WCAB Urged To Continue Remote Hearings

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board commissioners heard nearly uniform support for proposals to continue allowing remote operations at the various boards and only limited support for resuming some in-person hearings. The Board’s proposal for a “meet and confer” requirement for Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund cases also received pushback from the head of the SIBTF. … Read More »

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Employers, Carriers Push Back Against Med-Legal Fee Proposal

California’s employers and insurance carriers are raising concerns that the Division of Workers’ Compensation’s proposed med-legal fee schedule (MLFS) update will increase costs more than is projected and, worse, create new friction points in the system. Employers assert the proposal does little to prevent billing abuse and that the Division’s proposal fails to ensure high-quality … Read More »

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Industry Pushes Back Over Proposed WCAB Rules

The workers’ comp community expressed “serious concerns” about several aspects of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board’s proposal to update its rules of practice and procedure. The proposal generated well over 100 pages of comments, and this was after a preliminary vetting through the informal forum process. One important area of dispute is a proposed definition … Read More »

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WCAB Faces Pushback Over New Draft Rules

A draft proposal to rework the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board’s Rules of Practice and Procedures generated controversy and strong push back from carrier representatives and qualified medical evaluators (QMEs). The changes are being billed by regulators as being a clean-up effort with largely non-substantive changes, but many in the workers’ comp community saw it differently. … Read More »

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Second Court Upholds IMR’s Constitutionality

The Third District Court of Appeal today upheld the constitutionality of the independent medical review process that puts workers’ comp medical necessity decisions in the hands of physicians instead of workers’ comp judges.  The First District Court of Appeal earlier reached the same conclusion in Stevens, and the California Supreme Court already refused to hear … Read More »

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UR Physician In Medical Board’s Sights

The workers’ comp utilization review physician at the heart of a California Supreme Court case is now facing the loss of his medical license for decisions he made during that UR review. The Medical Board of California charges that Dr. Naresh D. Sharma committed gross negligence and should lose his license for rescinding approval for … Read More »

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Comp Carriers, Employers On High Alert

Recreational use of marijuana is legal in California because of the passage of Proposition 64.   Issues are raised for employers and workers’ comp carriers alike. Experts say the move is likely to increase pressure on carriers and self-insured employers to approve and pay for medical marijuana to treat injured workers covered by workers’ compensation claims. Carriers … Read More »

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CAAA Seeks Broader Expansion Of RTW Fund Rules

The California Applicant Attorneys’ Association was successful in lobbying the Department of Industrial Relations to open rulemaking for the Return-To-Work Supplement Fund. CAAA wants to give some injured workers additional time to claim $5,000 from the state’s $120 million fund. The Fund came into being many years after vocational rehabilitation was removed because of the … Read More »

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