WCIS e.News
#14    February 28, 2001

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Occasional announcements and technical updates regarding
California's Workers' Compensation Information System (WCIS),
from the California Division of Workers' Compensation
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Further Clarification of IAIABC Release 2 in WCIS

Some California claims administrators have requested clarification of DWC’s plans for mandating a transition from IAIABC Release 1 to Release 2 for First and Subsequent Reports of Injury. The situation is complicated by recent developments at IAIABC: The IAIABC EDI Steering Committee has recognized that many issues remain unresolved with Release 2.0, and has authorized development of a Release 2.1. However, no firm time frame is available for Release 2.1, and the scope of changes that could be included in Release 2.1 is unknown. IAIABC is currently gathering user requirements for changes to be made between Release 2.0 and 2.1, and hopes to define the scope of Release 2.1 changes at its conference in late March.

Meanwhile, WCIS does currently provide support for IAIABC Release 2.0. Data files in Release 2.0 format can be submitted as an optional alternative to Release 1.

DWC – like other interested parties – is unable to accurately foresee future events in IAIABC’s standards development process, and therefore cannot eliminate all uncertainty regarding Release 2. In light of the ongoing uncertainty, our current plans for Release 2 are as follows:

-- DWC is taking a "wait and see" approach to further implementation of Release 2, namely we are waiting to see IAIABC’s Release 2.1 standards – at least in draft form – before committing additional resources. Efficient systems development is impossible while the standards are in such flux. Consistent with this wait-and-see approach, DWC has proposed regulatory amendments that would delay any mandatory transition to Release 2 until March 2002. The proposed regulations do not specify whether the mandatory format would be Release 2.0, 2.1, or some other future version.

-- Claims administrators could reasonably adopt a similar "wait and see" approach, waiting to see IAIABC’s Release 2.1 standards and to see WCIS implementation plans.

-- DWC will provide plenty of lead time after reaching a final decision regarding what specific Release and version (e.g. 2.0, 2.1, etc.) it will mandate, such that claims administrators have reasonable time to complete their systems development work. If necessary (for example, if Release 2.1 is delayed), any mandatory transition to a new Release or version will be further delayed by future rulemaking.

DWC understands that the current situation is less than satisfying for some claims administrators, and makes it difficult to plan systems development efforts. We also understand that some organizations have already invested considerable resources in Release 2 development – that is why we have stood behind our commitment to support Release 2.0, at least on an optional basis. Please be assured that we are working with IAIABC to resolve the uncertainty as quickly and as satisfactorily as possible.

<End of this WCIS e.News>
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