“The new fee schedule means huge progress for our state’s injured workers, the physicians who treat them, and our workers’ compensation system as a whole. The old physician fee schedule – which has not been maintained since its adoption in 1995 – offers physicians some of the worst rates across the country. This has taken a toll on physician participation, making medical care more difficult for workers to find and more expensive for employers,” said NCMS President Robert E. Schaaf, MD, FACR in a statement to the press. “The North Carolina Medical Society has worked tirelessly for many years on behalf of all physicians to secure these fee schedule revisions. We applaud Chairman Heath’s leadership in bringing all of the stakeholders together to locate common ground and for implementing a positive solution.”
The NCMS along with other stakeholders and the state agencies that oversee the workers’ comp program had worked for several years to establish a fee schedule that successfully ensures injured workers can receive the care they need; medical providers are compensated at reasonable rates; and medical costs remain adequately contained. The old fee schedule had grown stale since its adoption in the mid-1990s, and no longer struck the necessary balance. The new schedule successfully balances these interests.