Grinberg: MPN Killer Becomes Toothless Study Bill
Tuesday, May 11, 2021 | 0
I love nothing more than sharing virtual real estate in this beloved swamp of ours, called workers’ compensation. But, if I might invite you to join me for a stroll through “delusions of grandeur forest,” I will arrogantly take sole credit for the recent change in the goal and purpose of Assembly Bill 1465.
You will recall my rather scathing blog post on the proposed legislation that would have rendered medical provider networks toothless and moot by creating a so-called California MPN, to which injured workers could flock when an MPN doctor declined to prescribe an all-expense-paid vacation to Hawaii — you know, to cure the symptoms and all that.
Anywho, after taking my share of harsh words from some of the applicant attorneys and lien claimants (and their respective writings), it appears that AB 1465 has changed significantly from all but eliminating MPNs to merely requiring “the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation, on or before Jan. 1, 2023, to submit a study … on delays and access to care issues in medical provider networks.”
To demonstrate my boundless generosity, I will save Californians countless tax dollars by providing a link to the California Workers' Compensation Institute study issued just last month, showing that, based on just over 181,000 claims with dates of injury between January 2019 and June 2019, there was practically no difference in days to first treatment as between MPN and non-MPN cases.
The average difference was 5.9 days for MPN cases and 5.6 days for non-MPN cases. For the folks keeping score at home, that’s a difference of 7.2 hours.
I am pleased that this further blow to employers and insurers was avoided, if only temporarily, and (all delusions regarding my own influence and reach aside) is grateful that reason prevailed.
Gregory Grinberg is managing partner of Gale, Sutow & Associates’ S.F. Bay South office and a certified specialist in workers’ compensation law. This post is reprinted with permission from Grinberg’s WCDefenseCA blog.