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Bob Young

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Medical Mileage & Ambulance Service Rates Set for 2007

The State Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) has announced that the mileage rate that workers’ comp claims administrators pay injured workers for travel related to medical treatment or evaluation of their injuries will increase from 44.5¢ per mile to 48.5¢ per mile as of January 1, 2007.

State law [Labor Code Section 4600 (e)(2)], in conjunction with Government Code Section 19820 and Department of Personnel Administration regulations, requires claims administrators to reimburse injured workers for such expenses at the rate adopted by the Director of the Department of Personnel Administration for non-represented (excluded) state employees, which is tied to the Internal Revenue Service published mileage rate. This week, the IRS announced that as of January 1, 2007, the standard mileage rate will increase to 48.5 cent per business mile driven. The standard mileage rate is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile, and the primary reasons for the higher rates were higher prices for vehicles and fuel during the year ending in October.

In a separate notice, DWC also announced a 4.3 percent increase in the California workers’ comp Official Medical Fee Schedule reimbursement rate for ambulance services rendered on or after January 1, 2007. That increase conforms with the calendar year 2007 ambulance inflation factor set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. DWC notes that per Labor Code Section 5307.1, it will adjust the Ambulance Services Section of the OMFS to conform to the Medicare change after the final rule adopting the 2007 ambulance inflation factor is published in the Federal Register. DWC Newslines announcing the changes are posted at http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/dwc_newsline.html.