California has a robust workers’ compensation program, but that doesn’t mean it can’t benefit from updates over time.
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible for the laws to be changed without a lot of debate on both sides of the aisle between groups that want to protect the rights of workers and groups that are more concerned about the financial interests of the employers and insurance companies involved.
That debate is already heating up over newly proposed laws that may soon have a major impact on the way California workers’ comp claims are handled.
What’s heading to the desks of state lawmakers?
One of the biggest bills in front of legislators is Assembly Bill 1465. This bill would mandate the creation of a statewide network called “CAMPN,” or the California Medical Provider Network. Injured employees would have a choice between choosing their providers from either their employers’ medical provider network (MPN) or from CAMPN.
The idea is to give employees more choices about their own care — but detractors say that it will “lead to significant cost increases for employers and lower quality care for injured workers.” A large group of insurers and business organizations oppose AB 1465 saying that it “threatens the stability of the workers’ comp system as we know it.”
Most insurance companies and large companies rely on their MPNs to weed out what they suspect are false or exaggerated claims. Those who oppose MPNs say that injured workers often get a bad deal from doctors who are conscious of the fact that companies may not continue to use them if they appear overly sympathetic to injured workers.
What to do if you don’t get fair treatment with workers’ comp
Workers’ compensation is supposed to be an easy, no-fault system of relief for injured workers, but denied claims are common. So are problems with bad doctors, allegations of fraud, being urged to return to work before the injured employee has fully healed and other problems. If you’re struggling to get what you are due, talk to an attorney today.