After the behemoth workers’ compensation reform law passed in 2012, state lawmakers this year enacted only a handful of measures that may affect or relate to
Bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown included laws on pharmaceutical compounding, preventing out-of-state athletes from filling for workers’ comp, funding for the state’s prescription drug monitoring program. There were 17 total, according to a list compiled by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI).
But overall, it was a quiet year in terms of workers’ comp laws, as expected.
“For a year or two after a major reform this is typical,” said Mark Sektnan, president of the Association of California Insurance Companies. “It’s a little bit quieter.”
Workers’ comp reforms from last year’s Senate Bill 863 are continuing to take effect as various aspects of the new law are implemented in stages, and the jury is still out on those reforms that have already been implemented.
Those changes included an immediate boost to payments for injured workers, the implementation of lien filing fees and the creation of new medical and bill review processes.
“Given the scope and scale of Senate Bill 863, everybody has their hands full in just trying to get that bill implemented in the right way,” said Jerry Azevedo, a spokesman for the Workers’ Compensation Action Network, a group that represents the interests of employers.
Azevedo noted SB 863 required more than a dozen pieces of regulatory action, much of which has yet to be rolled out. Those new regulations, and the immediate effects of SB 863, along with dealing with the “bad actors” who work to try and take advantage of the system, have had everyone’s hands full, he added. “We’re seeing a lot of the same cost pressures and some new gamesmanship in the system,” Azevedo said. “There’s really been a laser focus on trying to get those regulations correct so those cost savings do get realized.” For the full article click here.
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