The New Edition of the AMA Guides: Six Times a Charm?

According to a recent poll of businesses on compliance issues, workers' compensation ranks as one of the most complicated set of laws, right up there with the tax code. In California this problem wasn't made any easier when the state legislature adopted the American Medical Association's...

UPDATE: South Carolina Workers' Compensation Reform: Governator-Style

Last year I blogged about Governor Sanford's executive orders mandating the use of the AMA Guides in the state's workers' compensation system. On July 17, 2008, the political standoff between the Governor and the state Workers' Compensation Commission appears to have been resolved...

Robert G. Rassp on Five of the Most Controversial Issues in AMA Guides and California Workers' Compensation Cases

In order to get an accurate permanent disability rating for an injured worker in the California workers' compensation system, counsel needs to develop the record in all AMA Guides cases by reading the instructions in the AMA Guides and making sure physicians applied the descriptions and measurements...

Iowa Rejects 6th Edition of AMA Impairment Guides for Work Injuries

Since its publication, the Sixth Edition of the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment has met with stiff criticism. It has been described as a step back in fairly assessing work injuries by many legal and medical experts. Several States have formally rejected use of the Sixth Edition,...

Kentucky Workers' Compensation Commissioner Proposes New Practice Changes

Based upon the presentation of Workers' Compensation Commissinoer Dwight T. Lovan at the 17th Biennial Workers Compensation Institute that was held in Lexington, KY on October 16th & 17th, 2008, the following proposals are being considered as potential Practice Regulation Changes: SIXTH EDITION...

AMA Guides, Sixth Edition Arrive on the Scene

The use of impairment and the eclipse of disability is a dangerous trend for injured workers. The current trend in the large majority of workers’ compensation jurisdictions in the United States is towards adopting The AMA Guides for the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment as the gatekeeper to...

Sixth Edition Six Feet Under in Kentucky? At Least for Now

With the release of the Sixth Edition of the AMA Guides , the Kentucky Legislature via Senate Bill 199 , deemed it prudent to take pause before adopting the sixth edition as “the latest edition” as the phrase is used in KRS 67A.460, 342.0011, 342.315, 342.316, 342.730, and 342.7305. In section...

Is Fibromyalgia Ratable Under the AMA Guides?

Is fibromyalgia ratable under the AMA Guides? According to Robert G. Rassp in his book The Lawyer's Guide to the AMA Guides and California Workers' Compensation , there are two schools of thought in the matter: (1) it is not ratable pursuant to language in Chapter 18 of the AMA Guides (5th Edition...

AMA Guides Sixth Edition Down But Not Out in Kentucky

The publication of the Sixth Edition of the AMA Guides and its pronounced divergence from previous editions aroused a controversy of sorts within the Kentucky workers’ compensation community, not to mention other jurisdictions relying on the publication for determining the occupational disability...

Workers Comp Impairment Ratings

Chris Brigham, MD, senior editor of the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (the Guides), had the coveted post-lunch speaking slot at last week's NCCI meeting on Thursday. For those not conversant with this issue, the Guides are used in workers comp to determine when, and how much...

Member Report for the Iowa Task Force Regarding the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Sixth Edition

This position paper was originally published as a part of the Iowa Task Force Report regarding the use of The Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Fifth Edition or The Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Sixth Edition in the state of Iowa. The overall report was a consensus...

Application of the AMA Guidelines in Determining Disability Under the Longshore Act

In evaluating permanent impairment, practitioners using the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act are sometimes confused as to the application of the AMA guides (American Medical Association, Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairments (4th ed. 1993)). That confusion includes a misunderstanding...

A New AMA Guides Handbook, Just in Time for the Holidays (updated 12/15/2009)

Brian J. Caveney, MD, JD, MPH, is the new Editor-in-Chief of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses , which includes a new volume called the AMA Guides Handbook ($59, price effective thru 7/31/2010). The Handbook contains case summaries of key AMA Guides decisions in states that mandate the use of the Guides...

Steven D. Feinberg, MD, on Almaraz-Guzman II WCAB Decision: Providing a WPI that is the Most Accurate Reflection of the Impairment

On September 3, 2009, the California WCAB decided Almaraz-Guzman II. In this commentary, Steven D. Feinberg, MD, discusses how the AME/QME/Treating physician might respond when queried about Almaraz-Guzman II to provide the most accurate WPI for California workers compensation cases. He writes: ...

Steven D. Feinberg, MD on Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy & Causalgia

Complex regional pain syndromes (CRPS) type I and type II formally known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) and Causalgia respectively, are the most complicated chronic neuropathic pain syndromes involving sensory, motor and autonomic changes. Short of a diagnosis of an incurable terminal disease...

California Noteworthy Cases Interpreting the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment - Fifth Edition

In this Emerging Issues Analysis, Thomas A. Robinson analyzes noteworthy cases from California that interpret the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Fifth Edition. Robinson initially explains that California adopted the AMA Guides as follows: “Cal. Lab. Code § 4660(b)(1...

Virginia Court of Appeals Cites Rassp's "The Lawyer's Guide" as Authority on AMA Guides

An interesting case from Virginia decided in early 2010 illustrates how states are looking for guidance on the AMA Guides and have found authoritative analysis in Robert G. Rassp’s The Lawyer’s Guide to the AMA Guides and California Workers’ Compensation (LexisNexis Matthew Bender)...

No Headache for This Claimant When DE IAB Allows Permanent Impairment Benefits to Both the Brain and the Head

In 2006 the claimant was struck in the head by a falling box. Prior to the litigation in question, there was a voluntary award of 5% impairment to the brain; the testimony of Dr. John Townsend (for the claimant) suggests the rating was based upon depression and the testimony of Dr. William Sommers (for...

First Salvo: 6th District Upholds California W.C.A.B. in Guzman Case

The 6th District has issued its much anticipated decision in the defendant’s appeal in Milpitas USD v W.C.A.B (Guzman) providing a resounding endorsement of the W.C.A.B.’s analysis and holding in the second of its en banc opinions. The Appellate Court wholeheartedly endorsed the Board’s...

California: Almaraz/Guzman 2 Upheld

The Court of Appeal issued its decision today in Milpitas Unified School District v. WCAB (Guzman) (6th District case H034853, 8/19/10), agreeing with the WCAB that impairment can be, in certain instances, determined by any applicable portion of the AMA Guides and this determination may be used to rebut...

California: Guzman

In a victory for disabled workers, the California Court of Appeals 6th District has upheld the decision in the Guzman case (actually known as Milpitas Unified School District v. WCAB and Joyce Guzman). While not final/final, it’s starting to look like the Almaraz/Guzman II decision of the WCAB...

2010 Year in Review: The Top 10 Workers’ Compensation Issues From a National Perspective

As I gaze back over this rapidly closing year and try to describe the dominant issues that have engaged those of us within the workers' compensation arena, I am mindful of the story of the three blind men who were asked to describe an elephant. Their eyes useless to them, they all awkwardly gathered...

New 2011 Edition of The Lawyer’s Guide to the AMA Guides and California Workers’ Compensation

The year 2010 was a very interesting year in our workers’ compensation system — the sixth year of SB 899 and now the sixth edition of The Lawyer’s Guide to the AMA Guides and California Workers’ Compensation. We have seen the evolution of case law on permanent disability from...

California: SB 863 Checklist and Reference Guide

SB 863 CHECKLIST & REFERENCE GUIDE By Robert G. Rassp, Esq. © Copyright 2012 LexisNexis. All rights reserved. This SB 863 Checklist & Reference Guide is excerpted from The Lawyer’s Guide to the AMA Guides and California Workers’ Compensation , 2013 Edition (available February...

Departure From Strict AMA Guides Rating Justified for Ankle Injury: Cal. Comp. Cases December Advanced Postings (12/24/2012)

Here’s the fourth batch of advanced postings for the December 2012 issue of Cal. Comp. Cases. Lexis.com subscribers can link to the cases to read the complete headnotes and summaries. © Copyright 2012 LexisNexis. All rights reserved. Western Towing (Total H. R. Solutions, dba Western...