The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) has announced that Dec. 22, 2003 was the official publication date for the "ACOEM Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines: Evaluation and Management of Common Health Problems and Functional Recovery in Workers, second edition."
Recently enacted Senate Bill 228 added Section 4604.5 (c) to the California Labor Code, requiring that three months after their publication date, ACOEM's updated guidelines "shall be presumptively correct on the issue of extent and scope of medical treatment." March 22, therefore, will be the effective date of the presumption.
Orientation sessions on the practice guidelines have been scheduled for Jan. 22, 2004 in Los Angeles at the Airport Marriott Hotel and for Jan. 27 in San Francisco at the Westin. St. Francis Hotel.
The sessions are sponsored by ACOEM, the Division of Workers' Compensation, the Commission on Safety and Health and Workers' Compensation, and the California Department of Insurance. The co-sponsors are the California Academy of Family Physicians and the Western Occupational and Environmental Medical Association.
The day-long orientation will provide attendees with a clinical overview of the guidelines and, in a series of general and breakout sessions, participants will have the opportunity to discuss implementation issues of interest to physicians, other health professionals, administrators, attorneys, case managers, and claims adjudicators.
Because ACOEM anticipates that this event will sell out quickly, on-line registration is strongly encouraged. Register on-line at http://www.acoem.org or call ACOEM at (847) 818-1800, ext. 393 or 391. Further information about the sessions and how to order the guidelines can also be found at the ACOEM web site.