Rate Filing Could Be Lowered by CA Workers' Comp Bureau

Posted By Thomas F. Martin, PLC || 16-Sep-2016

The California Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) has approved for a 4.3% rate filing reduction to go into effect on January 1st, 2017. The change is dependent on two bills that still require Governor Jerry Brown’s signature: Senate Bill 1160 and Assembly Bill 1244. The idea is that if both bills go into effect, together with the rate filing reduction, costs for the department will drop.

SB 1160, if approved, will place new limitations on the utilization review (UR) process. A physician who has been accused of or charged for certain criminal actions, especially any that could be linked to medical fraud or malpractice, will receive a stay. It would also affect provider liens.

AB 1244 works in conjunction with SB 1160 by taking out any doctor or practitioner in the state’s workers’ compensation system that has been convicted of fraudulent practices. The illegitimate actions can involve the Medi-Cal program, Medicare, the actual workers’ compensation system as regulated by the state, or any combination of these institutions. Doctors that are removed due to AB 1244 would also lose the ability to file any liens. This bill comes as a response to findings of the Department of Workers’ Compensation that determined 1-in-10 liens are filed by providers with a record of fraudulent practices, either confirmed through conviction or still under investigation.

The WCIRB has maintained its ability to retract its rate filing reduction at any time before it takes effect if Governor Brown does not sign the two bills. If the bills are not approved and turned into law, the reduction would not have the same fiscal impact intended.

Insurance Journal has created a detail article about the proposed changes; you can view it by clicking here. If you have questions or concerns about workers’ compensation law, you can contact Thomas F. Martin, PLC and our Santa Ana workers’ compensation attorney. We also serve clients throughout Orange County. Our law firm can guide you through just about any workers' compensation case or claim with confidence, no matter how complex or obscure.

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