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Workers' Compensation

California: Medical-Legal Procedure; Qualified Medical Evaluator Panels; Specialty Designation

The recent panel decision in Marquez v. Supercuts serves primarily as a warning to practitioners that candor is required at all times and to take care not to misrepresent and mischaracterize the comments of the QME.

Here’s our headnote for the case:

Marquez v. Supercuts, 2020 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 375Medical-Legal Procedure—Qualified Medical Evaluator Panels—Specialty Designation—WCAB affirmed WCJ’s finding that chiropractic qualified medical evaluator panel issued by Medical Unit was appropriate to evaluate applicant’s industrial injury to her neck, arm, wrists, back, and shoulders on 8/20/2018 and cumulatively from 8/20/2017 through 8/20/2018, and separate cumulative injury to her back and knees from 9/20/2016 through 9/20/2017, and found that defendant was not entitled to additional panel of qualified medical evaluators or replacement panel in specialty of orthopedic surgery, when WCAB found that contrary to defendant’s assertion, chiropractic panel qualified medical evaluator’s recommendation that applicant obtain medical treatment for her cervical, thoracic and upper extremity injuries in order to reach maximum medical improvement did not constitute opinion that these conditions and related symptomatology were outside her scope of practice or area of clinical competency, that panel qualified medical evaluator was not rendering medical treatment to applicant and, contrary to defendant’s assertion, was not limited in her use of diagnostic tools to evaluate applicant’s injuries, and that there was no evidence supporting conclusion that applicant’s complaints were beyond chiropractic qualified medical evaluator’s scope of practice or competency so as to require additional and/or replacement panels. 

Reminder: Board panel decisions are not binding precedent.

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