FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR # 96-12
Friday, March 15, 1996
Grant for Evaluation of California's 24-Hour Care Pilot Projects
California's pilot 24-hour health care programs, which combine medical benefits
for occupational and non-occupational injuries and illnesses, will be evaluated
under a $459,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The grant will fund a three-year evaluation study of the 24-hour care demonstration
projects currently administered by the California Department of Industrial
Relations' Division of Workers' Compensation, and will be conducted by the
UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, in conjunction with the RAND Corporation
and UC Berkeley.
In a joint announcement of the grant award, UCLA and the Department of Industrial
Relations noted that this is the first evaluation grant in the country to
be awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Workers' Compensation
"Evaluation of the 24-hour care pilot projects is an important element
in the legislation authorizing the program, and we are pleased that the
Foundation has approved this grant to UCLA to conduct this key study of
innovative health care delivery in California," said Lloyd W. Aubry,
Jr., director of the Department of Industrial Relations.
The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research will be assisted by researchers
from RAND's Health Sciences Program, the Institute for Civil Justice, and
the UC Berkeley Survey Research Center, said Gerald F. Kominski, Ph.D.,
associate professor at UCLA and the principal investigator on the study.
RAND's Institute for Civil Justice will also provide additional support
for the evaluation.
Legislation enacted as part of workers' compensation reform in 1992 and
1993 authorized the California pilot programs to be conducted in four counties,
Aubry said. The Division of Workers' Compensation subsequently approved
four pilots, which are being conducted in San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento
and Santa Clara Counties, and are scheduled to be completed by December
An interim progress report is due to the Legislature this summer, and a
final report by year end, 1998. The cost of the reports are being subsidized
by contributions from participating employers.
Under the 24-hour care approach, insurers provide employers an insurance
option combining state required workers' compensation coverage and managed
care group health into a single benefit that participating employers may
offer employees on a voluntary basis. The major goals of this coverage are
to increase continuity of care for workers' compensation claimants and to
lower the overall costs of medical and injury claims.
According to Aubry and Kominski, this study will evaluate the impact of
the pilot programs on the number and types of workers' compensation claims;
claimant satisfaction and outcomes, including return to work; utilization
of health care services; and overall costs of workers' compensation and
group health premiums and claims. The evaluation will include an analysis
of workers compensation claims, a survey of employers and a baseline survey
to examine who does or does not enroll in 24-hour pilot programs.
Information gained from this evaluation will have nationwide importance
in understanding the benefits of 24-hour coverage and the impact of managed
care on the workers' compensation system. The study will likely be used
as a model by other states to evaluate similar projects.
Kominski is principal investigator on the study. Joan Buchanan, Ph.D. from
RAND will serve as co-principal investigator.
More information about the evaluation study may be obtained by contacting
Dr. Kominski at UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Box 951772, Los
Angeles, CA 90095-1772; phone: (310) 206-5303, email: email@example.com.
Information about the 24-hour care pilot projects may be obtained from Glenn
Shor, Ph.D, Research and Evaluation Unit, Division of Workers' Compensation,
P.O. Box 420603, San Francisco, CA 94142, phone (415) 975-0750, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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