June 24, 2010

Christine Baker


The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation Approves Three Draft Reports on System Improvement for Feedback and Comment

OAKLAND  --  The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation (CHSWC) has approved three draft reports and research updates for feedback and comment: a Liens Study Interim Briefing, a draft Study of Benefit Notices and Recommendations, and a draft Update of the QME Study.

The Liens Study Interim Briefing finds:

Data is still being analyzed by CHSWC and a draft report will be submitted at the next Commission meeting in August 2010.

The draft Study of Benefit Notices and Recommendations proposes a vision for California to have a “streamlined benefit notices program that allows claims administrators to communicate effectively with injured workers.” A small task force of advisors was created to discuss their experiences and views about problems with benefit notices, citing voluminous, complex, uncoordinated and misleading aspects. Simplification of benefit notices is proposed, and providing the notices on the internet is recommended.

The draft Update of QME Study builds upon an initial draft study on QME delays from March 2010, which found a difference in waiting times for attorney-represented QME cases (consultative ratings) and unrepresented QME cases (summary ratings); wait times could be as long as a year, but much lower mean and median rates were calculated. (See related information bulletin on this finalized DME Delay study for more details.) A bullet-point presentation with charts and tables facilitates the reporting of updated results.  

All the draft reports and research updates can be found in the Feedback section of the CHSWC website at

CHSWC is charged with examining the health and safety and workers’ compensation systems in California and recommending administrative or legislative modifications to improve their operation.  The Commission was established to conduct a continuing examination of the workers’ compensation system and of the state’s activities to prevent industrial injuries and occupational illnesses and to examine those programs in other states.

Information about the reports is available at and by writing to the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, 1515 Clay Street, Room 901, Oakland, CA 94612, by calling (510) 622-3959, by faxing a request to (510) 622-3265, or by emailing