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Current market conditions are driving geography-based changes to California’s medical fee schedule for physicians treating injured workers in the state, the California Division of Workers Compensation announced Friday.
Regulators are holding a public hearing April 17 to collect comments on the proposal that would both increase and decrease maximum physicians’ fees in 32 regions of California.
Following the state’s passage of workers comp reform in 2012, regulators established physician fee schedule regulations, adopting an average statewide geographic adjustment factor in lieu of Medicare’s locality-specific geographic adjustment factors. The current physician fee schedule makes no adjustments for differences in costs of maintaining a practice across geographic areas, according to documents issued Friday.
The changes would put the state’s comp system in line with that of Medicare’s fee schedule, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2017.
A few doctors are responsible for prescribing nearly 80% of Schedule II opioids for workers compensation injuries, research released Monday by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute found.