In the final day of the state legislature’s regular session, California legislators voted to make revisions to their state’s workers’ compensation insurance system, with the intent of reducing premiums and overall costs associated with the system.
Along with provisions regarding prescription drugs, fee schedules and fraud-related fine caps, the legislature also approved provisions that will limit chiropractic and physical therapy treatment for injured employees to no more than 24 treatments per claim. In addition, the legislature also voted to stop the state’s vocational rehabilitation program in favor of educational grants for retraining injured employees.
If signed into the law, the new workers’ compensation provisions will also establish medical guidelines for governing how injuries are treated and allow for an administrative review of previous workers’ compensation cases to prevent future over-treatment.
While these cost-saving measures may help ease the pains of the state’s workers’ compensation program, for the worker with an injury resulting from an ergonomics-related issue, it may also cut into the effectiveness and viability of some of the more popular current forms of injury treatment, including chiropractic care and physical therapy.
With the highest premiums in the U.S., California’s workers’ compensation system has come under fire by insurance providers, businesses and lawmakers. The state’s governor, Grey Davis, has vowed to sign the recently approved workers compensation reform package into law.
Sources: Sacramento Bee; Insurance Journal