Bulletin 95-12
September 1, 1995

Beware of Misleading Advertising

Employers, workers, carriers and others should be aware that some medical organizations and provider groups are distributing misleading promotional materials which incorporate the title of "HCO" into their name. This implies the organization has been reviewed and certified by the California Department of Industrial Relations as a Health Care Organization under the State Labor Code.

The Division of Workers' Compensation has only certified three workers' compensation health care organizations at this time: FHP Life HCO, MetraComp, and Greaney Medical Group/WorkCare. Any other organization purporting to be a certified workers' compensation HCO is making misleading or false statements.

Certified HCOs have met standards for access and quality of medical care and are therefore permitted by law to manage the care of injured workers for longer than thirty days. Other groups have not been certified and do not offer these advantages to employees and employers.

Several additional HCO applicants are very close to attaining HCO certification. Anyone who has questions about the certification status of any organization offering medical services under workers' compensation is encouraged to contact DWC at (415) 557-9744.