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Calif. workers comp legislation gets mixed insurance industry review


SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Several recently passed changes to California’s workers compensation statutes are receiving mixed reviews from an insurance industry group.

During this year’s session, state legislators voted to remove financial incentives and limit the reimbursements physicians receive for providing compound drugs. The law change drew praise this week from the Washington-based American Insurance Assn., which noted the potential for cost savings in a statement.

“AIA is pleased that California legislators recognized the need for compound drug reimbursement reform,” Marjorie Berte, the AIA’s vp of state affairs for the Western region, said in the statement. “Insurers joined with organized labor and employers to pass this cost saving legislation.” The AIA urged Gov. Jerry Brown to sign the law to “take these added and unnecessary costs out of California’s workers compensation system.”

From licensing to apportionment

However, the AIA criticized other changes passed by California lawmakers.

The changes include new rules that, if signed into law, would require utilization review physicians and psychologists to be licensed in California, permit the extension of the 104-week temporary disability cap and address apportionment of cause in permanent disability cases.

All three measures are likely to add costs and some could lead to increased litigation, the AIA said.

The AIA urges Gov. Brown “to veto these bills, which will only serve to further financially burden California’s workers compensation system,” Ms. Berte said.