Welcome to The California Society of Industrial Medicine & Surgery (CSIMS)
The only organization dedicated to physician, attorney, and corporate members; and committed to guiding practitioners through the fickle processes and complex world of workers' compensation.
The world of workers' compensation is complex...
Multiple stakeholders with personal interests accompanied with constantly-changing legislative processes makes treating patients—and getting fairly compensated for doing so—far more complicated than it should be. As a matter of fact, it’s the very reason California experienced a QME crisis in the early 2000s, when the number of QMEs in workers' compensation dropped from 6,000, to just over 2,000 people. The nominal wage for physicians had stayed the same for too long, de-incentivizing engaged physicians, which ended in too few evaluators for the demand of their services.
As an independent physician trying to navigate California the workers' compensation system, it’s difficult to stay informed on legislative changes, treat patients without third-party roadblocks, and be fairly compensated for your work. That’s what CSIMS is set out to solve through advocacy, education, and mentorship on the business of medicine.
CSIMS was founded on the shoulders of nine California physicians who banded together in 1980 after the passing of Senate Bill 375. The founders couldn’t stand to see the limitations on physicians put into place by a legislation that didn’t understand the implications Senate Bill 375 would place on physicians, QMEs, and ultimately their patients. The foundational mission of CSIMS was to keep physicians abreast to change, being the eyes, ears, and voice for practitioners in workers' compensation in California.
We are proud to say we are rooted in the very same mission today.
There is no other organization like CSIMS for physicians in workers compensation. Made up of seasoned veterans in the world of workers' compensation, we’re committed to being the collective voice for physicians through advocacy, and educating physicians, attorneys, and corporate members on how to navigate the complexities of workers' compensation to make us better in business, and give our patients the best possible treatment.
“CSIMS is the leading voice of change for physicians.”
All of us are well aware of the complexities inherent to the world of workers' compensation. When new laws are passed, legislators often underestimate the depth and breadth of effects these changes have on physicians and the patients they’re treating. This is due to the simple fact that most legislators are not treating doctors, and do not have the same perspective as physicians who regularly practice in workers' compensation.
That’s why we fundamentally believe that the people advocating for physicians should be physicians.
Physicians who actively practice workers' compensation are the only group of people who truly understand the extent to which legislative change affects the workers' comp world. Physicians must be involved in the division of workers compensation with legislators to ensure potentially damaging legislation is not inadvertently passed. This is a belief we’ve held for more than 41 years, and continue to keep at the foundation of our society. It’s the very reason CSIMS was formed—to be the ears, eyes, and voice for physicians in workers' compensation.
Here are just a few examples of how CSIMS has advocated for physicians, and affected positive change:
- CSIMS negotiated the first medical-legal fee schedule; obtained a 26% increase in the treatment fee schedule; helped design the QME system; and continues to play an active role in various workers’ compensation reform efforts
- CSIMS became active in the training of occupational physicians, providing top tier educational programs long before they were mandated for QMEs.
- CSIMS actively participates in administrative proceedings before the Division of Workers’ Compensation, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation, the Medical Board of California, and the Board of Chiropractic Examiners, to name a few.
- CSIMS cosponsored a program with the Medical Unit of the Division of Workers’ Compensation to explain and promote the utilization review hierarchy of evidence regulations.
- Provided medical lecturers for the Conference of California Workers’ Compensation Judges and the DWC Educational Conference.
- Successfully petitioned the Insurance Commissioner to adopt regulations requiring insurance companies to separate medical management costs (like bill review, utilization review, MPN management fees, etc.) from payments for direct patient care.
- CSIMS was the co-sponsor of Assembly Bill 1542, which proposes to restore recognition of neuropsychologist QMEs.
More recently, CSIMS was involved in the development of the new formulary legislation. We have been actively involved with the RAND study of the medical and medical-legal aspects of workers’ compensation. Currently, CSIMS is addressing changes being put forth by the DWC for the Med-Legal Fee Schedule (MLFS), being the unified voice for physicians in workers' compensation. CSIMS is also the only organization in California advocating for treatment and evaluation for industrial injuries.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, CSIMS was at the forefront of pushing for QMEs to provide services to patients. We remained in open dialogue directly with the DWC regarding best practices and recommendations around managing treatment, and implemented emergency regulations in May 2020 allowing QMEs to maintain continuity via virtual meetings and other alternative ways to keep practices running for patients.
Our society was founded on advocacy, which continues to remain at our core today and will forever be a part of the mission at CSIMS.
CSIMS is built by physicians, for physicians. We feel it is our obligation to pay it forward to our colleagues in workers' compensation, and to future physicians of workers' comp., through education.
Workers' compensation—especially in California—requires constant education. Even seasoned physicians with decades of experience make it a priority to learn, and stay updated on new legislation, changing mandates, and conversations happening, not only from a treatment and evaluation standpoint, but also from a medlegal standpoint. When new laws pass, or existing laws evolve, it is vital physicians in workers comp stay informed and work together with attorneys to ensure patients receive the correct treatment.
The same goes for lawyers, judges, or any non-physicians in the workers' compensation world: Everyone needs to have a full understanding of how physicians are affected when things change. Unless non-physicians like these take it upon themselves to stay educated (which can be difficult with limited resources) they will never be fully aware of a physician’s perspective. We make it easy at CSIMS for doctors and attorneys, adjusters, even insurance companies to connect and educate one another to give everyone a more well-rounded understanding of how legislation affects change in the world of workers compensation.
Here’s how we foster an environment of education for CSIMS members:
- Weekly Webinars, which are hosted two or more times per week, offer an unparalleled opportunity for members to learn from CSIMS leadership directly, as well as from other members. Webinars include sessions about everything from anatomy, pathophysiology, treatment and the AMA guides for every organ system, to management of a workers' compensation practice, billings and collections, and more. Each webinar ends with a Q&A session for members to communicate directly with speakers about gaining a further understanding on how each session pertains to each attendee. CSIMS also makes sure members have total access to all webinar recordings and slides for those who can’t make it to live sessions.
- Conferences, great for networking, learning, and marketing, where vendors have access to become corporate members, and have a booth amidst hundreds of physicians, attorneys, judges, and more. Our mission at CSIMS is to pay it forward through education—our conferences foster the perfect environment to learn, grow, and expand together as we move forward in the ever-changing world of workers' compensation. And not to mention, we’re excited to offer CME, CE, QME, and CLE credits to attendees.
- CSIMS is excited to announce the implementation of our Messaging Board, a member-only platform which gives members the ability to communicate with one another in an effort to form a sense of community, and help each other through the complexities of the workers' compensation system together. We are also in the midst of developing a physician-attorney messaging board, where doctor-members can connect with attorney-members with specific med-legal questions, while attorneys can ask doctors questions about patient evaluation, treatment, or anything else.
Once you have an understanding of workers' compensation in California, you’re part of a rare group. But that understanding only comes from continued growth through education, and the willingness to gain an understanding from all parties involved.
CSIMS is dedicated to changing the way physicians, attorneys, adjusters, communicate and learn from one another, and foster a better future for all of workers' compensation in California.
THE BUSINESS OF MEDICINE
CSIMS is the oldest and most prestigious medical society dedicated to the injured worker in California.
In our 41 years, CSIMS still remains the only society that caters to physicians in all specialties in the California workers compensation arena. And we’re proud to say the society is seeing continued growth, not only in California, but nationally and even internationally.
In the past year, CSIMS has tripled in membership by giving members more access to our business community. Our goal is to give our members tools to become better in practice, and in business, to create a positive environment for all parties involved in the California workers' compensation system. We’ve tapped into more than 20,000 physicians and providers to learn and grow together, and are happy to announce we are bringing attorneys into the mix through our PI-Division.
Here are some of the many highlights that are putting CSIMS at the forefront of California workers' compensation:
- Outside of the Executive Committee, CSIMS now has 12 active committees, the most recent additions including the PI Committee and the Chapter Development and Recruitment Committee.
- The PI Committee, has helped to develop the 1st ever “PI Division” of CSIMS
- The Chapter Development and Recruitment Committee is now slated to bring the process of developing CSIMS “Chapters” throughout California. Our expansion has now begun with the membership growing every week.
- CSIMS Board of Directors works in tandem with the Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) on Education, Advocacy and Business of Medicine projects.
- CSIMS has 18 active Members on the Board of Directors, all practicing Physicians.
- Our Board has physicians in all specialties from all geographic areas of California, offering unique perspectives
- CSIMS sponsors nine of our own members who are our ambassadors of nine different societies throughout California.
- Our Executive Committee and Board of Directors meet monthly, and regularly meet together with the CAC to push through major initiatives quickly and professionally and to bring the business and non-profit needs of our society together.
We all know how complex the world of workers' compensation can be, especially in California. At CSIMS, we’re focused on helping physicians excel in their individual practices, while rendering the best possible medical care to the injured worker.
We welcome physicians, attorneys, or all other parties involved in the workers' compensation arena to connect with us at CSIMS.org/store.Click Here To Join CSIMS