More than $59 million in fraudulent workers’ compensation claims were prevented thanks, at least in part, to a bill by Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, signed into law last year, according to a statement from his office.
The new law requires the state to suspend any medical provider convicted of fraud from participating in the workers’ compensation system. The state Division of Workers’ Compensation said last week that it used Gray’s bill to suspend seven medical providers who filed more than 8,500 claims totaling $59 million.
None of the cases was in the San Joaquin Valley.
“This is an example of a common-sense policy actually working to make doing business in California cheaper and easier,” Gray said in a statement. “Since becoming law, we have seen a reduction of more than $1 million of fraud per day.”
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Workers’ compensation fraud undermines the efforts to increase payments and improve services to injured workers and to reduce costs for employers, said Christine Baker, director of the Department of Industrial Relations.
“Removing fraudulent providers and staying lien claims of those criminally charged with fraud will further reduce costs in the system,” Baker said.
This year, Gray introduced a bill to further protect employers and employees from becoming victims of workers’ comp fraudsters.
“Workers’ compensation fraud is out of control, and the problem is growing,” Gray said. “Last year we made significant strides to put crooked doctors and lawyers on notice, and we are starting to see the fruits of that labor. But the fraud is not gone and the fight is not over.”