CompScope™ Benchmarks for California, 24th Edition

By William Monnin-Browder

April 23, 2024 Related Topics: CompScope™ Benchmarks

This study examines changes in the California workers’ compensation system and compares the performance of the California system with 16 other state systems. It focuses on costs, income benefits, overall medical payments, use of benefits, duration of temporary disability, frequency and payments of permanent partial disability (PPD)/lump-sum claims, benefit delivery expenses, litigiousness, timeliness of payments, and other metrics. It examines how these system performance metrics have changed, primarily from 2017 to 2022 for claims at various claim maturities, though in some cases, we used a longer time frame to provide historical context.

Note that the results we report reflect experience on claims through March 2023, including non-COVID-19 claims from the three years since the COVID-19 pandemic began (March 2020 through September 2022). The study, therefore, provides a look at how the pandemic impacted non-COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims in the first three years of the pandemic.

California implemented several policy changes in recent years. For example, effective April 1, 2021, California introduced a new fee schedule for medical-legal services. Additionally, Senate Bill 1159, signed by the governor in September 2020, provided a presumption of compensability for COVID-19-related claims, subject to certain requirements. The drug formulary required by Assembly Bill 1124 was fully implemented in April 2018.

CompScope™ Benchmarks for California, 24th Edition. William Monnin-Browder. April 2024. WC-24-01.

Copyright: WCRI

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Research Questions:

  • How have California’s system performance metrics changed recently?
  • How does California’s workers’ compensation system compare with 16 other states?
  • Did COVID-19 have any impact on California’s workers' compensation system?

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