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The Insurance Journal reports that the governing committee of California’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau on Wednesday approved an amended, and reduced, rate filing for Jan. 1, 2017 workers’ compensation rates. It did so based on the hope that California Gov. Jerry Brown signs two bills into law, and that those bills end up producing a cost savings in the state’s massive workers’ comp system.

All bets are off if Brown doesn’t sign them.

“Nothing set in stone for sure unless the governor signs both of those bills,” said Jerry Azevedo with the Workers’ Compensation Action Network, a group that represents the interests of employers.

The committee on Wednesday recommended a 4.3 percent reduction. Just a month earlier it had recommended a 2.6 percent reduction, which it sent to the California Department of Insurance. The move by the WCIRB committee was surprising for some.

“I’m kind of surprised that the two new bills that are likely to be signed would work into any immediate savings,” said John Norwood, a lobbyist and managing partner of Sacramento-based Norwood and Associates.

The bills WCIRB is pinning its hopes on are Senate Bill 1160 and Assembly Bill 1244.

AB 1244 is designed to remove from the workers’ comp system doctors found to have committed a felony or misdemeanor involving fraud or abuse of the Medi-Cal program, Medicare or the workers’ comp system itself. The bill would also keep those doctors from filing liens.

According to the Department of Workers’ Compensation, 10 percent of liens filed between 2011 and 2015 were filed by providers with fraud indictments or convictions.

The other bill, SB 1160, places limitations on the utilization review (UR) process, and also would stay any physician or provider lien upon the filing of criminal charges against them for specified offenses involving medical fraud.

Impact projections from the WCIRB shows an estimated reduction in UR costs from SB 1160 but an increase in medical costs.