The Office of Administrative Law, the governing body for the California Code of Regulations, has adopted new regulations for Medical Provider Networks which will take effect October 8, 2010. These regulations carry the authority of statutes amending the Labor Code.
The new MPN regulations are designed to streamline the process for notices to injured workers and notices to the DWC for employer changes to their Medical Provider Network. This includes the elimination of requirements for DWC notification when changes to MPNs are made.
Significantly, MPN notices may now be communicated electronically to all covered employees, and the 14 day waiting period for transferring workers into a newly created or changed MPN will be eliminated.
These regulations focus on electronic communication as a means for notifying employees regarding Medical Provider Networks while eliminating the requirement of providing both English and Spanish notices where only Spanish-speaking workers are affected.
The regulations further provide for specific information to be included in provider listings.
Finally, MPN notices will now require the inclusion of detailed contact information including email address and toll-free telephone numbers for MPN inquiries.
The full text of these changes, which will go into effect October 8, 2010 can be found at:
What this means for you:
Fundamental changes in the MPN process have occurred and once again we must absorb new information in order to effectively implement these changes. New forms will need to be created and changes to MPN listings consistent with the regulations should be undertaken now. Taking 20 minutes of your time to read the proposed regulations, update your forms and become familiar with the new procedures will ultimately save unnecessary effort in claims handling in the near future.
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