IR # 96-24
Thursday, May 30, 1996

Christine Baker
(415) 557-1304

Commission Contracts for Study of Pervasiveness
of Unratable Medical-Legal Reports Used in the
Permanent Disability Rating Process

SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation voted unanimously to contract with UC Berkeley, Survey Research Center to study what many disability evaluators report as their largest problem, the poor quality of reports that they have to rate.

Despite the incomplete nature of these reports, it is reported that the Disability Evaluation Unit (DEU) is rating the reports, sending them out and is having them returned for re-rating. This churning results in delays and additional costs to all parties in the system.

The study being conducted by the Survey Research Center will determine the nature and magnitude of the problem, ascertain who is producing incomplete reports and why, develop quantitative analysis, provide recommendations for improving the quality of reports and calculate the cost/benefit of changing the system.

The Commission, created by the workers' compensation reform legislation of 1993, is charged with overseeing 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 diseases and to examine those programs in other states.

Further information about the Commission and its activities may be obtained by writing to Christine Baker, Executive Officer, Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, 30 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 2122, San Francisco, California 94102, by calling (415) 557-1304, or by faxing a request to (415) 557-1385. Information is also available through the Department of Industrial Relations' Internet servers' Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation home page. The address is