Workers’ Comp Measure Clears First Hurdle to Ballot
A proposed ballot measure seeking revisions to state workers' compensation insurance laws has won approval to begin collecting signatures to qualify for the next statewide election, the measure's author announced Friday, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
William Morris, an attorney who represents workers' compensation claimants, authored the initiative. It would:
- Permit workers' compensation claimants to choose their own physician, reversing current regulations that generally require claimants to see a provider in a network of physicians selected by their employer;
- Abolish a requirement for insurers or employers to approve doctors' treatment recommendations; and
- Require the Department of Industrial Relations to update its medical fee schedule annually.
Attorney General Jerry Brown said the initiative would "eliminate employers' right to challenge treatment, pharmaceuticals or diagnostic evaluations." Brown titled the measure, "Workers' Compensation. Statutory Change."
Morris disputed Brown's description of the measure, saying employers could challenge recommendations through an existing state law (Sacramento Business Journal, 4/13). 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.