First Round of Workers' Comp Regs Ready for Adoption by Nov. 1 Deadline

By Loretta Macktal, Executive Assistant to the Vice President, Government Relations

Capitol Update, Oct. 22, 2004 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On Friday, October 22nd, the California Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) filed with the Office of Administrative Law the first set of regulations implementing SB 899 (Charles Poochigian, R-Fresno), the workers' compensation reforms passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger last April.

This round of regulations govern the medical treatment component of the workers' compensation system and are designed to improve the treatment process for injured workers by governing the creation and operations of Medical Provider Networks.

A Medical Provider Network (MPN) is an entity or group of providers, set up by an insurer or self-insured employer and approved by the administrative director of the Division of Workers' Compensation, to treat workers who are injured on the job. Each MPN must include a mix of doctors who specialize in treating work-related injuries and doctors with general areas of medical expertise and they are required to meet certain access standards to care for common occupational injuries and work-related illnesses. Further, the regulations require MPNs to follow all medical treatment guidelines established by DWC and must allow employees a choice of provider(s) in the network after the first visit. MPNs also must offer an opportunity for second and third opinions if the injured worker disagrees with the diagnosis or treatment offered by the treating physician.

The regulations were filed on Friday in order to meet the statutory deadline of November 1, 2004. The Office of Administrative Law has 10 days to adopt these regulations on an "emergency" basis. Permanent regulations must be filed within 120 days of adoption.

Link to full DWC Release:
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