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Workers Comp. to Change in Illinois

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SPRINGFIELD, IL. (KMOX/AP) - An historic change in workers compensation in Illinois.   The Illinois House passed sweeping changes that will overhaul the system and save the state an estimated half-billion dollars a year.

The measure would tighten rules on employee claims.  Cases between injured workers and their employers would be settled without court involvement.

The legislation is also designed to eliminate “doctor shopping” by workers and would tighten rules for those who claim carpal tunnel syndrome.  That change was the result of a flood of claims by workers at Menard Correctional Center.

The measure would also slash 30-percent of the fees paid to doctors and hospitals to treat injured workers.  That part of the legislation has Illinois Republicans upset, saying too much of the burden is being put on the medical profession.

Supporters say it will attack fraud and abuse.

The vote in the house was 62 to 43.   Governor Pat Quinn says he will sign the legislation.  He called it a major overhaul of the Illinois workers compensation system that will mean “significant saving” for the state.  Quinn called it crucial to maintain economic competitiveness.

The measure passed Tuesday evening just 48 hours after the same chamber rejected it.

Copyright Associated Press/KMOX Radio

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