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We’re in an in-between phase in California workers’ comp.

Draft emergency regulations were posted by the DWC several weeks ago.
This included regs on the following subjects:
-Independent Medical Review
-Certification of interpreters
-Supplemental Job Displacement Vouchers
-Chiropractors as Primary Treating Physicians
-QMEs
-Independent Bill Review
-Predesignation

The DWC online forums elicited a large number of detailed comments on the proposed draft regs. Other comments may have been forwarded to the DWC by letter.

So within a few days its likely that we will see some changes made in the proposed emergency regs.

And then off they will go to the Office of Administrative Law.

Whatever emerges will be with us til regular rulemaking hearings are held on these topics in 2013.

Meanwhile, a controversy of sorts has emerged over the large proposed increase in employer assessments for 2013.

Insured employers will see assessments increase by 44% and self-insureds will see assessments increase by 35%.

Prominent employer stakeholder leaders were quoted in Workcompcentral as loathe to criticize the assessment increases, but as concerned and desirous of more information from the DWC on the details.

Assessments fund the Division of Workers Compensation. the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, the Subsequent Injuries Fund, and to some extent Labor Standards enforcement.

Clearly, SB 863 is going to raise the costs of administering California’s comp system. To the extent that those costs are passed along to employers then the SB 863 savings are lower that anticipated.

But without more facts and figures from the DWC, and without the ability to actually see the Brown Administration 2013 budget yet, it’s hard to analyze this topic.

However, fellow blogger David DePaolo (and publisher of Workcompcentral.com) has done several posts on the issue of the assessment hikes. DePaolo’s take on the assessments is notable and here are links to his analysis:

“State Closed. Take Your Business Elsewhere”:
http://daviddepaolo.blogspot.com/2012/1 … iness.html

“Employers Just Need Stability”:
http://daviddepaolo.blogspot.com/2012/1 … ility.html

“In Jerry We Trust”:
http://daviddepaolo.blogspot.com/2012/1 … trust.html

Stay tuned.

Julius Young
www.workerscompzone.com
www.boxerlaw.com

Category: Political developments

Julius Young

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