Sacramento, CA – Assemblymember Henry T. Perea’s (D-Fresno) Assembly Bill (AB) 1124 recently passed the Assembly Floor and will head to the Governor’s desk. AB 1124 would establish a prescription drug formulary in California’s workers’ compensation system. This bill would help save millions in California workers’ compensation costs while ensuring injured workers get the necessary level of care that would help them get back to work.
“The central purpose of our workers’ comp system is to ensure injured workers regain health and get back to work. When workers get addicted to dangerous medications, goals of the program are not met,” said Assemblymember Perea. “An evidence based formulary has proven to be an effective tool in other states and stands to save California over 420 million dollars.”
“AB 1124 will reduce unnecessary costs within the workers’ compensation system while specifically protecting an injured worker’s right to any medically necessary prescription drugs,” said Mitch Seaman of the California Labor Federation. “In addition, the bill guarantees timely formulary updates as new drugs become available and a phased implementation for workers injured prior to the bill’s effective date. We applaud the work of the author, the Department of Industrial Relations, and the broad coalition of workers’ compensation stakeholders, and we look forward to remaining closely involved as the formulary works its way through the regulatory process.”
“For small businesses in the state of California, injured workers are more than a work comp claim but are our family members. Because a drug formulary has been shown in other states to change prescribing behaviors to less dangerous drugs, we have fully supported Assembly Member Perea’s bill and expect more efficient delivery of more clinically appropriate care to help address the epidemic of prescription drug misuse,” said Scott Hauge, President, Small Business California.
“AB 1124 will provide safe, effective and evidence-based treatment for injured workers while reducing delays and medical disputes in California’s workers’ compensation system,” said Jeremy Merz of the California Chamber of Commerce. “We commend Assemblymember Perea and the Division of Workers’ compensation for their leadership on this issue.”
“The American Insurance Association (AIA) is pleased to support AB 1124 and the adoption of a workers’ compensation drug formulary. An effective formulary will assist in injured workers’ medical outcomes, lesson system friction and provide for savings. Formularies have been adopted in other states, and have proven to be effective in the managed care setting,” said Steve Suchil, Assistant Vice President/Counsel, State Affairs Western Region, AIA. “Assembly Member Perea and his staff worked hard to convene meetings with affected parties and consider various points of view. Passage of AB 1124 is another significant step in improving the workers’ compensation system.”
“Even though California is not the first state to pursue a work comp drug formulary, they will provide leadership around the country by tackling the largest work comp system through a very public and transparent rule-making process,” said Mark Pew, Senior Vice President, PRIUM.
Source: Office of Assemblymember Perea