Bulletin 97-9
May 12, 1997


DWC Issues Interim Report On 24 Hour Health Care Pilots

The Division of Workers' Compensation has issued a midterm report on California's 24-hour health care pilot programs, a three year demonstration project which tests the concept of combining health care coverage for work related injuries with a general health care plan covering an employee's nonindustrial injuries and illnesses.

The pilots began in 1994 as the result of workers' compensation reform bills passed in 1992 and 1993. The enabling legislation authorized pilot programs to be conducted in four counties, and four projects were subsequently approved in San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Santa Clara Counties. Since then, one of the original four participants has dropped out.

The innovative program is designed to demonstrate the administrative efficiencies, cost control potential and service capabilities of having a single system provide health care for occupational and nonoccupational injuries and illnesses.

There are currently 65 participating employers in the four counties in which there are active programs. Enrollments now stand at nearly 8,000 employees in participating firms.

Those employers who have been participating in the program have expressed satisfaction with it, according to the study. Few employees have dropped out of programs, and the number of employees enrolled has generally grown.

However, the number of enrollees is not as high at this point as originally expected. One prominent speculation for this is the continuing success of controlling employers' workers' compensation costs outside the pilot program, it says.

A full evaluation study of the program will be completed one year after demonstration projects end, currently scheduled for the end of this year.

The interim report is available upon request from the Division of Workers' Compensation, P.O. Box 420603, San Francisco, CA 94142. It is also available at DWC's website, accessible from the Department of Industrial Relations' homepage at http://www.dir.ca.gov.

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View the Table of Contents and Summary of Findings.

Download the full report in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf, 113K) format. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read.