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Most Comp Bills Pass Ahead of Deadline

  • State: California
  • Topic: Top
  • - Popular with: Legal
  • -  0 shares
California lawmakers passed most workers’ compensation bills that are before them this year ah…

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Gilbert Fisher Jun 2, 2022 a 5:51 am PDT

While minimum wage has gone from $9 per hour in 2014 to $15 per hour now, the maximum permanent partial disability rate has remained at $290 per week. How are injured workers with permanent partial disabilities, and unable to return to their pre injury job, supposed to live on $290 per week while they try to get back into the labor force? When, considering the current inflationary cycle, can injured workers expect an increase in PPD rates? Why aren’t those rates tied to minimum wage, at least ($290 a week represents about 2/3 of the average weekly wage of an employee earning $10.88 per hour, so more than minimum wage in 2014, but no where near minimum wage now)?

Dr Jun 4, 2022 a 12:23 pm PDT

AB 2848 (Santiago) proposes changes favorable to insurers and Utilization Review agencies but not to injured workers or their treating doctors. Treating doctors remain obliged to adhere to Duty of Care and to obey Utilization Review decisions that overrule their prescriptions. Utilization Reviewers are exempt. Current law exempts Utilization Reviewers on the grounds that they're not actually practicing medicine since they don't interview or examine the patients. But they're allowed to disallow the diagnostic and treatment prescriptions of Treating doctors who've done both! Utilization Review doctors are exempt from discipline from the sate medical board whereas Treating doctors are subservient to the state medical board. Treating doctors are required to be licensed in California whereas Utilization Review doctors are exempt. Treating doctors are subject to the discipline of the state medical board whereas Utilization Review doctors are not. The solution is to make both Utilization Review and Treating doctors subject to the same Duty of Care and Utilization Review standards. This provision should be amended into AB 2848 (Santiago).

-- Robert L. Weinmann, MD, QME
----- president, CA Neurology Society
----- chair, CNS Legislative Cmte

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