Oakland, CA – The California Workers’ Compensation Institute will hold a 1-day seminar in October 15 in Long Beach and October 19 in San Francisco to educate industry professionals on the provisions and practical implementation issues related to SB 863, the workers’ comp reform passed by state lawmakers at the end of the 2012 legislative session. The reform bill, hammered out in closed door sessions by representatives of labor, employers, the governor’s office and legislative leaders, is the most significant reform of the California workers’ compensation system since the enactment of SB 899 in 2004. While some provisions will be fleshed out by regulation and phased in during 2013 and beyond, others take effect January 1, 2013, making it imperative for workers’ compensation professionals to immediately get up to speed with the changes, rules, requirements, and timelines.
The CWCI seminar, “SB 863: Implementing California’s 2012 Workers’ Compensation Reform Legislation” will review key provisions of the bill, educate members of the community on the nature, scope and timing of the changes, and provide practical information and insights needed to develop effective, appropriate policies and strategies for delivering benefits in the restructured system. The program is appropriate for claims administrators, medical case managers, UR and bill review specialists, attorneys, hearing reps, rehab professionals — anyone who needs to understand how the revamped system is supposed to work. Continuing education units will be available for claims examiners, attorneys, and hearing reps. The seminar will cover the following areas:
- Changes in Permanent Disability, with a review of the new weekly PD benefits, the adoption of the 1.4 whole person impairment modifier, limits on psych, sleep and sexual dysfunction add-ons, the elimination of the diminished future earning capacity modifier and the 15% PD bumps, and the mandate for the new $120 million return-to-work fund.
- Medical Care Issues, including revised MPN rules, new rules for non-network physician reports, changes in surgical implant pass-through payments, and new interpreter requirements for medical care.
- Adoption of New Fee Schedules, including the transition to an RBRVS schedule for physician fees, as well as new schedules governing ambulatory surgery centers, home health care, interpreter services, vocational experts and copy services.
- New Systems for Handling Billing and Treatment Disputes, covering the new Independent Bill Review (IBR) and Independent Medical Review (IMR) systems scheduled to take effect in 2013.
- Changes in the Lien Process, with information on the reintroduction of lien filing fees, the adoption of the activation fees for existing liens, and the new statute of limitations for filing liens.
- Revisions to Other Indemnity Benefits, including changes to the Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit level and new SJDB timeframes for claims with injury dates on or after January 1, 2013 and increased death benefits.
The CWCI training will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, October 15 at the Grand Long Beach Event Center, and Friday, October 19 at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco. Preregistration is required, as space is limited and reservations will be taken in the order received. More details and registration forms are available online at www.cwci.org or by calling CWCI at 510-251-9470.