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May
6

The MAJIC Act

The worst provisions of HB1465, aka the “any willing provider whether or not they can spell “workers’ comp” can join an MPN” bill have been removed from the text.

Now, we get to deal with an almost-as-bad bill, which henceforth shall be known as the HB335 – the “Make Adjusters Jump to Inappropriate Conclusions Act”.

Among other things, the MAJIC Act:

  • forces employers to decide if a filed claim is or isn’t compensable in 45 days instead of today’s 90; and
  • forces employers to pay up to $17,000 for medical care while the claim is being investigated.

The MAJIC Act creates problems in an attempt to solve others that don’t exist. 

About one of every eight claims ultimately judged compensable takes 45 – 90 days to investigate.  So, the MAJIC Act would force employers to accept or reject a significant chunk of claims without a full investigation.

I can hear the counterargument now…”well adjusters should just work faster!”  Well, “pushing on a rope” isn’t much of a solution…because adjusters don’t control:

  • whether and when a doctor sends medical records;
  • whether or not a patient responds to calls;
  • whether a qualified medical professional can schedule an appointment;
  • whether or not an investigation has been completed and all relevant information collected;
  • and a lot of other materially-important pieces of the puzzle.

The result will be more provisional denials, leading to more litigation, and higher cost for everyone with no benefit whatsoever for folks injured or sickened on the job.

Then there’s the 70% increase in the employers’ medical liability for claims that have been reported but not accepted. How that number was decided upon is a mystery, because, according to a study just published by CWCI;

  • less than 1 out of every 165 claims incurred costs of more than $10,000.
  • 1 of every 500 denied claims had costs more than $10,000

SB 335 proposes “fixes” to problems that do not exist; there’s no evidence that injured workers are suffering because they are denied care, nor are they harmed because adjusters are doing thorough investigations – as required by state law.

SB 335 will lead to more litigation, which will increase employers’ and taxpayers’ costs while benefiting no one.

What does this mean for you?

Please encourage California legislators to leave the MAJIC to the magicians. 


2 thoughts on “The MAJIC Act”

  1. Hi Joe. Good story – right to the point. The only addition is that we really can’t blame the CA legislature for this. The voters know who they are and what they are going to do, so the problem is really with the voters, not the legislature.

    1. Hey Tom – thanks for the note – having run for elected office, my impression of most voters is they don’t really know much – or care. In this case I do blame the elected officials – it is their responsibility to know what they are proposing and the potential implications thereof.

      In my view, the bill’s backers just don’t know what they are doing or why they are doing it.

      be well = Joe

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates

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