Reform for California? New Director for Department of Industrial Relations (DIR)

Christine Baker has been appointed director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) after acting as chief deputy director. Baker’s formal appointment is expected to be confirmed by the Senate, making employers very happy with this selection.

You might recall that Baker ran the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation (CHSWC) since its inception. Under her leadership, the Commission played key roles in the workers’ comp reforms of 2004.

Employers and insurance companies are already crediting Baker with making efficiency changes and stepping up investigations into workers’ comp fraud and corresponding cuts.

How does this affect medical providers?

Several medical providers have noticed an increase in med-legal work specifically targeting the issue of fraudulent and excessive treatments both within the outside the network providers. The writing on the wall echoed the Brown administration’s concern that for there to be benefit increases in the workers’ comp system, there has to be corresponding cuts. Expect further cuts across the board for all health care providers and even medical record copy companies are included in the ‘crack-down’.

To prepare for these cut-backs, I suggest that you diversify your practice by adding services, including functional capacity evaluations (FCEs). Medical Legal Experts provides a legally proven system to increase the quality of med-legal reports and expand your practice with new employer and attorney contacts (both defense and applicant).

If you have any questions to see if we are a good fit for your practice, feel free to contact me.