Taken From: Insurance Journal
“With 2013 just around the corner, a number of states are preparing to implement new insurance-related laws. Insurance Journal highlights some of the changes that will take place around the country.
In 2013, the California workers’ compensation benefit delivery system will undergo regulatory changes as part of SB863, the Workers’ Compensation Reform Package, which was passed in the 2012 legislative session. SB863 is intended to reduce system costs as a set off for increased worker indemnity benefits.
SB 863 is designed to contain costs in several ways, while increasing permanent disability benefits for workers. Two prime goals the bill had in attempting to reduce costs were to change the way in which the system deals with permanent disability, and how medical liens and billing disputes are handled.
“SB863 is intended to reduce system costs as a set off for increased worker indemnity benefits, but overall projected savings are 1.4 percent. We believe that further savings must be found in the system,” Marjorie Berte, vice president of the American Insurance Association told Insurance Journal.
Specifically, SB 863: 1) Increases permanent disability (PD) benefits by about $740 million per year, with a two year phase-in, and removes future earning capacity for PD calculations; 2) Eliminates cost-driver sleep disorder, sexual dysfunction, and psychological add-ons; 3) Changes the medical fee schedule to Medicare-based RBRVS from the current official medical fee schedule; 4) Establishes fee schedules for ambulatory surgical centers, copy services and translators; 5) Eliminates double billing for implantable surgical hardware; 6) Removes medical decisions from workers’ compensation administrative judges; 7) Provides for an independent medical review process similar to that used in managed health care; 8) Streamlines medical provider network (MPN) process to encourage usage and going outside of MPNs, and simplifies the MPN approval process; and, 9) Imposes limitations on use of liens, and establishes lien filing fees.”
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For more information about any of the new laws that are taking affect in the insurance world in 2013 or to obtain a new Commercial Insurance or Personal Insurance quote simply contact Scurich Insurance Services located in Watsonville, California today at 800-320-3666.
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