Reminder: Urge Senators to Reject Increased Health Care Costs by Opposing Bill That Would Create a Workers’ Compensation Presumption

Action needed:

Write state Sen. Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), chair of the Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee, and call your state senator to voice your opposition to his legislation, Senate Bill (SB) 213. 

CHA has developed a template letter and key messages for members’ use. Please send a copy of your letter to Dawn Vicari at [email protected].

Find senators’ contact information on the state Legislature’s site.

Timing: 

Write Sen. Cortese by March 15 and call your senator by March 19.

Background:

Similar to many unsuccessful efforts over the past decade, SB 213 would create a rebuttable presumption in the workers’ compensation system that an infectious disease, musculoskeletal injury, or respiratory disease arose out of work for any hospital direct patient care worker. The bill would also extend indefinitely a presumption for COVID-19. Aside from recent COVID-19-specific and time-limited workers’ compensation presumptions that cover all industries, presumptions have been limited to the public sector.  

Because it is virtually impossible to overcome a workers’ compensation presumption, hospitals would be required to accept more claims with little to no evidence that they are work-related. Such claims can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars in temporary and permanent disability payments and medical costs for a single case.

Please personalize the primary messages below with your hospital’s unique experiences when you call and write the senators: 

  • Hospitals highly value their employees and prioritize their well-being. Without healthy employees, hospitals could not fulfill their mission of care.
  • According to the California Workers’ Compensation Institute, health care employers have one of the lowest denial rates of any industry — including public safety. In 2019, denial rates for health care ranged from 7.7% to 9.3%, while public safety/government ranged from 13.8% to 18.3%, and the average denial rate for all industries ranged from 10.4% to 12.6%.  
  • These increases in workers’ compensation costs will directly and immediately impact hospitals’ financial ability to protect access to high-quality care, especially considering that 39% of hospitals already operate in the red.