CalChamber Opposes Bill Increasing WC Costs


San Francisco, CA - California Chamber of Commerce-opposed legislation that increases workers' compensation costs continues to advance in the Legislature.

AB 933 (Fong; D-Cupertino) passed the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee on June 23 by a vote of 4-1.

The bill increases the cost of performing utilization review on medical treatment requests by requiring all doctors who make utilization review decisions to be licensed in California.

In addition, AB 933 adds further costs and delays for the Division of Workers' Compensation by requiring the term for approval of the medical provider network to be submitted every three years.

The CalChamber is pointing out that there is no evidence to show that care to injured workers would be improved by AB 933's mandate that any physician who modifies, delays or denies a request for treatment in a workers' compensation claim be licensed in California.

California's workers' compensation law already contains strict requirements to assure that physicians who make utilization review decisions use evidence-based standards and are competent to evaluate the specific medical issues in the workers' compensation claim.

Limiting the ability to make utilization review recommendations to physicians licensed in California would only limit the number of doctors available to provide the service, thereby creating a logjam of cases to be reviewed and driving up the cost of the review and overall costs for employers.

AB 933 jeopardizes the process that enables employers to ensure employees are receiving the best medical treatment possible while keeping costs under control.

Key Vote

The June 23 vote in Senate Labor and Industrial Relations was:

Ayes: DeSaulnier (D-Concord), Ducheny (D-San Diego), Leno (D-San Francisco), Yee (D-San Francisco).

Noes: Hollingsworth (R-Murrieta).

No Vote Recorded: Wyland (R-Carlsbad).

Source: CalChamber 

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