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Workers' compensation payments drop in California

In some work environments, employees may be subject to accidents on the job. Usually, when workers are injured, they file workers' compensation claims against their employer. Now, there are reforms that have become active in California in regard to payments to outpatient surgery facilities.

In 2012, a workers' compensation reform bill was signed by the state governor. As of last summer, the law became active. Under the law, there is a reduction in the amount of fees that are allowed to be paid to outpatient surgery facilities. This decreased the amount paid out by over one-quarter. As of last year, the amount paid to outpatient surgery centers dropped from almost $3,300 per occurrence to under $2,500 per occurrence, which equates to approximately a 26 percent drop in payments.

Each occurrence is described as a procedure or ancillary service that is provided by a surgery center. These are separated as a specific date of service and specific claim. This reform is intended to reduce the costs of workers' compensation claims.

Since the reform, outpatient surgery centers receive less for workers' compensation claims. In turn, patients may receive less for their injuries sustained while on the job. It is the duty of employers to ensure a safe environment for their workers which will decrease the likelihood of serious injuries. In spite of the reform, California employers are still responsible for worker's injuries. Employees who have experienced work accidents may have the right to pursue workers' compensation claims against their employers to recoup damages for their injuries.

Source: Business Insurance, Workers comp changes reducing payments to California surgery centers, Sheena Harrison, Feb. 28, 2014

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