P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2005
AUSTIN -- State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, today announced that she will joint author Senate Bill 5 reforming the state's workers compensation system, which is under fire from injured workers, employers and health care providers.
"As an employer, there is nothing more important than the health and well being of our employees. When they are injured on the job, it is important that they receive the proper care so that they can heal quickly and return to work healthy and happy," Senator Nelson said. "Our legislative reviews have found that the current system is not performing, and we need to dramatic change to make it work. Help is on the way."
Senator Nelson serves as Vice Chairman of the Sunset Commission, which presided over the Sunset review of the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission. In addition to serving as joint author of SB 5, Senator Nelson will serve as Senate sponsor of the Workers' Compensation Commission Sunset bill.
Following are some of the highlights of SB 5:
- Allow health care networks to provide care to workers' compensation claimants;
- Implement new guidelines for the treatment of workers' compensation injuries in order to improve the rate of employees returning to work after an injury;
- Increase the weekly cap on benefits;
- Shorten the period an injured worker must wait to receive benefits;
- Expedite the claims process by filing medical bills electronically;
- Empower the Texas Department of Insurance to address unreasonable premiums;