Amended Policy Filing Bill Clears Policy Committee

An insurance industry-backed bill to exempt carriers from having to file the collateral agreements and side agreements to many workers’ comp policies is moving through the Legislature in spite of opposition from the California Department of Insurance and some employer representatives. The measure, AB 1922 by Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-Anaheim), easily cleared the Assembly Insurance … Read More »

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Gender Bias, CalFire Benefits Bills Advance

A bill allegedly designed to root out gender bias in the workers’ comp system is moving again in the Assembly despite a similar measure being vetoed in the past including a nearly identical bill that succumbed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s veto pen just seven months ago.  The Assembly Insurance Committee passed AB 1643 by Assemblywoman … Read More »

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DWC To Unveil Proposed Drug Formulary

The first draft of California’s workers’ comp drug formulary could be ready for circulation and comment as early as May. That’s the word from officials at the Department of Industrial Relations who were called to testify before a joint legislative committee that’s reviewing the Division’s progress in meeting the legislative mandate. Under the terms of … Read More »

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Amended Legislation Targets UR Industry Contracts

A failed 2015 legislative effort to limit the use of utilization review in some workers’ comp cases has returned in amended form and is moving in the Legislature. SB 563 by Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) cleared a key policy committee after it was rewritten to address UR industry contracts rather than the actual practice of … Read More »

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Utilization Review Reform Bill Advances Over Payer Opposition

A legislative proposal to create an alternative system for handling medical treatment disputes in cases with future medical awards is moving forward despite the strong opposition of employers and workers’ comp carriers.  The bill could ultimately have workers’ comp judges again making medical decisions rather than medical providers.  The industry has two words for the result … Read More »

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Major Legislative Battles Coming Soon

Employer representatives are bracing for a new round of assaults in 2015 from applicant attorneys and others on the SB 863 provisions designed to cut workers’ comp costs in the system. Many of these programs like the independent medical review system are not yet delivering the savings promised, but representatives say its too early to … Read More »

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DWC’s Draft Chronic Pain Guidelines Get Pushback From All Sides

Pain management physicians and medical device manufacturers are pushing back against proposed changes to California’s chronic pain treatment guidelines that would curtail the use of spinal cord stimulators and implantable drug pumps in many cases. The limitation on the use of these costly and invasive devices could be an initial cost saver for employers and … Read More »

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Copy Service Fee Schedule Proposal Troublesome

The Division of Workers’ Compensation’s (DWC) attempts to create a copy service fee schedule for California’s workers’ comp system is likely heading for significant changes and another round of public comments. The results of the latest 15-day comment period show respondents pointing out erroneous legal references that would make the schedule more expensive than intended, … Read More »

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