Doctors Will Face Significant New Workers' Compensation Rules and Regulations Beginning January 1

 

In 2017, California doctors will see new reforms instituted as part of several recently enacted laws aimed at increasing the transparency and accountability within the workers’ compensation system.

Several bills relating to workers’ compensation were signed into law in 2016 taking effect in 2017/2018:

SB 1160 and AB 2503:

  • Make changes to the utilization review process with respect to injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2018.
  • Require regulations to be adopted to provide employees with notice that they may access medical treatment outside the workers’ compensation system following the denial of their claim.
  • Make changes regarding liens filed after January 1, 2017.
  • Amend the reporting and request for authorization requirements for physicians who attend to ill or injured employees.

AB 1244 requires prompt suspensions of physicians, practitioners or providers from participating in the workers’ compensation system if the individual meets certain criteria; for instance, if the individual was convicted of any felony or misdemeanor involving abuse of the Medi-Cal or Medicare programs or the workers’ compensation systems.

AB 2883 clarifies when owners or officers of businesses may be excluded from workers’ compensation laws.

SB 914 deletes the authorization to use the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine as a standard for independent medical reviews.

SB 1175 requires providers to submit bills for medical services to the employer within one year of the date of service.

CPMA's Health Policy Chair Franklin Kase, DPM, FACFS will provide an in depth analysis of the new laws in the next issue of CPMA's member magazine The California Podiatric Physician.