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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Injuries Were Treated As Fast Or Faster During The Pandemic

Industry veterans expressed concerns last year about an interesting trend in emerging workers’ comp data. It showed a sharp drop off in medical treatment during the stay-at-home periods ordered in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies have shown that delays in the initial treatment of an injury have long-term, costly effects on workers’ comp claims. … Read More »

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Recall Déjà Vu’

In 2003, proponents of the recall of Governor Gray Davis stated, as part of their justification for the recall:   “Over 296,000 good paying jobs have left California…and more are … Read More »

Treatment Guideline For Chinese Coronavirus Released

A new clinical guideline for treating injured workers who contract COVID-19 has been recommended by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. ACOEM’s guideline says hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine is recommended as possible treatments for injured workers who are moderately to severely affected by the Chinese coronavirus. It adds that azithromycin can be prescribed in … Read More »

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UR Reforms, Drug Formulary Boost Treatment Approvals

Recent reforms that established a prescription drug formulary for California’s workers’ comp system, and which created a utilization review exemption for many treatments rendered during the first 30 days of an injury, are boosting treatment approval rates for injured workers. A new study using industry claims data indicates that additional reforms could decrease the number … Read More »

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Spotlight on Providers’ Adherence To Treatment Guidelines

A new law will soon shine a spotlight on the workers’ comp doctors who are frequently recommending treatments that do not adhere to California’s evidence-based medical treatment utilization schedule (MTUS). The legislation, SB 537 by Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), calls on the Division of Workers’ Compensation to list the active providers in the system … Read More »

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California Self-Insureds’ Numbers Reflect Market Changes

Private self-insured employers in California workers’ comp collectively are seeing an increased number of claims, but they decreased future liabilities last year. Somewhat counterintuitively, for the third year in a row, the number of new claims reported increased. All of this comes against a backdrop of stagnant employment numbers. Total employment was 2,259,451 in 2015 … Read More »

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Workers Comp Appeals Board At Full Strength

Former Gov. Jerry Brown’s final appointment to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board is now all but confirmed. WCAB Commissioner Craig Snellings (see photo nearby), easily cleared a Senate Rules Committee confirmation hearing on a unanimous vote and is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate after it returns from summer recess. Snellings is a … Read More »

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