Groups oppose bill to create health care provider network option in California for workers

A California law to establish a statewide network of medical providers for employees raises some eyebrows.

Assembly Bill 1465 would require the executive director of the state’s workers’ compensation system to establish a statewide network of medical providers, called the California Medical Provider Network, and give employees the choice to deal with their employer’s MPN or CAMPN.

The bill was introduced in late February by MP Eloise Gomez Reyes, D-San Bernardino, and Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego. It was referred to the Assembly’s Insurance Committee.

A coalition is now issuing a warning on the bill, saying it would undermine the health care delivery system in California’s workers’ compensation system and “lead to a significant increase in costs for employers and increased health care. inferior quality for injured workers “.

The California Coalition on Workers’ Compensation, in partnership with the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, California Chamber of Commerce, California Association of Joint Power Authorities and Public Risk Innovation, Solutions, and Management, opposes AB 1465.

“A bill like this not only reverses previous reforms, but threatens the stability of the workers’ compensation system as we know it,” read a recent email to CCWC members urging them to voice their concerns. opposition to the bill.

Spokesmen for Reyes and Gonzalez have been contacted for comment.

The bill’s biggest concern is with employers with MPNs, which are primarily large corporations, said Mark Walls, vice president of communications and strategic analysis for Safety National.

MPNs are believed to be keys to cutting costs and eliminating fraud in workers’ computers, Walls said.

“Anything that could hurt that, the employer community is rightly concerned about it,” Walls said. “This bill is essentially an end around MPNs.”

Setting up a statewide MPN would also undoubtedly be a big effort, he noted.

However, it is not immediately clear how significant the financial impact of a CAMPN would be on workers.

“I don’t see any way that this would bring costs down, but it could definitely increase costs,” Walls said. “Obviously, the insurance community would be concerned about any kind of legislation that could increase claims costs in the state.”

One area where the bill has potential for monetary impact on the system is that it removes the PPO discounts MPN employers can offer, which Walls says could be a big deal.

“This could have a substantial impact on system costs which are currently being quantified,” Walls said. “The estimates represent hundreds of millions of dollars in additional costs to the system if this bill passes. “

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Professional Liability in California

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