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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Privacy, Apportionment, Dynamex Bills Clear Houses of Origin

Bills had until the end of May to clear their house of origin to remain alive and nearly a dozen measures impacting workers’ comp in particular and the insurance industry at large remain viable. Nearly all of the bills are expected to undergo additional amendments and refinements as they make their way through the legislative … Read More »

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Court Says WCAB Usurped UR/IMR Process

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board overstepped its authority when it ordered parties to submit a dispute over additional housekeeping services back to the nurse that made the initial determination, says the Second District Court of Appeal. Because the housekeeping services were necessary to “cure or relieve” the effects of the industrial injury, utilization review, and … Read More »

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UR Bill Clears Assembly, Apportionment Bill Still Alive

Two bills backed by the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (CAAA) are advancing in the Legislature. One addressing utilization review is moving “as a vehicle for on-going discussions” about potential reforms, while the second would restrict apportionment for permanent disabilities. As recently amended, AB 1107 by Assemblyman Kansen Chu (D-Milpitas) would allow claimants to seek penalties … Read More »

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