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Posted on: Jun 10, 2019

Electronic systems for approving medical care for injured workers?

Gig workers being categorized as company employees?

Are we living in the twilight zone?

The last couple of weeks have brought about a couple of victories for California workers that might finally bring us into the 21st century.

First up, the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) is launching software this summer that would allow workers' compensation providers to get authorizations for patient treatments electronically and in real-time as opposed to waiting days for manual approvals.

Known as UR Connected, the software that was developed by SCIF links directly to medical providers' information systems to allow staff the option of approving treatment on the spot or sending the request to Utilization Review. This could be a game-changer in speeding up medical treatment for injured workers and getting them back to work, saving money for all involved.

Next, the State Assembly approved Assembly Bill 5 on May 29th, getting gig workers and other misclassified independent contractors one step closer to receiving the proper benefits and protections afforded to regular employees, including eligibility for workers' compensation and unemployment insurance, neither of which was covered by the California Supreme Court's Dynamex decision. The bill still has to move through the Senate, but it's a step in the right direction.

Both of these efforts have the potential to positively impact the workforce and bring about a brighter future for workers everywhere. It's a future we'll continue fighting for every day.