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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New Utilization Review Regulations

Several hundred workers’ comp professionals braved exposure to the COVID 19 coronavirus pandemic to attend the Division of Workers’ Compensation’s annual educational forum in Oakland. At the conference, they heard that the Division is putting the final touches on a new regulatory package to update California’s utilization review regulations and will soon begin the formal … 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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WCAB Says Working Days Are Non-Holiday Weekdays

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board says in a new significant panel decision that Saturdays do not count in the calculation of working days for completing a utilization review (UR) decision. Labor Code section 4610 allows for five working days to modify, deny or delay a medical treatment request via utilization review and Saturday is not … Read More »

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Major Amendments Before Summer Recess

As the California Legislature approached its Summer Recess, the workers’ compensation community was not unlike the old traditional James Bond martini – shaken, not stirred. The year began with no expectations of significant legislation dealing with workers’ compensation per se, although the California Applicant Attorneys Association (CAAA) has two pieces of legislation, Assembly Bill 1107 … 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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