CHEESE WHIZ AND MEDICAL TREATMENT
On Friday, February 23, Cheese Whiz will be meeting at the California state building auditorium on Clay Street. Cheese Whiz? That's the acronym for the California Commission on Health, Safety and Workers' Compensation. It's a state agency charged to do study and loose oversight of the
CLOUDS OVER HEALTH CARE REFORM
For an excellent look at some of the factors which may block health care reform in the legislature this year, check out this article in The Fresno Bee by Jim Boren:
Health care reform is important to injured workers, and I will continue to
ALFONSO MORESI APPOINTED TO WCAB
San Francisco attorney Alfonso Moresi has been appointed to an open slot on the California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board.
Moresi will fill the slot that recently opened up with the departure of WCAB commissioner Merle Rabine.
The appointment is subject to confirmation by t
ARE EMPLOYERS FLEEING CALIFORNIA?
A major factor that led to the Draconian comp reforms of 2003 and 2004 was the job flight issue. Proponents of reform argued that workers' comp was strangling the California economy, causing business to leave for other states or the Far East.
But a recent study by a prestigious thin
KAISER GOING DIGITAL
Interesting article in last week's Los Angeles Times about Kaiser going digital. Many of the large insurers and medical providers are (or will) be trying to go digital. Unless and until the kinks get worked out, serious problems in patient care can develop.
To see the article; click
DWC PUBLIC FORUM
On Tuesday, February 20, the California Division of Workers' Compensation is holding a public forum on a study it has been conducting concerning return to work data and wage replacement.
This meeting may provide important clues as to the Schwarzenegger Administration's position
THE YEAR OF THE PIG
The Year of the Pig. Or the boar, to be exact. Gung Hay Fat Choy to you on the Chinese Lunar New Year. It's one of workerscompzone's favorite holidays.
Being a native North Carolinian, I have a natural affinity to pigs. North Carolina is one barbecue-obsessed state, and is one
NEVANS PREDICTS ADJUSTMENTS IN PD SCHEDULE
At a Thursday public hearing in Los Angeles, the acting director of the California Division of Workers' Compensation, Carrie Nevans, indicated that there will probably be adjustments in the California permanent disability rating schedule this year.
The February 16 edition of Workcomp
DUMB REASONS TO PICK A QME
Most important issues in California workers' comp cases are resolved by the QME process (QME is short for "qualified medical examiner").
This usually occurs when the insurance adjuster sends the worker a letter saying that the worker must request a QME panel from the state.
POIZNER NAMES DEPUTY FROM INSURANCE INDUSTRY
Newly elected Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has announced the appointment of William Gausewitz as counsel. Poizner, the only Republican elected to statewide office in 2006 other than Gov. Schwarzenegger, had campaigned on a platform of being an independent voice.
Observers have b
WHO SHALL PAY?
The debate over health care reform is important to California injured workers, many of whom lose their group health coverage after an injury.
The big debate in California now is over how we shall cover more of the uninsured... and over who shall pay.
Many states are experiment
THE STATE GOP CONVENTION
It was interesting to watch the State GOP convention this weekend, albeit from afar. After all, with Schwarzenegger tacking towards the middle after his disastrous losses for his ballot initiatives, how will he deal with members of his own party?
The answer to this question may have ramif
THE HISPANIC WORKER AND WORKERS' COMP
Recently, while in Los Angeles, I had occasion to travel by bus from Santa Monica to downtown LA. From the Santa Monica Promenade bus stop the city bus wound its way through an assortment of neighborhoods reflecting the socioeconomic highs and lows of America.... Westwood, Beverly Hills, Hancock Par
FILLING THE SLOT
There is much insider gossip regarding who may be the next appointee to the California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board.
A slot opened up with the January 2007 expiration of the term of Merle Rabine, appointed in 2000 by Gray Davis.The terms of a majority of the commissioners expi
DWC UNVEILS PROPOSED PENALTY REGULATIONS
Is the third time the charm? We shall see. Yesterday, the California Division of Workers' Compensation released a third version of proposed penalties for utilization review abuse. The 2004 reforms allow insurers to have outside medical reviewers (utilization review) determine whether a doctor&
FACE TIME WITH YOUR QME EXAMINER
California workers' comp regulations specify that QME examiners must spend "face time" with the worker being evaluated.
One of the most frequent complaints I hear is from workers who tell me that the QME spent almost no time examining or talking to them. Apparently, many QM
ENFORCING A MEDICAL TREATMENT AWARD
Good news for injured workers... A recent California Court of Appeal decision (Dwight Smith vs. WCAB) will be a great help to California injured workers who seek to enforce a medical treatment award.
The Smith case should make it easier for workers to find an attorney to help enforce an a
PRO FOOTBALL PLAYER INJURIES
Its Super Bowl Sunday again. The gladiators of American culture will be taking to the field soon.
For a moment, though, take time to honor the pro football players of the past who were injured while entertaining us on those Sunday afternoons and Monday nights. Injuries... some catastrophi
FOOTBALL'S WALKING WOUNDED
Many of us worship at the altar of Monday Night Football. I was a LA Rams fan long before they moved to Saint Louis. As a kid, I would pretend to be Johnny Unitas or Roman Gabriel, throwing the hail mary pass as I evaded some Dick Butkus wannabe kid.
Later, I marveled at the dominance of
NEW SCHEDULE OR OLD SCHEDULE?
One of the hot current issues in California workers' comp law is how to "rate" injuries that occurred before before January 1, 2005. Are workers injured in 2004 under the old pre-Schwarzenegger rating system? Or are they covered under the new rating system which relies heavily on the
- CHEESE WHIZ AND MEDICAL TREATMENT