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Lawmakers propose breast cancer diagnosis protections for workers

California lawmakers continued to expand patient protections recently by introducing a bill that would expand protections for workers who develop work-related breast cancer. Under the new bill, doctors who evaluate and diagnose patients with work-related breast cancer would abide by the American Medical Association's guidelines, which define the factors a doctor may consider when making a diagnosis for a workers' compensation claim involving breast cancer.

Currently, some doctors in California include a woman's age in relation to child-bearing as a factor, which many female employees object to. For these workers, child-bearing age is not a reasonable factor to consider for a workers' compensation claim, and may exclude some workers from full compensation even once a claim gets approved.

While child-bearing age may have statistical implications in the regular development of some kinds of breast cancer, lawmakers behind the bill believe those who develop work-related breast cancer should not have to contend with this very personal component of an evaluation. Currently, the inclusion of this factor is still allowed in the state.

If you believe that you suffer from work-related breast cancer, you may have grounds to file a workers' compensation claim to cover the costs of your treatment, your lost wages, and other expenses and losses related to the illness. However, filing a workers' compensation claim and defending its merits can prove overwhelming for many patients, who should have the time and energy to focus on their own recovery. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can help you pursue your claim and build strong protections for your rights.

Source: Business Insurance, "California workers comp breast cancer bill moves forward," Louise Esola, Jan. 31, 2018

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Making a false or fraudulent workers’ compensation claim is a felony subject to 5 years in prison or up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

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