August 19, 2010

Christine Baker


The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation
Releases Draft QME Study for Public Comment and Feedback

OAKLAND  -- The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation (CHSWC) is pleased to announce the release for public comment and feedback the CHSWC QME report, “Evaluating the QME Process: Is it Equitable and Efficient?” The Qualified Medical Examiner (QME) process is at the heart of the California workers’ compensation dispute resolution process. The current process is the result of a series of reforms over the past 15 years, reforms that were meant to deliver medical-legal evaluations expeditiously and equitably for both parties. This report examines how well the process is operating in fulfillment of those important goals.

The study used extensive electronic administrative data made available by the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) Medical Unit and Disability Evaluation Unit supplemented with samples of paper records. The study covers the period from January, 2005 through June of 2010.  This period covers the 2004 reforms which introduced utilization and treatment guidelines, a new permanent disability rating schedule based on the AMA Guides, and changes to the manner parties in represented cases can select QMEs. 

CHSWC is charged with examining the health and safety and workers’ compensation systems in California and recommending administrative or legislative modifications to improve their operation.  The Commission was established to conduct a continuing examination of the workers’ compensation system and of the state’s activities to prevent industrial injuries and occupational illnesses and to examine those programs in other states.

Information about the QME draft report is available in the feedback section of the CHSWC website at

Information about CHSWC is available at and by writing to the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, 1515 Clay Street, Room 901, Oakland, CA 94612, by calling (510) 622-3959, by faxing a request to (510) 622-3265, or by emailing