California Department of Industrial Relations Implements Landmark Workers’ Compensation Reform To Protect Workers and Cut Costs
On January 4, 2013, the Department of Industrial Relations and its Division of Workers Compensation (DIR/DWC) announced new regulations implementing provisions of Senate Bill 863, California’s landmark workers’ compensation reform signed last year by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. to save businesses millions of dollars in unnecessary costs while boosting worker protections.
New California Workers’ Comp Medical Mileage Rate for Travel On or After 1/1/13
The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the standard mileage rate for business miles will increase from 55.5¢ per mile to 56.5¢ per mile as of January 1, 2013. According to the California Workers’ Compensation Institute, this means that the mileage rate that California workers’ compensation claims administrators pay injured workers for travel related to medical treatment or evaluation of their injuries should be increased to the IRS rate for travel on or after January 1, 2013, regardless of the date of injury. Claims administrators, however, should continue to pay the current rate of 55.5¢ per mile for travel from July 1, 2011 through December 31, 2012.
CWCI Scorecard Looks at Carpal Tunnel Claims in California WC
The California Workers’ Compensation Institute has released the sixth edition of its “Injury Scorecard” research series, providing detailed data on accident year (AY) 2001 to 2011 workers’ compensation claims experience for cases in which the primary diagnosis was carpal tunnel syndrome. The new Scorecard is based on data from 19,899 California open and closed job injury claims for carpal tunnel syndrome that through December 2011 resulted in total payments of $738 million. The Scorecard shows that over the 11-year span of the study, carpal tunnel claims accounted for less than 1% of California job injury claims, but 2.4% of all paid losses.
Marrs Maddocks Reacts to Workers’ Compensation 2013 Rate Filing Change
The recent news that the California’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) amended its 2013 rate filing to recommend no rate increase was greeted with delight by business owners, but Marrs Maddocks, a San Diego insurance agency, knows that businesses are still seeking ways to lower their workers’ compensation premiums.
Court Rules Neurologist is a Tool
Back in April 2010, Dennis Laurion insulted neurologist David McKee on several rate-your-doctors websites. After being hospitalized at St. Luke’s Hospital for a hemorrhagic stroke, Kenneth, Laurion’s father, was examined by McKee, where the doctor allegedly said, “44 percent of hemorrhagic strokes die within 30 days. I guess this is the better option,” and “It doesn’t matter that the patient’s gown did not cover his backside.” In another reference, Laurion claimed that a nurse referred to Dr. McKee as “a real tool!”