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Furloughs and Lay-Offs Strike Claims Professionals as Claims Volumes Decrease
By Lonce Lamonte - May 21, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has been brutal in most sectors of the economy.  Businesses are presently operating so slowly they have been pushed into reducing staff levels.  

Employees that do remain employed are afraid of being laid-off.  Many fear filing workers’ compensation claims for legitimate job-related injuries.   Due to these conditions, claims volumes have fallen in the past three months in a dramatic fashion.


California Division of Workers’ Compensation Emergency Rulemaking Regulations for Medical-Legal Reporting in Response to COVID-19 are in Effect
By Lonce Lamonte and Newsline from the CA DIR's Division of Workers' Compensation - May 19, 2020

The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) announces its emergency regulations for medical-legal evaluations became effective on May 14, 2020 and will expire on January 12, 2021 (in accordance with Executive Order N-40-20) with two possible 150-day extensions, if Executive Order N-40-20 remains in effect. The emergency regulations can be found on the DWC website.


California Division of Workers’ Compensation Posts Additional Adjustments to Official Medical Fee Schedule Including Expansion of Telehealth to Address COVID-19 Emergency (Physician and Non-Physician Practitioner Services)
By Lonce Lamonte and the DWC Newsline - May 12, 2020

The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) has posted an order dated May 7, 2020, adjusting the Physician and Non-Physician Practitioner Services section of the Official Medical Fee Schedule (OMFS) to conform to additional Medicare fee schedule changes pursuant to Labor Code section 5307.1. The order includes technical updates and provisions to support expanded access to telehealth services.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued an Interim Final Rule to adopt additional temporary modifications to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule to improve access to medical care through telehealth during the public health emergency. The Interim Final Rule adopts an expanded list of medical services (“Covered Telehealth Services for PHE for the COVID-19 pandemic effective March 1 2020-updated April 30 2020”) that may be billed for telehealth using video and audio technology, and includes identification of services that could be provided through audio-only where medically appropriate. DWC has retroactively adopted the revised telehealth list for services rendered on or after March 1, 2020, and has also adopted a retroactive revision to the Place of Service Code, which may result in an increase in fees for telehealth services if the physician provides the service in a “non-facility” setting.


California Division of Workers’ Compensation Update on Proposed Emergency QME Regulations: Comments Accepted through Tuesday, May 12
By Lonce Lamonte and the DWC Newsline - May 11, 2020

The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) advises that in response to COVID-19 proposed emergency regulations for Qualified Medical Evaluations (QMEs) were posted on the state’s Office of Administrative Law (OAL) website on May 7, 2020.

Pursuant to section 55 of title 1 of the California Code of Regulations, comments may be submitted to OAL and DWC through May 12, 2020.


More News

May 6, 2020 - California Division of Workers’ Compensation Posts Additional Adjustment to Official Medical Fee Schedule (DMEPOS) to Adopt Medicare Fee Schedule Increase Required by the CARES Act

May 6, 2020 - Telemedicine Reaching For Normal In Workers’ Compensation Patient Treatment.

April 28, 2020 - California Division of Workers’ Compensation and WCAB Expand Hearing Schedule at the District Offices

April 28, 2020 - California Division of Workers’ Compensation Will Reschedule Canceled QME Examination in October

April 24, 2020 - California Division of Workers' Compensation Issues Notice of Proposed Emergency Rulemaking Action for Medical-Legal Reporting in Response to COVID-19

April 23, 2020 - California Division of Workers’ Compensation Posts Adjustments to Official Medical Fee Schedule Inpatient Hospital Section to Conform to Medicare Changes

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