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Calif. bill aims to expand mental health treatment access for injured workers

A bill was introduced in the California state Senate on Monday that would expand the meaning of medical treatment for workers compensation benefits to include the services of a licensed clinical social worker.

The existing law requires a referral from a licensed physician and surgeon before an injured worker may treat with a licensed clinical social worker. S.B. 1002 would eliminate that requirement and require an employer to provide an employee with access to a licensed clinical social worker for assessment, evaluation and treatment of a work-related injury.

The bill would prohibit a licensed clinical social worker from determining disability, as specified, and authorize an employer to request an appropriate medical consultation when a licensed clinical social worker provides assessment, evaluation, or treatment. This bill would make legislative findings and declarations in support of allowing licensed clinical social workers to treat work-related mental and behavioral health issues.

S.B. 1002 was introduced by Sen. Anthony Portantino and referred to the Committee on Rules for assignment.

This article was first published on Business Insurance.

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