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AB-1465 would require the DWC Administrative Director to establish a statewide medical provider network, called the California Medical Provider Network (CAMPN).

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

The bill would establish that an employee may choose to treat within their employer’s network or the CAMPN. The bill would require that the providers in the CAMPN be sufficient to enable treatment for a variety of injuries in all parts of the state. The bill would specify criteria physicians must meet to be included in the CAMPN and would require inclusion for those physicians that meet the criteria.

The bill would require the administrative director to establish rules and procedures for the CAMPN and create and adopt a continuity of care policy.

All treatment within the CAMPN shall be provided in accordance with the medical treatment utilization schedule established pursuant to Section 5307.27, which remains presumptively correct.

Treatment within the CAMPN shall be subject to utilization review, as described in Section 4610, and independent medical review, as described in Section 4610.5.

The Insurance Journal reports that one coalition is now sounding a warning on the bill, saying it would undermine the system of providing medical care in California’s workers’ comp system and “lead to significant cost increases for employers and lower quality care for injured workers.”

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

A bill like this not only rolls back previous reforms but threatens the stability of the workers’ comp system as we know it,” reads a recent email to CCWC members encouraging them to voice opposition to the bill.

Mark Walls, vice president, communications and strategic analysis for Safety National, has already been sounding the alarm over Assembly Bill 1465.

John Norwood with Norwood Associates, an industry lobbyist, called it a “terrible bill.” He said there have been no discussions regarding this issue, and there are no studies or other information supporting the need for this change.

“Implementation of something like this will likely adversely affect medical care received by injured workers and substantially increase costs to the state and employers,” Norwood said.