October 6, 2006

Christine Baker

CHSWC Approves Recommendation for Spinal Surgery Second-Opinion Process for Public Comment

Oakland -- The California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation (CHSWC), has approved the release of the CHSWC Recommendation for the Spinal Surgery Second-Opinion Process (SSSOP) for public comment.

Labor Code 4062 provides a procedure for a second opinion if the employer objects to the physician's recommendation for spinal surgery or if the employee requests the second-opinion process if the employer's utilization review does not approve the recommended surgery. An uncodified provision of Senate Bill (SB) 228 (Alarcόn) requires that CHSWC conduct a study on SSSOP and issue a report concerning the findings of the study and recommendations for further legislation. In response to the above mandate, CHSWC has made a recommendation for further legislation that would amend Labor Code Section 4062 and improve the coordination of the spinal surgery second-opinion process and utilization review both enacted by SB 228 in 2003.

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.

Information about CHSWC and the recommendation for SSSOP may be accessed on the Internet at Information may also be obtained by writing to CHSWC at 1515 Clay Street, Suite 901, Oakland, California, 94612, by calling (510) 622-3959, by faxing a request to (510) 622-3265, or by email at