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California: The PQME Process Runs Amok - A Tragic-Comedy

By Robert G. Rassp, Esq. This story is true. The names were changed to protect the guilty. This story is a great example of what is wrong with the panel QME process under Labor Code sections 4062.1 and 4062.2. There are many cases where claims administrators are paying for medical reports and deposition...

California: The PQME Process Runs Amok - A Tragic-Comedy

By Robert G. Rassp, Esq. This story is true. The names were changed to protect the guilty. This story is a great example of what is wrong with the panel QME process under Labor Code sections 4062.1 and 4062.2. There are many cases where claims administrators are paying for medical reports and deposition...

California: WCAB Panel Allows Report of Non-Examining Panel QME in Contribution Proceeding

In Chirinos v. Heartwood Cabinet , No. ADJ2087163, the WCAB panel found that the applicant’s failure to submit to a physical examination by the panel QME did not render the panel QME’s reports inadmissible for purposes of this contribution proceeding, and that the Arbitrator did not err in...

California Panel QME Process: Is It Time to Admit We Are Dealing With a Monster?

A serious question needs to be asked about whether requiring the use of one Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) in a workers’ compensation case, as opposed to the use of “battling QME’s”, has reduced litigation or has actually served to increase litigation. No question, at least...

California: When to Object to a Treating Physician’s Permanent Disability Determination

Lexis.com subscribers can link to the cases and statutes cited below. California Labor Code Section 4062 provides that if either party objects to a “medical determination” made by the treating physician concerning any medical issues not covered by Labor Code Section 4060 or 4061 and not...

California: Self-Procured Medical Marijuana

Are applicants entitled to reimbursement for self-procured medical marijuana both pre- and post-SB 863? In Cockrell v. Farmers Insurance , 2015 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS --, a WCAB panel has once again rescinded the WCJ’s finding that the applicant was entitled to reimbursement (as opposed...

California: Communications With the AME or PQME

When do communications with the AME or PQME have to be cleared by the opposing side? In Lopez Castaneda v. Forever 21 , 2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS --, the WCAB, in a split panel opinion, affirmed the WCJ’s finding that the applicant was entitled to a replacement qualified medical evaluator...

California: Face to Face With a Bunch of PQMEs

In early 2017, a PQME referral company hosted a continuing medical education (CME) program for its panel QME physicians in the Southern California area. The first three hours of the six hour program featured an applicant’s attorney, a defense attorney, and a workers’ compensation judge who...