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Department of Labor adds dozens of steps that may delay healthcare for Cold War nuclear workers via KNOX News

Brittany Crocker

Sick and injured Cold War nuclear workers are likely to see delays in their health care claims because the Department of Labor has added dozens of steps to the process, according to a home care provider that helps the workers.

The program provides medical care to former nuclear and uranium mine workers who were exposed to radiation and other toxic substances without their knowledge was established by Congress in 2000.
 New rule changes to the program — called the Energy Employees

Occupational Illness Compensation Program — will increase the nine-step home health care preauthorization process to 36 steps, said Emily Baker, a spokeswoman for Professional Case Management, a home care provider for nuclear and uranium workers. Those additional steps could add two months to the process, she said.

[…]

Professional Case Management sued the Department of Labor last month to try to stop the changes from going into effect, and more than 2,000 wrote and called the Department to protest the changes, according to the provider.

“These sick people can’t navigate all this red tape,” said Harry Williams, a 73-year-old former Oak Ridge nuclear security officer who helped lobby for the program’s creation. 

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