California’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau has released its 2006 Legislative Cost Monitoring Report.
According to the report, physician fees have been reduced by about 4 percent since workers’ comp reforms were implemented. Similarly, inpatient facility fees were reduced by about 4 percent, and outpatient fees were reduced by approximately 3 percent.
Physical therapy use has been reduced by about 61 percent, and chiropractic use has been reduced by about 77 percent, following SB 228, the report notes.
Furthermore, the use of medical networks has increased significantly, the report said. And indemnity claim frequency has declined by approximately 46 percent, the WCIRB indicated.
Beginning in 2002, California lawmakers enacted a series of workers’ compensation reforms. Those reforms, Assembly Bill No. 749, Assembly Bill No. 227, Senate Bill No. 228 and Senate Bill No. 899, made significant changes to key components of the workers’ compensation system and have had a substantial impact on system costs.
In 2004, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) directed the WCIRB to monitor the impact of this legislation on emerging system costs. Working with a multi-disciplinary committee, the WCIRB developed an integrated cost monitoring plan and submitted the plan to the CDI on September 9, 2005. The 2006 Legislative Cost Monitoring Report is now complete and may be viewed, downloaded or printed from the Data and Reports section of the WCIRB website.
To view or print the report, visit https://wcirbonline.org/resources/data_reports/pdf/2006_cost_monitoring_report.pdf.