Confusion on California WC Statistics
WCIRB WCAN WCRI – Three trusted statistical providers that now have me confused on whether or not SB 863 actually had an effect on California’s Workers Comp system.
- WCIRB – Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau – The Rating Bureau for California’s WC system
- WCAN – Workers Compensation Action Network – An independent group that studies and advocates for reform in CA’s Workers Compensation system
- WCRI – Workers Compensation Research Institute – An independent organization that studies WC nationwide and produces reams of good data
- SB 863 – A Senate Bill passed and enacted on January 1, 2013 which was supposed to reduce WC costs by controlling certain aspects of the California WC system
After receiving a press release from WCRI today, confusion abounds as I had thought that SB 863 had failed in its mission. WCRI today published a study of California’s WC system that actually indicated a 5% reduction in medical costs.
Any of my comments on SB 863 are in this J&L Blog search. After searching back through 15+ articles ( wow, I actually wrote that many) on SB 863, I may have broken one of the Cardinal Sins of Workers Comp.
The actual results of a system change are not going to start really showing for two (at the beginning) to five years (full effect). WC is a delayed system. Immediate changes do not show for many months. I have seen Safety and Risk Manager jobs being eliminated as companies do not wish to be patient in our “instant information and results” workplace of today.
According to WCRI, some of the main reasons for the 5% decrease in costs were:
- Reduced fee schedule rates for services at ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs)
- Elimination of separate reimbursement for implantable medical devices, hardware, and instruments for spinal surgeries
- Requiring a $150 fee to file liens against an employee’s workers’ compensation benefits and a $100 activation fee for liens already filed.
There will be more information published by WCIRB WCAN WCRI in the future. One has to only anticipate an improved situation in California (or will it be improved).
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