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Another Extra-MPN Case

As you might recall, the Valdez case, which is presently awaiting a new decision from the en banc Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, was discussed here and here.

The original Valdez decision held that medical reports from doctors outside of defendant’s Medical Provider Network are inadmissible, and the defendant is not required to pay the bills for these reports.

Recently, the Court of Appeals issued a writ denied opinion for a WCAB decision with a similar holding – non-MPN doctors’ reports are inadmissible.  (Scudder v. Verizon California (2011Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. Lexis 138)).

The order denying applicant’s petition for writ of review can be found under the citation 2011 Cal. Wrk. Comp Lexis 126.

Had the Court of Appeal granted the petition for writ of review (and, ideally, affirmed the Scudder WCAB panel opinion) the Valdez case may have very well been moot.

Two of the commissioners on the Scudder panel are on the Valdez en banc panel as well.  Hopefully that is grounds for some optimism as to how the en banc decision in Valdez will ultimately empower or cripple Medical Provider Networks in California Workers’ Compensation practice.

As always, brave readers, when I know more, so will you.

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