California: What Constitutes an Ex-Parte Communication Post-Alvarez?

There have been a number of cases decided by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) dealing with Labor Code Section 4062.3 and what constitutes a prohibited ex parte communication with a Panel Qualified Medical Evaluator (PQME). Though many thought the Court of Appeal’s decision in...

Does an Employee Have to Obtain a Comprehensive Medical-Legal Evaluation Prior to Disputing a Utilization Review Determination?

In State Compensation Insurance Fund v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd. (Sandhagen) (2008) 44 Cal.4th 230 [73 Cal.Comp.Cases 981] (Sandhagen), the California Supreme Court clarified that an employer did not have the option of going through either UR or the QME process in addressing a treatment request...