Today, California and Ontario are global leaders in supporting research on workers’ compensation and applying this research to improve public policy. California has used research repeatedly over the past ten years to shape a series of reforms to its workers’ compensation system. Among the most significant changes, California adopted a new system for using empirical data to set compensation for permanent disability based on a concept developed and recommended by the RAND Corporation.
As the leader of the permanent disability study and other studies on the performance of the California workers’ compensation system over this past decade, Dr. Robert Reville will show how research informed public policy. He will give examples in the areas of improving return-to-work outcomes for disabled workers, the adequacy of benefits for workers experiencing permanent impairment and challenges in ensuring fairness in the adjudication of workers’ compensation benefits.
The work of Dr. Reville and his colleagues at RAND has influenced policy reform in California. Many of the lessons from this experience will be relevant to our Canadian context.