Legislation enacted in 2012 seems to have lowered Workers' Comp costs in California, according to a new report from the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) of California.

The law, SB 863, was introduced by Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) and then-Assembly member Jose Solorio (D-Anaheim), and was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) in September 2012, California Healthline reported. The legislation changed the long-standing practice in Workers' Comp cases of charging unregulated medical fees for care by tying fees to other publicly financed health care programs, The Sacramento Bee reported.

It also changed the formula used to calculate benefits for injured workers, increasing their compensation by an average of 29%. It also eliminated benefits for certain health conditions that are often subject to lawsuits, including psychiatric problems, sexual dysfunction and sleep loss, California Healthline reported.

According to WCIRB's report, SB 863 has reduced overall payments to medical providers and "shifted the total share of medical payments from specialists to primary care providers."

Specifically, California Healthline says the report found a provision that limited medical fees to 120% of those allowable under Medicare lowered payments affected by the fee schedule from $496.9 million in the first six months of 2013 to $452.2 million in the first six months of 2014.

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