Illinois Senators have approved a package of changes to shake up the state's workers' compensation system. It's designed to cut business costs and curb corruption. The bill passed 46-8 and now goes to the Illinois House. It would reduce fees businesses pay to physicians by 30 percent.
Department of Insurance Director Mike McRaith says it will save between $500 and $700-million dollars in the system.
"So there are near term savings. The savings will be locked in over time. They'll be expanded as the reforms take effect," McRaith said.
The plan strengthens treatment oversight, creates a medical network for workers' comp claims and caps awards for carpal tunnel syndrome. It terminates all system arbitrators over fears they have gotten too "cozy'' with lawyers. They could be reappointed to new, shorter terms.
Proponents say the plan will save businesses money. Opponents say it will make it harder to practice medicine in Illinois.