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California AB 1643 Changes Apportionment For Worse

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California AB 1643 Warning Memo From WCAN

The new California AB 1643 House Bill has caused  quite a bit of controversy.  WCAN has produced a reminder to contact Governor Brown to veto the bill.   The bill summary is below.

Flag California AB 1643 in California
Wikimedia Commons – Makaristos

Apportionment is basically assigning a permanent disability rating to only the new injury and to not allow the rating of previous injuries or conditions.  Many states have the same type of rules/law on not  rating old injures or conditions.

WCAN (Workers Compensation Action Network) produces the best charts and graphs in the Workers Comp world.   Their California AB 1643 memo is here. 

A similar attack on apportionment  occurred a few years ago.  Governor Brown’s Veto of AB 305 covered the same ground but from a different angle.

An act to amend Section 4663 of, and to add Section 4660.2 to, the Labor Code, relating to employment.
Will Governor Brown veto California AB 1643?   Only time will tell, however he has vetoed similar bills.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1643, Gonzalez. Workers’ compensation: permanent disability apportionment.

 

Sacramento California AB 1643 in California
Wikimedia Commons – Rafał Konieczny

Existing workers’ compensation law generally requires employers to secure payment of workers’ compensation, including medical treatment, for injuries incurred by their employees that arise out of, or in the course of, employment. An employer is liable only for the percentage of the permanent disability directly caused by the injury arising out of, and occurring in the course of, employment.

Existing law requires apportionment of permanent disability to be based on causation, and a physician who prepares a report addressing the issue of permanent disability due to a claimed industrial injury is required to address the issue of causation of the permanent disability. The physician is required to make an apportionment determination by finding the approximate percentage of the permanent disability that was caused by the direct result of injury arising out of and occurring in the course of employment, and the approximate percentage of the permanent disability that was caused by other factors both before and subsequent to the industrial injury, including prior industrial injuries.

This bill would prohibit apportionment of permanent disability, in the case of a physical injury occurring on or after January 1, 2017, from being based on pregnancy, menopause, osteoporosis, or carpal tunnel syndrome. The bill would also prohibit apportionment of permanent disability, in the case of a psychiatric injury occurring on or after January 1, 2017, from being based on psychiatric disability or impairment caused by any of those conditions.

The bill would also provide, notwithstanding any other law, for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2017, that the impairment ratings for breast cancer and the aftereffects of the disease, known as sequelae, shall in no event be less than comparable ratings for prostate cancer and its sequelae.
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Table of Contents

James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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