Workers Comp Zone


On Friday, February 23, Cheese Whiz will be meeting at the California state building auditorium on Clay Street. Cheese Whiz? That’s the acronym for the California Commission on Health, Safety and Workers’ Compensation. It’s a state agency charged to do study and loose oversight of the workers’ comp system. The CHWSC has little actual power, but tremendous influence in that it can set the tone on workers’ comp issues and thus “drive the debate.”

Tomorrow, CHWSC will listen to the results of a medical access study done by a UCLA think tank, the Center for Health Policy Research. The study is of medical access issues under the 2003 and 2004 comp reforms. Those reforms brought utilization review to California workers’ comp and installed the ACOEM guidelines as the official standard for medical treatment.

For the study, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research interviewed 1200 workers and 1200 medical providers, as well as a group of insurer representatives. Whether this is a sufficiently large enough sample of California injured workers is open to debate.

All of this is against the backdrop of constant and loud complaints by workers that they have been denied medical care and refused access to doctors of their choice. Whether the study will verify those complaints or blunt that criticism isn’t clear. You might want to check out the Voters Injured at Work website ( or for a workers’ take on treatment denial issues.

Stay tuned. Workerscompzone will cover the study results.

Julius Young

Category: Political developments