Governor says workers' compensation package will cut costs

Tuesday, February 1st 2005, 6:10 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Governor Brad Henry Monday announced a workers' compensation package he said would cut costs to business and raise benefits of injured workers.

Henry says his plan stresses workplace safety and would cut medical costs through better management, discourage litigation, promote mediation and early settlements, change state policy on sprains and strains and promote workplace safety.

The task force was made up of legislators and other public officials, representatives of business and labor, attorneys for business and injured workers and insurance officials.

The plan also would increase penalties for fraud, provide additional fraud investigators, require mediation if requested by either party and curb attorney solicitation of workers' compensation cases.

Henry said a new health insurance program for small business approved by voters in November also should help reduce workers' compensation costs.