California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi has announced new workers’ compensation regulations that will require all insurers to submit certification forms that verify that claims adjusters and medical bill reviewers meet the new minimum standards of training and/or experience.
Effective Wednesday, Feb. 22, the new regulations are designed to help speed appropriate care to injured workers and eliminate dysfunction that adds cost to the system. The new regulations complement the workers’ compensation reforms of 2004 and are a result of AB 1262 (Matthews).
“These measures will ensure that the people who process claims have the knowledge and experience to make sure that our injured workers are not harmed by needless delays within the system,” Garamendi said. “This is the first time standards have been established for the handling of workers’ compensation claims. It is yet another important step in the overall reform of California’s workers’ compensation system.”
All workers’ compensation insurers, including insurance companies, self-insured employers and third-party administrators, must certify annually to the Insurance Commissioner on or before July 1 that their staff are trained, in training or qualified with experience that meets the standards required by the new regulations. For those who do not meet the experience requirements, training courses are required.
A complete summary of the regulations can be viewed at http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/0100-press-releases/0070-2006/upload/SummaryofRegulationsandFrequentlyAskedQuestions.pdf
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