Posted on 16 October 2013 by admin
Today Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1376. The emergency legislation sponsored by VIAW will allow thousands of Californians hurt on the job to have access to certified interpreters during medical visits. Continue Reading
Posted on 01 October 2013 by admin
Injured workers, interpreters, and supporters of healthcare access throughout the state continue to urge Gov. Jerry Brown to sign AB 1376 and SB 36. The bills won overwhelming approval by state lawmakers last month. Continue Reading
Posted on 09 September 2013 by admin
On September 6, Voters Injured At Work succeeded in an effort to secure emergency legislation for interpreters and injured workers in the state. The bill, AB 1376, responds to a state rule put in place in August. Continue Reading
Posted on 27 August 2013 by admin
The new regulation imposes a requirement that only certified interpreters can take part in medical appointments for injured workers in the workers compensation system. As many as half of the estimated 9,000 to 10,000 daily medical appointments of injured workers in California require interpreters’ involvement. Yet only about 900 professionals in California currently meet the state’s certification mandate. Without interpreters, injured workers will miss or forgo life-sustaining treatment. Many could face potentially life-threatening miscommunication in trying to obtain care.
News of the new regulation emerged on August 15. While originally slated to take effect Oct. 1, the rule instead took effect on August 13 because of how officials in the DIR filed it. This gave the regulation sudden and very sharp teeth. Facing significant revenue losses, translation and interpreter agencies began laying off staff immediately.
In an August 20 meeting they sought with the director of the DIR, several interpreters outlined their concerns about the rule. These include an option for provisional allowance of interpreters that has proved impractical and leaves discretion with insurance carriers. Many carriers do not respond to even repeated inquiries and enforce a restriction on service only by their network of interpreters. In addition, medical translation forms used by some carriers are raising ethical concerns, since they request summaries of medical visits from interpreters that, in order to comply, could violate state and federal laws protecting patient privacy.
The compromising of interpreters’ and translators’ ethics is part of the effort to wedge them into a medical provider network (MPN). The role the state is playing to institute an MPN model on “language service providers” and the undue authority some insurance carriers exercise under this scheme has led some of us to ask whether the state and insurers may be colluding in ways that go outside the law.
At the DIR meeting, the director expressed understanding of interpreters’ concerns and said they had made the case for “a grace period” for the new rules’ taking effect.
But the agency has rejected any delay in the rule. Now we need action by the legislature that will have the force of law. That is why I urge you to join me and dozens of translators and interpreters statewide in raising the funds needed to support emergency legislation to delay this rule.
Please contribute to the legislative push for translators and interpreters and injured workers.
Make a donation online at: https://viaw.org/advertise/
Or send a contribution to:
Voters Injured At Work, 714 W. Olympic Blvd., 4th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90015.
The huge expansion of healthcare coverage now under way in California depends on fluent communication between healthcare providers and residents in the languages we understand. To drive language professionals out of business or out of state at the very time when Californians rely on us as a bridge to better healthcare outcomes, cost savings, and a more efficient system is just plain wrong.
Please stand with me and Voters Injured At Work and support our fight to defend translators and all Californians’ constitutional right.
Posted on 12 July 2013 by admin
This seminar will help you and your clients win on the new medical, legal & payment-systems landscape created by last year’s sweeping reform law in California.
Dr. Sana Khan, M.D. & Charles Rondeau, Esq.
YOU CAN ATTEND ANY OF 4 NEW LOCATIONS
San Diego Riverside Sacramento Oakland
Weds., August 14 Thurs., August 15 Tues., August 20 Thurs., August 22
All seminars run 6 to 9 p.m. Refreshments provided.
Space is limited. Sign up today. Specify your preferred location. Venue address provided upon RSVP.
These are the following locations:
Law Offices of Felipe Hueso
2496 E Street
San Diego, CA 92102
Thurs., Aug. 15
7028 Indiana Ave.
Riverside, CA 92506
Tues., Aug. 20
Retirement Security Center
8880 Cal Center Dr., Ste. 220
Sacramento, CA 95826
Thurs., Aug. 22
John E. Hill Law Firm
333 Hegenberger Rd., Ste. 500
Oakland, CA 94621
Posted on 07 June 2013 by admin
YOU ARE INVITED
Voters Injured at Work.org
celebrating 10 years of
leadership in the fight
for justice in California
Assemblymember Rich Gordon
Artist Bonnie Smith
Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
6:00 to 8:30 PM
25 W. San Fernando St.
San Jose, CA 95113
Posted on 24 May 2013 by admin
Every now and then the facts of someone’s life or death resonate up and down California and penetrate our boardrooms, newsrooms, classrooms and the Capitol.
Whether that happens in the case of Charles Romano, a worker in his 40s who died five years ago this month after a cruel five-year ordeal in the workers’ compensation system, will reveal the meaning of accountability in our state. It also will show officials’ willingness to exert lapsed oversight, ensure fair play and extend basic humanity in a system most simply want to ignore.
The ruling in Romano’s case this month by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) showed that neither decency nor the demands of law, in procedure or in penalties, is protecting injured workers or the public interest in a functional system. The appeals board found Romano’s employer, Kroger, under its California imprint Ralph’s, and insurance carrier Sedgwick culpable for “a callous indifference to the catastrophic consequences of its delays, inaction, and outright neglect.” Despite 11 separate violations of law for denying or delaying care to Romano – even refusing to provide him use of a wheelchair – and despite their months of delay in paying the hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospitalization costs surrounding his death, Ralph’s and Sedgwick face fines of just $110,000.
Such lethal irresponsibility toward a Californian trying to overcome a work-related injury is unconscionable but far from unusual. The meager maximum penalty of $10,000 for each violation, no matter how blatant and severe, clearly didn’t provide a disincentive for the delays and denials of care that proved fatal for Romano. Indeed, the ongoing practice of such illegal delays and denials in case after case reveals that “profit at any human cost” has become an unofficial motto for too many companies and their insurers.
In the Inland Empire alone, hundreds of men and women incur unforeseen bodily harm on the job each month. Stockers, like Romano, and warehouse workers, who are literally a backbone of our local economy, suffer scores of debilitating injuries. We cannot afford to turn our backs on them, their care or their future productivity.
If more lawmakers knew that changes in the 2004 bill pushed by Gov. Schwarzenegger, reducing penalties for delay and denial of care, could in any way enable such mistreatment, it would have met stiffer resistance, and amendments to stiffen penalties under law. Current lawmakers should waste no time in taking up that priority.
The Romano case highlights how denials and delays of treatment worsen injuries, wrongly shift cost burdens onto caregivers and inhibit rehabilitation and return to work. The ruling creates a teachable moment for all Californians – corporate executives and shareholders, reporters and editors, educators in health and government and law, as well as state officials – about the ethical obligations of employers and insurers, the need for effective regulation and the value of workers’ lives.
From orchards to railroads to renewable energy, our regional economy has grown from the ingenuity and sacrifice of workers. We all share an interest in protecting the health of the labor force.
John Longville, vice president of the San Bernardino Community College District Board of Trustees, represented county residents in the state Assembly from 1998 to 2004. Jesse Ceniceros, a former aerospace mechanic in Bloomington, is board chair of Voters Injured At Work, a statewide advocacy group for Californians hurt on the job.
Posted on 17 May 2013 by admin
Workers’ comp legislation introduced in House to benefit injured workers, help employers
Representatives Dave Reichert (R-Washington) and Mike Thompson (D-California) introduced the Medicare Secondary Payer and Workers’ Compensation Settlement Agreement Act (H.R. 1982) into the U.S. House of Representatives on May 15.
According to a press release, the Act establishes clear and consistent standards for an administrative process that provides reasonable protections for injured workers and Medicare. It would benefit injured workers, employers and insurers by creating a system of certainty and allows the settlement process to move forward while eliminating millions of dollars in administrative costs that harm workers, employers, and insurers.
The legislation aims to protect injured workers whose workers’ compensation claims overlap with Medicare coverage. Often, these claims are subjected to lengthy and cumbersome reviews by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to determine appropriate set-aside amounts to pay for future medical costs in which Medicare may have an interest. The delays associated with this review place unfair burdens upon the injured party.
“This is a common-sense measure to ensure that hard-working Americans are not left in limbo because of inefficient bureaucratic procedures,” said Rep. Reichert. “Injured workers must have the confidence that their heathcare claims will be processed in a fair and timely manner. By introducing this bill, Rep. Thompson and I aim to do just that: protect our hard-working citizens by making sure our systems serve them and their families.”
“The last thing injured workers should have to worry about is if needless bureaucracy is going to prevent their medical bills from being paid,” said Thompson. “This bill will make sure hard working families’ medical claims are processed efficiently and quickly, it will reduce bureaucratic headaches for businesses, and it will save taxpayers money. I will continue working with Congressman Reichert to get this bipartisan bill signed into law.”
The legislation has widespread support from groups such as the American Insurance Association, the American Bar Association, the National Council of Self-Insurers, Property Casualty, Insurers Association of America, UWC-Strategic Services and the Workers Injury Law and Advocacy Group (WILG).
Follow this link for the original posting.
Posted on 17 May 2013 by admin
legal, and payment‐systems landscape created by last year’s
sweeping workers’ comp reform law in California.
Sana Khan M.D., Ph.D
Charles Rondeau, Esq.
Tuesday, May 28
6 to 9 p.m.
2198 S. DuPont Dr.
Anaheim , CA 92806
For More Details Click on the Link: Seminar SB863