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California experienced a significant increase in lien filings from workers compensation service providers after the state adopted comp reforms in September, according to the California Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.
San Francisco-based WCIRB discussed the impact of S.B. 863 on California's workers comp loss development during an actuarial committee meeting on Wednesday. The bill included several workers comp reform provisions, including a lien filing fee of $150 and a three-year statute of limitations for new lien filings — both of which took effect Jan. 1. Another statute of limitations of 1.5 years for new lien filings will go into effect July 1.
During the fourth quarter of 2012, there were 513,129 lien filings from copy services, interpreters, medical providers and other workers comp services, according to a presentation posted on WCIRB's website. That's compared with 323,294 liens filed in the third quarter of 2012 and 463,856 liens filed in all of 2011.
WCIRB expects that 640,000 liens will be filed in 2013, according to the rating bureau's presentation. The lien filing fee is expected to reduce the projected number of workers comp liens by 30% and reduce California's comp system costs by $480 million.