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Panel Hears from Injured Workers, Advocates at Fresno Site: SB 899 “Appalling” Impact on Injured Worker Medical Care and Disability Compensation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Contact: Steve Hopcraft 916/457-5546,; Twitter: @shopcraft
FRESNO, CA - Injured workers and their advocates told the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) Director Christine Baker, and Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) Director Rosa Moran, today the horrors they have faced since the enactment of SB 899.
 "I was injured in August 2008 while I was assisting with moving a bookcase at work. I tore my right neck and shoulder muscles. Surgery was recommended for my neck and for my shoulder," said Mary DeSoto, injured worker from Exeter.  "After many denials for both surgeries, I had to go to court twice to order the workers' comp insurer to approve the recommended treatment. It has been a horrendous three years."
 Permanent Disability cuts of 50% and higher have been imposed on injured workers under SB 899, placing California near the bottom of US states in compensating permanent effects of work injuries.
 "The purpose of the workers' compensation laws are to ensure the injured worker is promptly and efficiently treated so that he may return to work as soon as reasonably and medically possible. Therefore in order to accomplish this in the quickest manner possible, it would appear that it is in the best interests of both the employee and the employer that the injured worker obtain prompt and professional medical attention," said Reuben Lucero, applicant attorney. "My experience tells me that with the advent of utilization review (UR), this is just not possible because although the original concept of UR was to authorize treatment quickly, UR has now become a cottage industry where the norm is not authorization but rather delay and denial of treatment."
 Permanent disability compensation has been drastically cut
Multiple independent studies, including studies conducted by the California Commission on Health, Safety and Workers Compensation (CHSWC), and the Administration itself, have documented fifty to seventy percent cuts in compensation for permanent disabilities.
Posted 04-19-2012 9:29 AM by caaaAdmin


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