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No More Boilerplate PTP Objections?

December 19th, 2012

The legislators have changed the beat of the QME dance yet again, and now our foot-work must match the tune.  It looks like the boilerplate – “I object; here is a pro-my-side QME I am proposing as an AME;  I’ll file a panel request for a [chiro/ortho] in 16 days from today” will no longer work.

The new emergency regulations to be submitted tomorrow to the Office of Administrative Law, would require an objection letter to do more than just complain – section 30, subsection (b)(1) would require any request for a QME panel to “attach a written objection indicating the identity of the primary treating physician, the date of the primary treating physician’s report that is the subject of the objection, and a description of the medical dispute.”

So, what does that mean?  Applicants will have to put in some leg work in getting a panel, and blanket objections will not do.  Furthermore, it looks like the Valdez case will be considerably less relevant – a new timeline is included in Labor Code section 4062.2… and it doesn’t require the proposal of Agreed Medical Evaluators, just the first possible day to submit a request for a panel:

  1. In cases of requests for medical evaluations under Labor Code section 4060, the first working day that is at least 10 days after the date of mailing of a request for an evaluation;
  2. In cases of 4061 or 4062 medical disputes, the panel request shall be made “[n]o earlier than … the first working day that is at least 10 days after the date of mailing of an objection”.

So, once the proposed regulations are approved, keep an eye out for applicants’ objection letters – if you’re beaten to the punch and the panel is issued in an inappropriate specialty, perhaps the panel request can be invalidated based on failure to adhere to the regulations.  At the very least, we should see litigation on this issue in the coming months.


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