Even after needed improvements to benefits case
processing at the Department of Energy, inconsistent
benefits are likely to result from the program structure,
the General Accounting Office has said.
It said that subtitle D, the Energy Employees
Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000
allows the Department of Energy to help its contractors’
employees file state workers’compensation claims for
DoE needs to take additional steps to expedite the
processing of claims through its physician panels,
enhance its communications with claimants, improve its
case management data and its capabilities to aggregate
these data to address program issues, and consider
developing a legislative proposal to address the
“willing payer” issues, said GAO.
During the first two and half years of the program
DoE had completed about six percent of the more than
23,000 cases that have been filed, and that it has
begun processing 35 percent more, leaving about 60
percent of cases in a backlog, according to GAO.
To address the backlog DoE has reduced the number of
physicians needed for some panels, but a shortage of
qualified physicians continues to constrain the agency