Commentary- It’s important to establish responsibility for not only the injured worker which seems to be set forth much more clearly, but also for those who control the injured workers life in care, ongoing care, and quality of life. This must include employers, insurance adjusters, attorney’s and those who set back the process of diagnosis, healing, and access to proper and timely care for these injured workers without delay, denials, or stall tactics.
Number: CA [R] SB 1160 – Workers Compensation
Updated (Status 09/10/2016) Sponsor: Sen. Tony Mendoza (DEM-CA)
Introduced by Senator Mendoza
(Principal coauthor: Senator Pan)
February 18, 2016
An act to amend Sections 138.4, 138.6, 4610.5, 4610.6, 4903.05, 4903.8, 5307.27, 5710, 5811, and 6409 of, to amend, repeal, and add Section 4610 of, and to add Section 4615 to, the Labor Code, relating to workers’ compensation.
According to the Legislative Counsil Digest existing law establishes a workers’ compensation system, administered by the Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation, to compensate an employee for injuries sustained in the course of his or her employment.
Existing law requires the administrative director to develop and make available informational material written in plain language that describes the overall workers’ compensation claims process, as specified.
This bill would require the administrative director to adopt regulations to provide employees with notice regarding access to medical treatment following the denial of a claim under the workers’ compensation system.
Existing law requires the Administrative Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation of the Department of Industrial Relations to develop a workers’ compensation information system in consultation with the Insurance Commissioner and the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau, with certain data to be collected electronically and to be compatible with the Electronic Data Interchange System of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions. Existing law requires the administrative director to assess an administrative penalty of not more than $5,000 in a single year against a claims administrator for a violation of those data reporting requirements.
This bill would increase that penalty assessment to not more than $10,000. The bill would require the administrative director to post on the Division of Workers’ Compensation Internet Web site a list of claims administrators who are in violation of the data reporting requirements.
Existing law requires every employer to establish a utilization review process, and defines “utilization review” as utilization review or utilization management functions that prospectively, retrospectively, or concurrently review and approve, modify, delay, or deny, based in whole or in part on medical necessity to cure and relieve, treatment recommendations by physicians, prior to, retrospectively, or concurrent with providing medical treatment services. Existing law also provides for an independent medical review process to resolve disputes over utilization review decisions, as defined.
This bill would revise and recast provisions relating to utilization review, as specified, with regard to injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2018. Among other things, the bill would set forth the medical treatment services that would be subject to prospective utilization review under these provisions, as provided. The bill would authorize retrospective utilization review for treatment provided under these provisions under limited circumstances, as specified. The bill would establish procedures for prospective and retrospective utilization reviews and set forth provisions for removal of a physician or provider under designated circumstances. On and after January 1, 2018, the bill would establish new procedures for reviewing determinations regarding the medical necessity of medication prescribed pursuant to the drug formulary adopted by the administrative director, as provided. The bill would make conforming changes to related provisions to implement these changes.
The bill would, commencing July 1, 2018, require each utilization review process to be accredited by an independent, nonprofit organization to certify that the utilization review process meets specified criteria, including, but not limited to, timeliness in issuing a utilization review decision, the scope of medical material used in issuing a utilization review decision, and requiring a policy preventing financial incentives to doctors and other providers based on the utilization review decision. The bill would require the administrative director to adopt rules to implement the selection of an independent, nonprofit organization for accreditation purposes, as specified. The bill would authorize the administrative director to adopt rules to require additional specific criteria for measuring the quality of a utilization review process for purposes of accreditation and provide for certain exemptions. The bill would require the administrative director to develop a system for electronic reporting of documents related to utilization review performed by each employer, to be administered by the division. The bill would require the administrative director, on or after March 1, 2019, to contract with an outside independent research organization to evaluate and report on the impact of provision of medical treatment within the first 30 days after a claim is filed, for claims filed on or after January 1, 2017, to January 1, 2019. The bill would require the report to be completed before January 1, 2020, and to be distributed to the administrative director, the Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations, and the Assembly Committee on Insurance.
Existing law requires every lien claimant to file its lien with the appeals board in writing upon a form approved by the appeals board. Existing law requires a lien to be accompanied by a full statement or itemized voucher supporting the lien and justifying the right to reimbursement, as specified.
This bill would require certain lien claimants that file a lien under these provisions to do so by filing a declaration, under penalty of perjury, that includes specified information. The bill would require current lien claimants to also file the declaration by a specified date. The bill would make a failure to file a declaration under these provisions grounds for dismissal of a lien. Because the bill would expand the crime of perjury, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The bill would also automatically stay any physician or provider lien upon the filing of criminal charges against that person or entity for specified offenses involving medical fraud, as provided. The bill would authorize the administrative director to adopt regulations to implement that provision. The bill would state findings and declarations of the Legislature in connection with these provisions.
Existing law prohibits the assignment of a lien under these provisions, except under limited circumstances, as specified.
This bill would, for liens filed after January 1, 2017, invalidate any assignment of a lien made in violation of these provisions, by operation of law.
Existing law requires the administrative director, in consultation with the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation, to adopt, after public hearings, a medical treatment utilization schedule to incorporate evidence-based, peer-reviewed, nationally recognized standards of care recommended by the commission, as specified.
This bill would authorize the administrative director to make updates to the utilization schedule by order, which would not be subject to the Administrative Procedure Act, as specified. The bill would require any order adopted pursuant to these provisions to be published on the Internet Web site of the division.
Existing law requires a deponent to receive certain expenses and reimbursements if an employer or insurance carrier requests a deposition to be taken of an injured employee, or any person claiming benefits as a dependent of an injured employee. Existing law authorizes the deponent to receive a reasonable allowance for attorney’s fees, if represented by an attorney licensed in this state.
This bill would authorize the administrative director to determine the range of reasonable fees to be paid to a deponent.
Existing law provides that it is the responsibility of any party producing a witness requiring an interpreter to arrange for the presence of a qualified interpreter. Existing law sets forth the qualifications of a qualified interpreter for these purposes, and provides for the settings under which a qualified interpreter may render services.
This bill would require the administrative director to promulgate regulations establishing criteria to verify the identity and credentials of individuals that provide interpreter services under these provisions.
Existing law requires physicians, as defined, who attend to injured or ill employees to file reports with specific information prescribed by law.
This bill would revise those reporting requirements, as prescribed.
This bill would incorporate changes to Section 4610 of the Labor Code proposed by AB 2503, to be operative as specified if both bills are enacted.
Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
For more information-
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Read the full text –
State Pain Policy Advocacy Network (SPPAN)
Los Angeles Network of Care
LegInfo Legislature CA.Gov
Blog: Daisy Bill http://blog.daisybill.com/sb1160-shakes-up-workers-comp
~Update brought to you by iPain Advocacy Committee, International Pain Foundation internationalpain.org