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MPN Regulations Open for Suggestions

August 23rd, 2013

Hello dear readers!

As another week draws to a close, I bring you glad tidings from our dear friends at the Department of Workers’ Compensation, which seeks public comments for the Medical Provider Network regulations.

You all know the drill by now – attend the hearing on 9/30/13 at 10:00 a.m. or get your comments in before 5 p.m. in writing.

At this point, the draft of the regulations can be reviewed here.

Do you have suggestions for how the MPN system can be improved?  I have one:

Presently, regulation section 9769.5(b) says that an “MPN must have a primary treating physician and a hospital for emergency health care services … within 30 minutes or 15 miles of each covered employee’s residence or workplace.”

As my loyal and learned readers will recall, in the matter of Miguel Robles v. Evolution Fresh Inc., the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board held that this regulation is in conflict with Labor Code section 4616(a)(1), which requires the MPN to offer treating physicians within the geographic area where the employees are employed.

Because we’ve already had our reform madness season, and can wait up to five more years for the next one, I suggest the regulations be amended to reflect that the MPN must have PTPs 30 minutes or 15 miles of each employee’s workplace (and remove the residence provision).

Why? Because so long as this regulation is on the books, the MPNs are not put on notice of this theory of attack.  By getting rid of this potential conflict, the MPNs can adjust accordingly and recruit more doctors in the areas where the employees are working.

That’s your humble bloggers suggestion – what’s yours?

Have a good weekend!

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