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Questions and answers
The following questions address some of the common
concerns employers have about the new MPN legislation
and how it affects them and their employees.
Q: Are MPNs mandatory? that has been developed by another organization,
A: No. Eligible employers can choose whether to or you can build your own network by selecting
establish an MPN. individual providers or groups of providers. If you
are insured for workers’ compensation, you can
ask your carrier to establish an MPN for you.
Q: What happens if I don’t set up an MPN? If you have speciﬁc providers you would like
A: If your company doesn’t have an MPN included in your MPN, you should contact your
established, you can only direct medical care for a insurance carrier.
workers’ compensation injury for the ﬁrst 30 days
following the injury. Without an MPN, your injured
employees can seek treatment from any physician Q: What do I have to do before ﬁling an MPN
or facility after the ﬁrst 30 days of the claim. application?
A: First, employers must establish a provider list.
Second, the employer must enter into formal
Q: Who can establish an MPN? agreements with the providers participating in
A: A workers’ compensation insurance carrier, an the MPN or with the entity that has arranged for
employer self-insured for workers’ comp, or a joint a network of providers.
power authority can establish an MPN. Insured
employers may choose an MPN established by
their insurer. Q: What is the deadline for applying to set up
A: There is no deadline for MPN applications.
Q: Do I have to sign up with a health care plan They may be submitted to the Division of
as my MPN? Workers’ Compensation at any time.
A: No. If you are a self-insured employer, you have
the ability to establish an MPN with a provider
network of your choice. You can select a network
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT MPNs
Q: Must an MPN include speciﬁc types of Q: What is Kaiser Permanente’s background with
physicians? occupational health care?
A: While an MPN is a network of physicians who A: We already treat about 85,000 injured workers in
primarily treat occupational injuries, at least California every year through 49 occupational
25 percent of the medical staff must be non– health centers located in our medical centers and
occupational health providers. medical ofﬁces.
Q: If I have an MPN, can employees still Q: How much does Kaiser Permanente charge for
predesignate a physician? occupational health care?
A: If you offer a group health plan or group health A: Kaiser Permanente is paid on a fee-for-service
insurance for medical conditions not related to basis based on the State of California’s Ofﬁcial
work, employees may predesignate a personal Medical Fee Schedule.
physician who will provide care for them if
they are injured on the job. The predesignated
physician does not have to be a part of your MPN. Q: When will Kaiser Permanente be ready to
become part of my MPN?
A: Kaiser Permanente can help you build a network
Q: Can employees switch physicians within for your MPN now.
A: Yes, employees can switch to a different physician
within your MPN anytime after the ﬁrst medical Q: My company doesn’t use Kaiser Permanente as
examination for their injury. a health coverage option, but we are interested
in contracting with you for occupational health
services. Do we have to use you as a main health
Q: How long will the MPN treat my employees with care coverage provider also?
occupational health needs? A: We welcome the opportunity to meet your
A: The MPN will treat your employees for “the life of occupational health needs even if you do not
the claim,” meaning all treatment required to cure offer Kaiser Permanente as a health plan to your
and relieve the injured employee. employees. In time, we think you’ll reevaluate your
health plan choices once you have a chance to
work with our physicians and staff.
Q: Will Kaiser Permanente help me set up an MPN?
A: Yes. Kaiser Permanente has provider networks
that an applicant can submit to the state to be Q: Why is Kaiser Permanente interested in the
the only group of providers in its MPN or part MPN program?
of a larger MPN. The law speciﬁes that only A: The MPN program allows greater continuity of
self-insured employers, workers’ compensation care for Kaiser Permanente members who are
insurers, and joint power authorities may submit injured on the job. One of Kaiser Permanente’s
MPN plans for approval. The centerpiece of Kaiser strengths is that we use evidence-based care for
Permanente’s network will be our Kaiser On-the- chronic diseases and other health conditions.
Job® physicians, who have signiﬁcant experience MPNs will enable Kaiser Permanente physicians to
in treating injured workers. treat injured workers throughout the entire course
of treatment their injuries require, potentially
leading to better medical outcomes.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT MPNs
Q: Can Kaiser Permanente save me money? Q: What does Kaiser Permanente do to ensure
A: Yes. An independent study performed by the positive outcomes and patient satisfaction?
California Workers’ Compensation Institute A: We achieve patient satisfaction and positive
(CWCI) in March 2003 demonstrated that Kaiser outcomes through our unique integrated
Permanente delivered workers’ compensation approach to training, evaluating, and
care at considerably lower cost than non– compensating physicians. Our occupational
Kaiser Permanente providers. health physicians are trained in the American
College of Occupational and Environmental
Medicine (ACOEM) guidelines, and we regularly
Q: What are the advantages of using Kaiser evaluate how well they incorporate these
Permanente as my MPN provider over other guidelines into their medical practice.
health care plans or services?
A: Because many injured workers are also group
health members, having a single integrated Q: How does Kaiser Permanente intend to handle
medical record allows our occupational health the increased patient volume that could result
physicians to understand and integrate all their from MPNs?
medical problems from the beginning, rather A: Right now we’re assessing the expected
than having to wait to get medical information additional demand under the new law and are
from other sources. Also, physical therapy and making plans to expand our occupational health
diagnostic services are an integral part of the center capacity accordingly. We believe at this
Kaiser Permanente system, and are often in the time that we can provide about 30 percent more
same location as the physicians. Communication medical treatment to injured workers through our
is enhanced and treatment is more efﬁcient and current delivery system. We’ll grow to meet
convenient for injured employees. additional demand.
Q: What kind of patient outcomes has Kaiser Q: Will all Kaiser Permanente providers be in the
Permanente experienced with occupational Kaiser On-the-Job network?
health programs? A: No. Not all Kaiser Permanente providers are part
A: The March 2003 CWCI study that showed Kaiser of the Kaiser On-the-Job network. The network is
Permanente’s total cost per claim is 31 percent centered around providers who specialize in
lower than competitors’ costs also showed that treating work injuries.
we had fewer total temporary disability days per
claim on average when compared to averages
for non–Kaiser Permanente providers. The same Q: How can I get more information about MPNs
study indicated that only 11.7 percent of Kaiser and Kaiser On-the-Job?
Permanente claims required litigation, while A: You can contact your insurance broker or a Kaiser
17.5 percent of competitor cases required On-the-Job sales executive at 1-888-565-9675
attorney involvement. Higher patient satisfaction (1-888-KOJ-WORK) toll free. Or visit us on the
results in fewer claims requiring litigation. Web at employers.kaiserpermanente.org for
access to our video presentation on MPNs.