Home > Medical Unit, News > Medical Unit Inches Towards Propriety

Medical Unit Inches Towards Propriety

Bowing to the voluminous complains of countless workers’ compensation attorneys, as well as the en banc decision of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board in Messele v. Pitco Foods, Inc., the Department of Workers’ Compensation has set out new procedures for panel requests.

Before we play the Ewok celebration dance again, let’s recognize that this is a very limited fix in a very broken system.  The Medical Unit is not about to start following its own regulations or disowning its old unsigned, unofficial memorandum.  In accordance with the Messele opinion, the Medical Unit will only start rejecting pre-mature panel requests.

At least, that is the understanding from the latest DWC Newsline.

From what I can tell, the Medical Unit will continue to:

* Issue panels in a specialty other than that of the primary treating physician (chiropractors and pain specialists for everybody!)

* Issue a second panel to an applicant because he or she now represented (more chiropractors and pain specialists for everybody!)

*[Conceivably] Issue two panels in one case because of two requests (one from the defense, one from the applicant).

In other words, we will have to continue to be vigilant and aggressive, even if that means filing our DoRs in response to the Medical Unit’s errors.

In terms of the new procedures, the Medical Unit will reject premature panel requests.  [Please see my post on Messele, above, for a discussion of proper timing.]  The DWC also suggests including a proof of service with your letter proposing Agreed Medical Evaluators and mentioning, in the proposal letter, the subject of the dispute (for the Medical Unit’s future reference).

Categories: Medical Unit, News
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