California's workers' compensation system needs fixing.
You all know it as well as I do, which is why I am requesting an audit to determine the impact of delays on both injured workers and added costs of friction within the system.
As a member of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, I am committed to this important work.
My mom is in her 70's and still works five days a week as a housekeeper in the San Gabriel Valley, often working long hours that put a strain on her body. If she gets hurt and has to file a claim, she'll be entitled to benefits under the workers' compensation system. But we know it's not that easy.
She'll have to jump through hoops, have her claims denied and be subjected to myriad delays because of a variety of issues which need to be addressed.
According to a new report, 82 percent of denied claims have been reversed, resulting in a 55 percent increase in costs to insurers and employers for these denied-then-paid claims. That's why I've asked the Legislature to perform an audit on delays with the intent of improving care for workers while reducing costs.
If approved to go forward, the audit by the California State Auditor will examine the efficiency of the delivery of medical care under the work comp system for those who are employed to work in California's correctional facilities and compare these findings to the medical care delivery systems provided to prisoners who are injured while performing prison work.
Sadly, I believe we'll find that prisoners are receiving faster and better care than those who are employed to watch over them. I think this will be a wake-up call to anyone paying attention that we need to fix the workers' compensation system to better serve injured workers.
Californians deserve to be treated fairly under the law and deserve to receive fair and just medical treatment under the workers' compensation system.
I look forward to reporting back to you.