California workers’ compensation insurers and self-insured employers can add licensed clinical social workers to their medical provider networks, according to a bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday.
SB 1002 authorizes “qualified licensed clinical social workers to assess, evaluate, and treat the behavioral and mental health needs of injured workers within the workers’ compensation system, thereby providing additional and readily available resources to injured employees in need of mental health services.”
The bill allows licensed clinical social workers to join MPNs, workers’ compensation health care organizations, and shared authority provider lists. Social workers must have a master̵7;s degree or equivalent and either log two years of clinical experience or meet Association of Social Work Boards standards to be eligible to join a provider network.
Social workers are not authorized to determine disability, and they can only treat or evaluate an injured worker with a medical referral.
SB 1002 also amends Labor Code Section 4600(a) to add “licensed clinical social worker” to the list of medical services that must be provided when reasonably necessary to cure or relieve a worker from the effects of a work injury.
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