California Senate Bill (SB) 863 took effect January 1, 2013. This comprehensive reform legislation addresses numerous aspects of the California workers’ compensation system. In this report, we examine the potential effect of several important fee schedule changes on prices and payments in California relative to other study states and discuss implications of the fee schedule and price changes for potential behavior changes and access to care based on findings from a variety of Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) studies. In particular, we focus on the transition to a resource-based-relative-value-scale (RBRVS) fee schedule for professional services and the decrease in fee schedule rates for ambulatory surgery center (ASC) services. This report illustrates the possible changes one may expect after SB 863 is underway and helps policymakers and stakeholders shape their expectations to a certain extent. Future editions of CompScope™ Medical reports and other WCRI studies will monitor the impact of SB 863 on various measures.
Estimating the Effect of California’s Fee Schedule Changes: Lessons from WCRI Studies. Rui Yang. October 2014. WC-14-49
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