Workers’ Compensation System – New Mandatory Formulary And More

Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill earlier this month that stipulates a closed formulary for prescription medication in the workers’ compensation system. Brown explains that the aim of the formulary is to cut down on the prescription of opioids and some other drugs.

According to Jeremy Merz, California Chamber of Commerce policy attorney, the formulary bill A.B. 1124 is expected to ensure effective and timely treatment for injured workers and at the same time avoid medical disputes.

The law was passed last week and it also provides for regular quarterly updates of the formulary in order to incorporate all the appropriate drugs and also the medication that has recently arrived on market.

The law was initiated after California Workers’ Compensation Institute carried out a study in October 2014. The study investigated the effects of a closed formulary like the one in Texas or Washington and it estimated that this measure could save California’s workers’ compensation pharmacy up to $420 million every year.

California’s mandatory formulary reform should introduce changes into what courses of action are taken to appropriate the treatment for an injured worker. It is hoped that this way fewer dangerous drugs would be prescribed and more clinical approach would be taken to manage the patients’ pain, stated Mark Pew, senior vice president of a medical management company based in Duluth, Georgia.

Other changes are Gov. Brown’s veto on the bill A.B. 305, seeking to prevent gender-specific implications from influencing how permanent disability benefits are calculated. This will go for injuries that occur on January 1st 2016 and later. The bill was introduced by Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and it stipulates that pregnancy and menopause which occur contemporaneously with a work injury cannot factor in the apportionment for permanent disability benefits. Breast cancer will now have the impairment ratings that can be compared to those for prostate cancer.

A workers’ compensation lawyer in California

An experienced, aggressive and ethical workers’ compensation lawyer is your most valuable asset when fighting a case for work injury benefits. If you are considering a claim for a job-related injury you sustained, bear in mind that a specialized attorney has the information, knowledge and skill to guide you through the court process. If you need a workers’ compensation lawyer in El Cajon, Chula Vista or San Diego, Accident & Work Injury Law Group is always available for a free consult regarding your case. You are under no pressure to retain our services, but if you decide to do so, rest assured that there are no upfront costs. You only pay when you get your recovery. So, don’t hesitate to contact us right away – you can only gain.