Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation
1995-96 Annual Report
Commission's Future Activities
The Commission has been considering the following activities for
the future, including ongoing monitoring of the system costs,
determining the need for increased benefits and the need for efficiencies
in the system.
Potential studies may include:
- Ongoing evaluation of employer costs/savings and employee
benefits in the workers' compensation system.
- Determining the nature of litigated cases. Why are more
cases getting litigated when claims are down?
- Determining the causes of work place injuries. An examination
based on a control group approach.
- Determining what are the factors such as management/employee
relations that result in successful return to work programs and
reduced work injuries.
- Determining the impact of open rating on claims handling.
- A review of the delays in the system with the goal of
eliminating unnecessary litigation.
- Improving the auditing function by providing a recommendation
that would allow good actors to avoid penalties and bad actors
to receive greater penalties.
- Developing an Issue Paper and study regarding circumvention
of the Vocational Rehabilitation cap by using the State Disability
Insurance to supplement the workers' compensation rehabilitation
benefit. Options might include an exclusion of injured workers
- Developing an Issue Paper on areas in which SDI and Workers'
Compensation share areas of the claim filing process with the
aim of streamlining and eliminating unnecessary litigation or
- An evaluation of the cost effectiveness of Labor Code
Sections 4800 and 4850.
- Continued monitoring of the Rehabilitation reforms.
- Continued monitoring of the medical-legal costs.
- An evaluation of the Alternate Dispute Resolution programs
on savings to employers and outcomes for injured workers.
- One Commission member has suggested another Symposium
for the community dealing with Health and Safety issues.
- There are difficulties inherent in having multiple tracks
in the workers' compensation system for injuries occurring at
different times. One Commission member recommends exploring the
possibility of moving toward one track for all injuries.
- Assessing DWC district office performance with respect
to timely handling of filings and scheduling of hearings.
- Determining the feasibility of simplifying the entire
workers' compensation system.
The Commission is also considering applying for a grant from the
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation under its new program "Workers'
Compensation Health Initiative". This program supports
demonstration and evaluation projects that create innovations
in the delivery and financing of the medical care portion of workers'
compensation programs, in order to contain costs and to improve
the quality of care.
With the elimination of the workers' compensation minimum rate law, there is interest in whether there has been a change in the numbers of illegally uninsured employers. The Commission recommends that an analysis be done of caseloads, payout rates, types of employers and other measures in DWC's Uninsured Employers Fund program before and after the elimination of the minimum rate law.
GO TO ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS