Calif. Bill Could Mean New Challenges For Home Health Recipients, Insurers

A new workers’ compensation insurance bill could limit the provision of home health care services to California residents, according to a bill introduced in the state senate last week. 

SB 863 proposes fee schedules for home health care and a recalculation of home health service expenses once the fee schedule is implemented. The fee schedule’s goal would be to reduce costs by establishing a more fixed fee for home health services. 

“Just calling for a fee schedule doesn’t reduce costs, ” said Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) actuary Dave Bellusci. 

WCIRB also estimates in its analysis of the bill that it could increase compensation costs for employers and health care insurers by $300 million in the next two years. 

The bill aims to help the state save on workers’ compensation and expects to decrease costs by up to $1 billion per year.  Increases in workers’ compensation benefits and decreases in medical and legal costs would follow if the bill is approved. 

While the bill as a whole proposes increased health care service compensation, state residents could face more difficulty in qualifying for them, according to the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (CAAA) in its analysis of the bill. 

Also in the bill’s analysis, CAAA said it “strongly opposes” the bill because of the increased challenges it would impose on workers seeking benefits. 

Senator Kevin DeLeon, D-Los Angeles introduced the bill, and the state’s legislative session ends Friday. 

Read the proposed bill here

Written by Erin Hegarty

Erin Hegarty