Home > Uncategorized > Failure To Recon Finding of Defective UR Negates IMR Process

Failure To Recon Finding of Defective UR Negates IMR Process

Happy Wednesday to you, dear readers!  Last week, some of your humble blogger’s acquaintances knocked on his door seeking help.  Not really interested in my lawyerly wares, they instead asked for my intervention on their behalf with a certain deity who controls the storms.  After sacrificing the appropriate number of goats (too few would have been insulting), your humble blogger secured a year’s worth of rain for California.  Unfortunately, the fine print discussed delivery as all on one day, and all in the Bay Area.  In other words, dear readers, stay safe out there – the storm is a-brewin’.

Speaking of storms a-brewin, there’s going to be another one on the issue of Utilization Review.  I know, I know, it’s settled law –Dubon has made clear that if the UR report is timely, that’s the end of it.  Right?  There’s no monster under the bed anymore… is there?

The case your humble blogger brings to your hawk-like attention this fine morning is that of Jovel v. Sisters of the Holy Name.  In that case, applicant filed for an expedited hearing, and eventually argued that defendant’s denial of authorization for treatment requested by the primary treating physician was invalid because the underlying Utilization Review decision suffered from a material defect, to wit, the UR physician was not provided relevant information regarding past treatment.

The WCJ found that the UR report was materially procedurally defective, but, instead, ordered the parties to return to UR to provide a full documentary record to the UR physician and obtain a new decision.

By way of background, dear readers, the WCJ’s decision was issued during that short period between Dubon I and Dubon II.

Ok, so we have what the WCJ has found to be a materially defective UR decision, but, as the WCJ reasoned – even with the assistance of the materials not previously provided to the UR physician, how is the WCJ supposed to decide if this treatment is really necessary or not?  After all, if the Primary Treating Physician’s opinion was sufficient, why would there be a UR?  If a Juris Doctorate makes one  a doctor, why does the restraining order presently in effect against your humble blogger prohibit me from performing any more surgeries?  Good questions, every one.

Applicant petitioned for reconsideration, but defendant did not.  So, while applicant was able to challenge the WCJ’s order to go back to UR, the defendant did not timely seek reconsideration of the finding that UR was defective.  The WCAB reviewed the relevant medical records, and found that the WCJ’s determination that UR was defective holds, but that the supplemental reports that were not provided to UR justify the requested treatment.  The WCAB ordered defendant to authorize treatment.

In other words, dear readers, it may be necessary to seek reconsideration of any finding relating to the validity of UR, unless, of course, the issue is timeliness.

If you don’t hear from me on Friday, dear readers, your humble blogger is probably without power, and his computer is in a box of rice drying out.

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