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Senate Bill 1160 Updates Bargain On Utilization Review and Liens

October 13, 2016 SB 863 dramatically changed how medical treatment is provided for work related injuries. Most importantly, it implemented Utilization Review (UR) and Independent Medical Review (IMR) as the primary arbitrators for the provision of medical treatment for admitted injuries. Applicant attorneys reacted to this by challenging UR decisions at a rate completely unanticipated by SB 863, and appealing many denials through IMR. SB 1160, signed into law by Governor Brown on 9/30/16, seeks to address concerns of both […]

The Board, In Beltran, Resurrects Thomas Findings: Post 1/1/13 Injury Supplemental Job Displacement Vouchers Can Now Be Settled

August 16, 2016 For those carriers who were previously burdened by the vocational rehabilitation system in place for injured workers, the passage of Labor Code §4658.5 on 1/1/04, replacing that system with supplemental job displacement vouchers was a much heralded cost cutting event. Initially, parties were allowed to “settle out” this potential benefit owed to applicant. However, when SB 863 subsequently went into effect on 1/1/13, the Legislature denied parties the right to settle vouchers for injuries after that date. […]

The Rule Against Settlement of the Vouchers has Once Again Changed

August 16, 2016 For those carriers who were previously burdened by the vocational rehabilitation system in place for injured workers, the passage of Labor Code §4658.5 on 1/1/04, replacing that system with supplemental job displacement vouchers was a much heralded cost cutting event. Initially, parties were allowed to “settle out” this potential benefit owed to applicant. However, when SB 863 subsequently went into effect on 1/1/13, the Legislature denied parties the right to settle vouchers for injuries after that date. […]

Margaris Vetoes Appeals Board on IMR Timeliness: IMR 30-Day Deadline is Not Mandatory

June 23, 2016 On June 22, 2016, in the case of SCIF v. WCAB (Margaris), the Second District Court of Appeals finally resolved the ongoing dispute over the validity of IMR determinations issued beyond 30-days. The answer: the determinations are valid. The 30-day period is not a mandatory deadline. Recall that previously, the First District Court of Appeals in the Stevens case included dicta in its decision alluding to the fact that the IMR 30-day period is directory, not mandatory. […]