State Proposes Workers’ Compensation Regulations
State officials are proposing new regulations that would require state audits of workers' compensation insurers to prevent providers from improperly delaying or denying medical care, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Division of Workers' Compensation said the proposed rules would ensure that workers are not refused medication, surgery or other procedures that were recommended by a physician.
The regulations are undergoing public comment and could go into effect next year, according to the Times.
Along with the audit, the state will fine insurers for violations, including:
- $50,000 if a medical director is not on staff to oversee utilization review decisions;
- $25,000 if the medical director is not a medical doctor;
- $15,000 if a review of treatment requests is not provided in a timely matter; and
- Smaller fines for procedural errors.
Insurance officials called the proposal "severe," and business organizations said that they support the audits but that the fines are "onerous," according to the Times.
Labor unions voiced support for the regulations (Lifsher, Los Angeles Times, 12/6). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.