On March 20, 2009, the Georgia Senate passed and adopted House Bill 330 without opposition. This appears to be the bill recommended by the SBWC Chairperson’s Advisory Committee.
Notably among the proposed legislative changes, there is a significant modification with regard to the form medical releases (WC-207). From my reading of the proposed statute, the WC-207 will allow open access to the claimant’s medical history with regard to any condition “reasonably related” to the underlying workers’ compensation injury. It is unclear as to whether this medical expansion will be retroactive or prospective to the date of enactment. Independent of HB 330, the Georgia House passed and adopted Senate Bill 76. This bill effectively repeals O.C.G.A.§ 34-9-135 which related to the insurer’s mandated reporting of claim costs (underwriting, legal fees, assessments, reserves, etc). These bills are reportedly moving through the process, and I understand that the Governor’s Office will likely sign them into law as a matter of course.
For more information on these changes or to have a lawyer review your facts, contact one of the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at the Ramos Law Firm.