FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2006
CHSWC Issues 2005 Annual Report on California's
Health, Safety and Workers' Compensation Systems
OAKLAND -- The California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation (CHSWC) has issued its eleventh Annual Report for 2005 of its activities to improve vital programs affecting nearly all Californians. This Annual Report includes CHSWC's recommendations for legislative and administrative changes of the California workers' compensation and health and safety systems.
Since its beginning, CHSWC has engaged in several projects and studies to evaluate how certain areas of the California workers' compensation system have been affected by the reform legislation and other influences, such as the economy. CHSWC has directed its efforts to identify and assess problems and to provide an empirical basis for recommendations and/or further investigations.
CHSWC recommendations in the 2005 Annual Report focus on system improvements, which will benefit employers and workers:
- Evaluate the revised Permanent Disability Rating Schedule to Assess the Impact of the Schedule on Premium Costs and Injured-worker Outcomes, Such as Wage Loss and Future Earning Capacity
- Continue Evaluating and Monitoring the Workers' Compensation System to Determine Whether the Goals of the Reforms are Being Realized
- Conduct a Demonstration Project Illustrating How Quality Monitoring Might be Used in the System
- Restrict Costs of Repackaged Drugs
- Conduct a Survey of Workers Affected by the Spinal Surgery Second-Opinion Process to Evaluate Outcomes and Any Barriers to Treatment
- Evaluate the Impact of Apportionment Developed Pursuant to the New Statutes on the Medical and Legal Process
- Identify Methods to Detect and Measure the Extend of Medical Overpayments and Underpayments of all Types in the Workers' Compensation System Based on Data
- Evaluate the Current State of Return-to-Work of Injured Workers in California and Changes to Return-to-Work Programs Including Vocational Rehabilitation or Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits
- Establish a Guaranty Fund to Benefit U.S. Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Insurance
- Conduct a Pilot Project on 24-Hour Care in California
- Promote Carve-Outs to the Workers' Compensation Community with Identified Incentives
- Develop a Statewide Network of Trainers to Deliver Training on Injury Prevention for High Hazard Industries and Significant Hazards
- Examine the Effectiveness of Combining Occupational Injury-Reduction Efforts with Health-Promotion Programs
- Improve Efficiency of Administration By Measures Such As Utilizing Electronic Deposit in Lieu of Paper Check Disbursements
- Develop a Research Agenda to Address the Impact on Older Workers on the Health, Safety and Workers' Compensation Systems and Develop Policies that Assist Employers and Aid Older Workers
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 state's activities to prevent industrial injuries and occupational diseases and to examine those programs in other states.
Since its inception, 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.
Information about CHSWC may be accessed on the Internet at CHSWC's home page at www.dir.ca.gov/chswc. Information may also be obtained by writing to CHSWC at 1515 Clay Street, Room 901, Oakland, California, 94612, by calling (510) 622-3959, by faxing a request to (510) 622-3265, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.