workers Comp

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Governor Crist Vetoes Workers Comp Bill

I wrote a post a few days ago on the recent veto of a promising Workers Comp bill by Florida’s Governor Crist. While he signed off on bills that would improve the Florida Department of Health and extend a controversial Medicaid managed-care pilot program, he vetoed the bill aimed at controlling costs in Workers Comp.

Picture Of Governor Crist With USA Flag At The Back
Wikimedia Commons – United States House of Representatives

In my last post, I wrote primarily about the limitation of prepackaged drugs that the bill would have ensured, but it also addressed so many other issues dealing with worker’s comp and state risk management.

Florida’s Chief Financial Office Alex Sink, who implemented recommendations to strengthen the state’s risk management program, released a statement Friday saying, “This legislation was an important step in holding state agencies accountable and reducing workers’ compensation costs, and I am very disappointed that Governor Crist chose today to favor special interests instead of Florida taxpayers.”

Key elements of the bill, HB 5603, included establishing return-to-work programs for certain state agencies, basing premiums on actual loss experience, and enabling the Division of Risk Management with the responsibility to evaluate state agencies’ risk management programs as well as recommend corrective authority. It also contained a provision to cut short the increasing costs of prescription drugs in the workers’ comp program.

Hand Pointing Governor Crist At Risk Management Icon
StockUnlimited

“The bill would have helped control state risk management expenses and employers’ workers comp costs,” the Governor said in his Friday veto message, “but the bill could also result in numerous unintended consequences that could adversely impact injured workers.”

He didn’t mention what exactly these “unintended consequences” were, however. And if he doesn’t start giving some reasoning behind his veto, I will safely say that he has severely hurt the entire state of Florida’s businesses. Following another sneaking suspicion of mine, I will be looking into if Florida doctors who have special interests in prepackaging drugs have given the Governor campaign money.

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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