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Archive | April, 2013

Senate Bill 36 (Hueso) – Sponsor

Posted on 18 April 2013 by admin

Voters Injured at Work (VIAW) is a non-profit, grass-roots organization that represents injured workers throughout the state of California. VIAW has a network of more than 10,000 working people in California who have suffered injuries at work, as well as their families. VIAW’s primary goal is to ensure that the Comp system provides sufficient treatment and resources to injured workers. Our economy and our families depend upon critical medical treatment and vocational services to return to the workforce. When the system disproportionally harms the injured worker we all lose.

VIAW is proud to sponsor Senate Bill 36 (Hueso), which would require that the Department of Insurance publish the annual and quarterly financial statements filed by workers’ compensation insurers on its website. This will increase transparency in the workers’ compensation system in California, an increase that is greatly needed. The solvency of some insurers has become a concern, and publishing these financial statements will help improve the public’s awareness of which, if any, insurers are in financial trouble.

Official Letter Submitted is at this link

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JOIN US in SACRAMENTO to PASS SB 626

Posted on 18 April 2013 by admin

JOIN US
Wednesday, April 24
in
SACRAMENTO
to
PASS SB 626

Gather just one block from the Capitol at
Chicory Coffee & Tea
1131 11th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
8:30 a.m.
April 24

We will proceed to the Capitol at 9:00 a.m.
to the Rose Ann Vuich Hearing Room (2040)
for the 9:30 a.m. hearing with SB 626 on agenda
of the
State Senate’s Committee on
Labor & Industrial Relations

Make Sure Your Voice Gets Heard
RSVP:
administrator@VIAW.org
or Text Your Name to 323-807-2785

For Tips on Reaching Committee Members or Talking Points on Passing SB 626, Visit www.VIAW.org or Call 323-807-2785

DOWNLOAD OFFICIAL FLYER ON THIS LINK

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SB 626

Posted on 17 April 2013 by admin

Do a BILL SEARCH on on this link be entering the bill number.

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AB 1010

Posted on 17 April 2013 by admin

Do a BILL SEARCH on on this link be entering the bill number.

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SB 36

Posted on 17 April 2013 by admin

Do a BILL SEARCH on on this link be entering the bill number.

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Support SB 36: Sunlight on Insurance Carriers

Posted on 17 April 2013 by admin

Newest state senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), a strong labor ally, is already making an impact for workers and Californians hurt on the job in his first weeks of service in the upper chamber. Fresh from his March 12 special-election victory, Hueso on April 8 hit the ground running with SB 36 to ensure that quarterly and annual disclosure reports filed by companies providing workers compensation insurance in California get posted on the Web site of the state Department of Insurance. The bill is set for a hearing on April 24 in the Senate Insurance Committee.

See attached additional information

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GIL CEDILLO FOR LOS ANGELES 2013

Posted on 16 April 2013 by admin

Gil Cedillo Event Additional Information

Please Join Host

Ernesto Barreto * Bernardo De la Torre * Seve Holguin

Carlos Iriarte * Salvador Ortiz * Frank Perez

Jose Perez * Jose Romero * Samule Salazar * Moises Vasquesz

Today, Tuesday, April 16, 2013

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

The Law Office of Moreno and Perez

714 West Olympic, Suite 450

Los Angeles, CA 90015

For more detailed information, please see our attachment

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California hopes to curb opioid abuse with new regulations, better monitoring

Posted on 10 April 2013 by admin

by Sheena Harrison of Business Insurance

California lawmakers and workers compensation regulators want to curb prescription opioid abuse, and they are turning to Washington state for inspiration in the fight against narcotic addiction and deaths.

Last fall, prescription drug abuse provisions were left out of a California workers compensation reform bill to help the legislation win passage, experts say.

Now that those reforms are being implemented, California is attacking opioid painkillers on several fronts, including new workers comp medical regulations and a push to boost funding for the state’s prescription drug monitoring program.

“There’s a lot of interest in the opioid abuse issue, which was not addressed in” the recently passed law, said Marjorie Berte, Western region vice president at the American Insurance Association.

California’s Division of Workers’ Compensation is devising new medical treatment guidelines similar to those used by Washington, sources say.

Dr. Gary Franklin, a neurologist and medical director for the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, is advising the California workers comp division, but he declined to discuss details.

Dr. Franklin’s research and recommendations helped spur development of the Washington state medical treatment guidelines adopted in 2007.

After adoption, Washington saw a 23% drop in prescription painkiller-related deaths between 2008 and 2011, the latest data available. That compared with an eightfold increase in such deaths during the previous 10 years, according to a statement the Washington State Department of Health released in January.

Among other recommendations, Dr. Franklin says opioid prescriptions should be provided for a maximum of six weeks after an acute injury or surgery, and that nonopioid pain relievers should be used as a first line of pain management for nonacute cases.

“Give people the comfort they need, but make sure that they’re improving from what you’re doing,” Dr. Franklin said. “And maybe think about using opioids intermittently instead of increasing doses every day.”

Also, Dr. Franklin said states should require doctors to keep opioid doses at less than a morphine equivalent of 120 milligrams per day, a threshold dosage that could lead to opioid overdose if exceeded.

“There’s no way to stop this public health emergency unless you do something” about dosage, he said.

Dr. Franklin shared his thoughts last month during a joint hearing of the California Senate Labor Committee and the Assembly Insurance Committee.

During the three-hour hearing that focused on opioids in workers comp, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said California has no guidelines for the use or prescription of opioids. He said Washington state could serve as a model for guidelines being developed by California.

California could consider adopting a prescription drug formulary that limits the use of certain medications, if the pending guidelines aren’t effective, he said.

“This may be an acceptable approach in the case of some of the most powerful and risky types of opioids,” Mr. Jones said in a video of the hearing.

William Zachry, vice president of risk management at supermarket operator Safeway Inc. in Pleasanton, Calif., said he’s hopeful the Washington medical treatment guidelines will become the standard for opioid regulation in California and other states.

“I strongly believe that if California and the other states adopt the treatment guidelines that have already been established in the state of Washington, it will be easier for implementation throughout the United States to have just one set of guidelines instead of having (varying) sets of guidelines trying to control opioids,” Mr. Zachry said.

In addition to workers compensation regulatory efforts, a bill introduced in the California Senate in February aims to bolster the state’s prescription drug monitoring program and help identify problematic opioid prescriptions.

Another Senate bill on the table could go further to help curb opioid abuse in workers comp and California’s overall health care system.

Introduced in January, this legislation would require coroners to file a report when they think a death is caused by prescription drug use.

The measure the Senate unveiled in February would establish a state fund to pay for the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System, known as CURES.

The database, operated by the California Department of Justice, allows physicians, pharmacists and other providers to see whether a patient already has prescriptions for controlled substances, before they issue a new prescription for such medications. The state’s pharmacists and clinics are required to submit prescription information into the database but doctors that dispense prescriptions from their offices do not.

However, the controlled substance review system may be taken down in July because it does not have an operational budget, according to a January report from the Oakland-based California Workers’ Compensation Institute.

That report estimated that California’s workers comp system could save $57.2 million in prescription drug costs by keeping the controlled substance review database running and allowing third-party payers to access it.

Institute President Alex Swedlow said the database could be a critical component of the state’s efforts to curb prescription drug abuse.

“Payers in workers comp have a very limited view about the total medications that are being delivered to the injured workers under their review,” Mr. Swedlow said.

Mark Sektnan, president of the Sacramento-based Association of California Insurance Cos., said the industry group hopes that the state will renew funding for the database and make the program mandatory for medical providers.

“Right now, it’s a voluntary program, so it tends not to be very robust,” Mr. Sektnan said. “So the information’s not very good. We need everybody to participate, and everybody needs to use the system.”

During last month’s legislative hearing, Mr. Jones said insurers have offered to help pay for the prescription drug database, if physicians are required to report when they dispense prescriptions through their offices, rather than through a pharmacy.

“I think that’s fair,” Mr. Jones said. “If employers are going to pay through their insurance premiums for CURES, we need to make sure that CURES is complete and robust and provides full information.”

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Block Transportation Security Administration Policy Decision to Accept Pre-9/11 Weapons

Posted on 03 April 2013 by admin

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
Keep Knives Off the Plane.
Before the morning of September 11, 2001, the threat of using commercial aircraft as a weapon was unknown. At great cost, we know better today. The TSA was created because blades on airplanes were used to cause this deadly attack on U.S. soil.

There’s no excuse for reversal on the policy to ban knives from the aircraft cabin. Multi-layered security, including prohibition of items that could pose a threat, ensures U.S. aviation is the safest in the world. The ban on dangerous objects is an integral layer in aviation security.

Flight Attendants serve as the last line of defense in aviation security – responsible for ensuring the safety, health and security of the passengers in our care. Join us in keeping our aircraft cabin safe. TELL THE TSA TO KEEP KNIVES OUT OF THE CABIN.

Sign the PETITION here

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CA DWC, WCAB revise Policy and Procedural Manual

Posted on 02 April 2013 by admin

Oakland, CA – The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) have revised their Policy and Procedural Manual (PPM) and posted it on the WCAB website.
The PPM is an internal employee guide, prepared under the authority of the administrative director of DWC and the chair of the WCAB. The manual is designed to promote uniformity and provide direction to judges and other employees in the day-to-day operation of DWC’s district offices and the Appeals Board. It is also a resource for attorneys, claims administrators and other parties wanting information on the rules of court. Because it an internal document, the PPM is not subject to regulations, which require formal rulemaking procedures and public hearings.

Read Full Article Here

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