Research Unit

The Research Unit undertakes and oversees a variety of projects aimed at discovering and interpreting facts related to the workers' comp system to produce a greater knowledge of system behaviors and make practical applications and changes possible. The unit also oversees several programs including the workers' compensation information system, (WCIS) and carve-outs.

Workers' compensation information system (WCIS)
California's workers' compensation information system (WCIS) uses electronic data interchange (EDI) to collect comprehensive information from claims administrators to help the Department of Industrial Relations oversee the state's workers' compensation system. This information helps facilitate evaluation of the system and measure adequacy of benefits for injured workers and their dependents, and also provides statistical data for research. After initial development with input from affected groups, the first phase of WCIS became operational in Sep. 1999. Electronic transmission of first reports of injury was required beginning March 1, 2000 and electronic versions of benefit notices were mandated as of July 1, 2000. Electronic reporting of medical billing data is required for any medical service that occurs on or after Sep. 22, 2006.

Labor-management (carve-out) agreements
"Carve-out" programs allow employers and unions to create their own alternatives for workers' compensation benefit delivery and dispute resolution under a collective bargaining agreement. Eligibility of parties to participate in a program must be approved by the administrative director of the Division of Workers' Compensation. The requirements to participate and the elements required to be in "carve-out" programs are contained in Labor Code section 3201.5 (for the construction industry) and Labor Code section 3201.7 (for all other industries), as well as California Code of Regulations, title 8, sections 10200-10204.

June 2013