Employee Relations 09/28/2012
Workers’ Comp Reform Regulatory Implementation Begins
Governor Brown on Tuesday, September 28, signed Senate Bill 863,
a bill to overhaul the workers’ compensation system. Counties
will recall that the measure will increase permanent disability
benefits for injured workers while decreasing frictional systemic
costs for employers through, among other things, increased
oversight over medical provider networks (MPNs) and the
establishment of an independent medical review system (IMR) to
decrease unnecessary litigation. The Department of Industrial
Relations must now adopt regulations to implement SB 863, a
process which will begin on October 2 in Oakland.
The Division of Workers’ Compensation announced the first stakeholder workshops on SB 863 implementation. The initial working group meetings will address regulations that need to be adopted first in order to comply with the deadlines prescribed by the bill. Five meetings will be held Oct. 2, some running concurrently, at the Elihu Harris State Building, 1515 Clay Street, Oakland, CA. The topics covered include: Independent Medical Review (related Utilization Review and Qualified Medical Evaluator issues), and Independent Bill Review; Lien filling and activation fee; Vouchers; Home health care fee schedule regulations; and Predesignation and cap on chiropractors as primary treating physicians.