Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation
Information Bulletin

February 13, 2002 Christine Baker
(415) 703-4220

CHSWC Issues Staff Recommendations on Workers' Compensation Hospital Fee Schedule

SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Commission on Health and Safety and -- The California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation (CHSWC) voted to approve and release the CHSWC Staff Summary report on the study of the Inpatient Hospital Fee Schedule and Outpatient Surgery Study to the DWC Administrative Director and the community. The CHSWC Report includes staff recommendations and incorporates some of the findings from the study of the Hospital Fee Schedule utilized in the workers’ compensation system.

CHSWC also voted to release to the public the original study report prepared for the Commission by Dr. Gerald Kominski and Dr. Laura Gardner.

The CHSWC staff report recommends that, for an Inpatient Fee Schedule, a joint task force consisting of CHSWC, Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), California Healthcare Association, other hospital representatives and a California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) representative should be established to recommend a reimbursement methodology for high-technology hardware and/or instrumentation for spine surgery DRGs that will provide predictability, stability, efficiency, and access to care.

The report recommends that a fee schedule which covers outpatient surgery facility fees should be implemented in the California workers’ compensation system and a fee schedule which covers emergency room facility fees should also be considered.

The report further recommends that a special task force be established to research other data sources and propose a methodology for a fee schedule (not necessarily excluding application of Medicare’s ASC and APC with a phased-in multiplier) to be considered by the DWC Administrative Director.

CHSWC also notes that further study and analysis could be greatly enhanced by data on provider costs. While there are data for inpatient hospital admissions, there is currently no central repository of data on medical costs.

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

The report by Drs. Kominski and Gardner, the CHSWC staff summary report and other publications are available through the Internet at CHSWC’s home page at A copy of the report may also be obtained at no charge by writing to the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, 10th Floor, San Francisco, California 94102, by calling (415) 703-4220, by faxing a request to (415) 703-4234, or by emailing