State WC news: RI, HI, CA

January 10th, 2005 by Julie Ferguson

Rhode Island: For the first time since 1998, RI workers comp rates will be reduced by 20.2 percent, slightly more than the NCCI recommendation of 18.3 percent, but less than the attorney general’s call for a 27.5 percent reduction.
Hawaii: The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is proposing regulatory changes for HI workers’ comp and hopes to bypass legislative hearings to get these administrative changes enacted. Some of the changes have to do with vocational rehabilitation, specifically in the area of treatment guidelines, and a limit on rehabilitation plan durations. Hawaii’s comp costs are high, and there are other changes that will need to be addressed legislatively, such as temporary disability limits and eligibility for physicians of record.
California: a press release from the Division of Workers’ Compensation indicates that new CA regulations for Independent Medical Reviews (IMEs) have been approved and physicians are encouraged to apply as medical reviewers.