Merle C. Rabine on CA WCAB Panel Decisions Re DFEC, Outpatient Surgery Centers

Merle C. Rabine on CA WCAB Panel Decisions Re DFEC, Outpatient Surgery Centers

Recent interest in California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board panel decisions has been fueled by continuing uncertainty of interpretation of parts of Senate Bill 899 and by discussion and debate on the Internet.

 This commentary, written by Merle C. Rabine, the past Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, examines recent panel decisions on expert Diminished Future Earning Capacity (DFEC) testimony and outpatient surgery centers' burden of proof regarding the reasonableness of their charges. He concludes that the Appeals Board has determined that DFEC evidence may be offered only to rebut the DFEC modifier in the 2005 Permanent Disability Rating Schedule, and not the overall rating.

Rabine also asserts that scarce judicial resources are wasted because some outpatient surgery centers and workers’ compensation claims administrators are failing to present evidence of the reasonableness or unreasonableness of billing charges by the outpatient surgery centers, which are not governed by the Official Medical Fee Schedule.

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