Should the COVID-19 Presumption Be Permanent?

The Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee passed on a 4-1 vote a bill to extend several rebuttable presumptions to frontline workers in acute care hospitals, including a permanent presumption for COVID-19 infections. The bill, SB 213 by committee chair Sen. Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), covers a range of infectious diseases, cancers, musculoskeletal injuries, … Read More »

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One Presumption Bill Advances, Another Fails

The Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement committee advanced SB 1159, authored by committee chair Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), and co-authored by Assembly Insurance Committee Chair Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-Anaheim). The idea is to create a COVID-19 presumption for public and private sector workers. The committee rejected a broader bill for a private sector … Read More »

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Seeking Consensus on Spinal Hardware Bill

Despite passing the Assembly Insurance Committee on a 12-0 vote, a bill that would eliminate the extra reimbursement in workers’ comp for spinal hardware, otherwise known as a pass-through, is getting an extra look by the author in hopes of reaching a consensus with all the stakeholders. Employer and labor support is strong and there … Read More »

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Waning Days of Session to Take Up Pass Throughs and Firefighters

Workers’ comp legislation that would eliminate the separate reimbursement for spinal hardware is in the Assembly Insurance Committee on June 20 and it has the blessing of both labor and employers. But will that be enough to get SB 959, authored by Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), the governor’s signature? As a vehicle aimed at cutting costs … Read More »

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An End to Double-Dipping or Just Passing Through?

Hoping to weed out another source of abuse and possible fraud in California’s workers’ comp system, a bill working its way through the Legislature would eliminate the extra reimbursement providers receive for implantable medical devices for spinal surgeries. The cost of a device can add on average at least $15,000 to each spinal procedure, studies … Read More »

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DWC: ASC Fee Proposal Controversy

Providers, facility operators and medical suppliers continue to be incensed by the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) proposal to cut payments to ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) by 20%. Yet despite all the negative testimony, DWC has barely budged. Testimony at the most recent public hearing, arguing that cost savings would be negligible, may have attracted … Read More »

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DWC Offers Hospitals Payment Options For Spinal Hardware

The Division of Workers’ Compensation is proposing to give hospitals a choice regarding complex spinal surgeries. Either accept a smaller, standardized payment for the hardware costs on top of the same base rate, or sign up for an alternative payment system that offers a lower underlying payment but covers the full invoiced cost of the … Read More »

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Proposed Cuts for Spinal-Hardware Payments Are Being Challenged

A proposal by the Schwarzenegger administration to curtail or even eliminate a separate payment that covers the cost of hardware implanted during spinal surgery caught the attention of many in the industry, not least of which are hospitals that have been collecting millions of dollars under the existing program. With strong pushback expected, the Division … Read More »

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