Home > Uncategorized > Reforms a-Comin’?

Reforms a-Comin’?

The times, they are a-changing.  It looks like reform might be coming down the pipe pretty soon, and, courtesy of the Business Journal, your humble blogger has gotten his hot little hands on a summary of proposals.

Reviewing this summary of the proposed changes to the law, one must wonder about what fate awaits us in California.  For example, one of the proposed changes is the Independent Medical Review system, which would apparently resolve Utilization Review disputes while also narrowing the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board’s jurisdiction over medical treatment disputes.

Other proposals include the Independent Bill Review process, which appears to be aimed at cutting down on the insane flood of liens that are strangling the workers’ compensation system; eliminate the spinal surgery second opinion process and refer the matter, instead, to the IMR; provide a minimum filing fee for liens, recoverable should the lien claimant prevail, and other excellent ideas.  An amendment to the California Constitution making this blog required reading is strangely absent from the list… lobbying dollars wasted once again!

Another one of the interesting ideas present is found in bullet point 16 of the summary – “Streamline the Agreed Medical Evaluator (AME) and QME process to eliminate unnecessary delays and friction in the system.”  Almost every contested case has a hearing on the QME specialty.  Applicants want chiropractors and pain specialists, defendants want orthopedists.  The rule clearly states that the treating physician specialty should control the specialty of the QME.

One can only hope that part of these reforms will be to give teeth to Rule 31.1(b) so that these needless hearings can be avoided.

Your humble blogger intends to keep his keen eyes on this one, because there is a good chance that several of our gripes and complaints may end up being resolved should these reforms go through.  After all, what better sign could we have as to the practicality and good qualities of these  reforms than the opposition of the California Applicants’ Attorneys’ Association?

And your humble blogger also hopes his beloved and much-appreciated readers will keep their keen eyes glued to this blog for the weeks to come for more thoughts of these (potential) reforms.

Categories: Uncategorized
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