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Assemblymember Reyes Introduces Legislation to Aid Survivors of San Bernardino Terrorist Attack

For immediate release:

(Sacramento) - As her very first act in public office, Assemblymember Eloise Reyes (D-San Bernardino) today introduced legislation to aid survivors of the San Bernardino terrorist attack by removing roadblocks that keep workers who suffer job-related injuries from receiving treatment for PTSD and other disorders.

“Survivors of the San Bernardino attacks deserve better than being caught in the web of workers comp bureaucracy,” said Assemblymember Reyes. “Medical care should first and foremost be about meeting a patient’s needs – and that’s what Assembly Bill 44 seeks to accomplish.”

AB 44 removes a worker’s comp process called utilization review, which requires a secondary physician to approve the medical treatment plan already prescribed by a patient’s primary physician. This extra step has created unnecessary delays that cause undue hardship, pain, and delay of recovery. AB 44 authorizes treating physicians to pursue the medical treatments necessary for patients to recover quickly and return to work.

News reports have cited several examples San Bernardino terrorist attack survivors, many of whom suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, being denied or delayed medication by utilization review doctors.

A November 20 article in the San Bernardino Sun outlined the stories of survivors being “cut off cold turkey from antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication” by utilization review doctors. Another survivor saw delayed approval of her antibiotic medication, causing her to spend an additional three days in a hospital waiting for utilization review authorization.

Assembly Bill 44 is awaiting referral to an Assembly policy committee.

Links to audio of Assemblymember Reyes:

Assemblymember Reyes explains why she wanted to make this her first piece of legislation. (:21)

Assemblymember Reyes says the current system is an injustice to the people who survived the terrorist attack. (:35)

Assemblymember Reyes says there are two aspects of the current system that her legislation will address. (:21)

Assemblymember Reyes says here background makes uniquely qualified to address this problem. (:25)