May 22, 2018

RAND Posts New Research Brief on Workers’ Comp Reform’s Effects on RTW

From the Brief: “In 2004, California passed Senate Bill 899 (SB 899), which introduced sweeping reforms to the workers’ compensation system designed to reduce employer costs and simultaneously improve outcomes for injured workers. It overhauled the permanent-disability rating system, reduced parties’ ability to “shop” for physicians, reformed medical treatment, and stimulated return to work by introducing a two-tier disability benefit scheme: Benefits would decrease by 15 percent when the original employer offered to rehire the disabled worker, and benefits would increase by 15 percent when it did not.

A RAND study, requested by the California Commission on Health, Safety and Workers’ Compensation, was the first to examine the effects of these reforms on rates of return to work among those with permanent partial disabilities. The study posed three research questions…”

The full report is available here.

Source: RAND

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