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DWC Lays Down the Law on Public Comments: Regulatory
[08/10/06 Workers Comp News]

THE CALIFORNIA DIVISION OF Workers' Compensation laid down the rules Wednesday for speakers at its next public hearing on Aug. 23.

Speakers will be limited to 10 minutes and an administrative law judge will be on hand as a moderator to make sure that comments don't stray off point when the agency takes testimony on proposed regulations on medical treatment guidelines. The DWC announced that it was limiting comments after injured workers -- in the words of acting Administrative Director Carrie Nevans -- "hijacked" a June 29 hearing on proposed utilization-review penalty regulations.

"We want to make sure that everyone has a chance to speak who has come to speak on the regulations," said DWC spokeswoman Susan Gard. "We need a moderator and we need to keep people on point. It's a public hearing on a regulation. It's not an open forum."

The next public hearing on treatment guidelines is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 23 in the auditorium at the Elihu Harris State Building, 1515 Clay St., Oakland. For a copy of the regulations and a statement of reasons for the new rules, go to:
http://www.dir.ca.gov/DWC/DWCPropRegs/Medical TreatmentUtilizationSchedule/MTUS_regulations.htm

The DWC announced something else that's new for its public comment process on Thursday: It posted transcripts of the June 29 meeting on proposed utilization-review penalties on its Web site at the request of one of the speakers at the meeting. The 161-page document can be found at:
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/DWCPropRegs/AdminPenalties_ LC5814_6Regulations/HearingTranscrip.PDF

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