Gov. Newsom Vetoes One, Signs Three Others

California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently vetoed the most prominent workers’ comp bill sent to his desk this year and still has several days to act on legislation that passed this year. Following in the steps of his predecessor, Newsom rejected a bill addressing issues of potential discrimination in apportionment decisions. Newsom’s veto message for SB … Read More »

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IMR Usage Down 20% From Historical Norms

California’s independent medical review program is driving down much of the medical expense in the workers’ compensation system. But since its inception, usage has been far higher than expected. The number of IMRs – is still higher than the drafters of the Baker Workers’ Comp Reform – SB 863 expected, but full-year data for 2020 … Read More »

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Return-To-Work Fund Edged Towards Full Expenditure Before Pandemic

The Baker SB 863 workers’ comp reforms created a special $120 million fund to give supplemental payments to injured employees who could not return to their at-injury employer. Eligible injured employees who apply get $5,000 each, but the program has never spent all that it has to give. Could this be the year? Not likely, … Read More »

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Copy Service Fee Schedule Update In The Works

Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) officials say an updated copy service fee schedule is currently under review and should be out for public comment in a matter of weeks. The increase in the costs to employers for copy services will be the first since the fee schedule was adopted in 2015 as part of the … Read More »

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2020’s Biggest Workers’ Comp Stories – A Year In Review

Workers’ Comp Executive launches each new year with the publication of a list of the “Top Stories” from the prior 12 months. Some years are more newsworthy than others, but we certainly had some doozies during what was our 30th year covering the California workers’ comp industry. Beset by the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Newsom followed … Read More »

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Employers, Carriers Push Back Against Med-Legal Fee Proposal

California’s employers and insurance carriers are raising concerns that the Division of Workers’ Compensation’s proposed med-legal fee schedule (MLFS) update will increase costs more than is projected and, worse, create new friction points in the system. Employers assert the proposal does little to prevent billing abuse and that the Division’s proposal fails to ensure high-quality … Read More »

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Conoravirus Death Claims

California’s workers’ compensation system has received reports for 59,559 cases alleging a workplace injury due to COVID-19. But nearly 30%, some 17,690, tested negative and were rejected.  The filings equal 11% of all workers’ comp claims so far this year but the number is only 8% after the rejected are removed. The concentration of COVID-19 … Read More »

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Proposed Med-Legal Fee Schedule Generates Feedback

The Division of Workers’ Compensation isn’t holding a hearing on the state’s proposed qualified medical evaluator (QME) fee schedule update until next week, but many interests among the workers’ comp community are already offering opinions. The early pushback is from the provider community, but employer interests are expected to add their voices before it is … Read More »

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