California Workers Comp Information System Operational

March 7, 2000
Workers' compensation insurance carriers and self-insured employers in California can eliminate required paperwork with the state's new Workers' Compensation Information System.

Workers' compensation insurance carriers and self-insured employers in California will be relieved of a substantial amount of required paperwork with the state's new Workers' Compensation Information System (WCIS).

Last Wednesday, the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) announced the WCIS as fully operational.

The new information system, developed and administered by DIR's Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC), electronically gathers data on all workers' compensation claims filed in California from the first report of injury to conclusion of the case.

For the first time, it can provide and overview of operations of the state's workers' compensation system, allowing policymakers to track its performance and determine the need for further improvements.

It is estimated that eventually millions of paper forms that are currently filed with the department -- which then processes and stores them -- will be eliminated.

The first paper reports to be replaced by electronic filing will be the Employer's Report of Occupational Injury or Illness (Form 5020), a one-page form that is sent to DIR's Division of Labor Statistics and Research.

This is the form employers fill out and file with their workers' compensation insurance carrier to comply with the state Labor Code requirement that they report every job-related injury or illness that results in lost work time or which requires medical treatment beyond first aid.

As of Mar.1, insurance carriers, self-insured employers and their claims administrators are beginning to submit this data electronically into the new WCIS.

Ultimately DIR expects that many employers will take advantage of paperless reporting by submitting the required data to their insurance carrier electronically, and the carrier will then merely resubmit the electronic file to the WCIS.

More than 75 organizations have already begun the process of connecting to the new system.

Seven claims administrators have completed all testing and have "fully demonstrated their ability to transmit complete, valid, accurate data" to the system.

Implementation of the WCIS was mandated by legislation that was part of the 1993 reforms of the state's workers' compensation system.

Further information about WCIS can be found by visiting the DIR Web site at gov/DWC/WCIS.htm

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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