FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2004
CHSWC approves project to evaluate workers compensation second opinion process for surgery
SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers Compensation (CHSWC) unanimously voted at its public meeting today to approve plans for a study to evaluate the second opinion process for spinal surgery in the workers compensation system.
Labor Code Section 4062 provides a procedure for a second opinion if the employer objects to the doctors recommendation for spinal surgery in the workers compensation system.
Section 48 of SB 228, part of the workers compensation reform legislation of 2004, requires that CHSWC conduct a study of the spinal surgery second opinion procedure and issue a report concerning the findings of the study and recommendations for further legislation.
CHSWC, 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. CHSWC was established to conduct a continuing examination of the workers compensation system and of the states activities to prevent industrial injuries and occupational diseases and to examine those programs in other states.
Since its inception in 1994, CHSWC has held meetings, conducted fact-finding hearings, and directed several studies to determine how these crucial programs are serving California employees and employers. These studies, conducted by independent research organizations under contract with CHSWC, and other activities were aided by the involvement of state agency personnel and interested members of the workers compensation community. This cooperative public-private partnership continues to work together to identify, describe, measure and propose solutions to problems and difficulties in the current health and safety and workers compensation systems. Many of the recommendations in CHSWC reports have been adopted in the California workers compensation reform legislation of 2003 and 2004.
CHSWC reports and other information are available at www.dir.ca.gov/chswc. Information may also be obtained by writing to Christine Baker, executive officer, Commission on Health and Safety and Workers Compensation (CHSWC) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.