(a) Unrepresented cases. Whenever an injured worker is not represented by an attorney and either the employee or the claims administrator requests a QME panel pursuant to Labor Code section 4062.1, the request shall be submitted on the form in section 105 (Request for QME Panel under Labor Code Section 4062.1)(See, 8 Cal. Code Regs. § 105). The party requesting a QME panel shall:
1) attach a written objection indicating the identity of the primary treating physician, the date of the primary treating physician's report that is the subject of the objection and a description of the medical determination that requires a comprehensive medical-legal report to resolve, or attach a request for an examination to determine the compensability under Labor Code section 4060; and
2) designate a specialty for the QME panel requested.
The claims administrator (or if none the employer) shall provide Form 105 to the unrepresented employee by means of personal delivery or by first class or certified mailing.
(b) Represented cases. Requests for a QME panel in a represented case, for all cases with a date of injury on or after January 1, 2005, and for all other cases where represented parties agree to obtain a panel of Qualified Medical Evaluators pursuant to the process in Labor Code section 4062.2, shall be submitted on the form in section 106 (Request for a QME Panel under Labor Code Section 4062.2)(See, 8 Cal. Code Regs. § 106). The party requesting a QME panel shall:
1) attach a written objection indicating the identity of the primary treating physician, the date of the primary treating physician's report that is the subject of the objection and a description of the medical determination that requires a comprehensive medical - legal report to resolve, or attach a request for an examination to determine the compensability under Labor Code section 4060;
2) designate a specialty for the QME panel requested;
3) state the specialty preferred by the opposing party, if known; and
4) state the specialty of the treating physician.
(c)(1) In the event a request form is incomplete, or improperly completed, so that a QME panel selection cannot properly be made, the request form shall be returned to the requesting party with an explanation of why the QME panel selection could not be made. The Medical Director also may delay issuing a new QME panel, if necessary, until the Medical Director receives additional reasonable information requested from a party or both parties, needed to resolve the panel request. Reasonable information as used in this subdivision includes but is not limited to whether a QME panel previously issued to the injured worker was used.
(2) If after the issuance of a panel it appears to the satisfaction of the Medical Director that the panel was issued by mistake, misrepresentation of fact contained in the forms or document filed in support of the request, or the parties have agreed to resolve their dispute using an AME or by other agreement, the issued panel may be revoked. Notice of the revocation shall be sent to parties listed on the panel request.
(d)(1) After a claim form has been filed, the claims administrator, or if none the employer, may request a panel of Qualified Medical Evaluators only as provided in Labor Code section 4060, to determine whether to accept or reject a claim within the ninety (90) day period for rejecting liability in Labor Code section 5402(b), and only after providing evidence of compliance with Labor Code Section 4062.1 or 4062.2.
(d)(2) Once the claims administrator, or if none, the employer, has accepted as compensable injury to any body part in the claim, a request for a panel QME may only be filed based on a dispute arising under Labor Code section 4061 or 4062.
(e) If the request form is submitted by or on behalf of an employee who does not reside within the state of California, the geographic area of the QME panel selection within the state shall be determined by agreement between the claims administrator, or if none the employer, and the employee. If no agreement can be reached, the geographic area of the QME panel selection shall be determined for an unrepresented employee by the employee's former residence within the state or, if the employee never resided in the state, by the geographic location of the employer's place of business where the employee was employed, and for a represented employee by the office of the employee's attorney.
(f) To compile a panel list of three (3) independent QMEs randomly selected from the specialty designated by the party holding the legal right to request a QME panel, the Medical Director shall exclude from the panel, to the extent feasible, any QME who is listed by another QME as a business partner or as having a shared specified financial interest, as those terms are defined in sections 1 and 29 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations.
(g) The panel request in a represented case must be sent to the Medical Unit address on the QME Form 106 by means of first class mail delivered by the United States postal service. The Medical Unit will not accept panel requests in represented cases that are delivered in person by a party, the party's attorney, any other person or by other commercial courier or delivery services.
(h) The time periods specified in Labor Code sections 4062.1(c) and 4062.2(c), respectively, for selecting an evaluator from a QME panel and for scheduling an appointment, shall be tolled whenever the Medical Director asks a party for additional information needed to resolve the panel request. These time periods shall remain tolled until the date the Medical Director issues either a new QME panel or a decision on the panel request.
NOTE: Forms referred to above are available at no charge by downloading from the web at www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/forms.html or by requesting at 1-800-794-6900.
Note: Authority cited: Sections 133, 139.2, 4061, 4062 and 5307.3, Labor Code. Reference: Sections 139.2, 4061, 4062, 4062.1, 4062.2, 4062.3, 4064 and 4067, Labor Code.
1. New article 3 and section filed 8-1-94; operative 8-31-94 (Register 94, No. 31).
2. Amendment of subsection (b) and new subsections (d)-(e) filed 8-23-96; operative 9-22-96 (Register 96, No. 34).
3. Amendment of subsections (a), (c) and (d)(1) filed 4-14-2000; operative 5-14-2000 (Register 2000, No. 15).
4. Amendment of section and Note filed 1-13-2009; operative 2-17-2009 (Register 2009, No. 3).
5. Amendment of subsection (b)(1), repealer of subsection (b)(2), subsection renumbering, amendment of newly designated subsection (b)(4) and repealer of subsections (d)(3)-(4) filed 12-31-2012 as an emergency; operative 1-1-2013 pursuant to Government Code section 11346.1(d) (Register 2013, No. 1). A Certificate of Compliance must be transmitted to OAL by 7-1-2013 or emergency language will be repealed by operation of law on the following day.
6. Amendment of subsection (b)(1), repealer of subsection (b)(2), subsection renumbering, amendment of newly designated subsection (b)(4) and repealer of subsections (d)(3)-(4) refiled 7-1-2013 as an emergency; operative 7-1-2013 (Register 2013, No. 27). A Certificate of Compliance must be transmitted to OAL by 9-30-2013 or emergency language will be repealed by operation of law on the following day.
7. Certificate of Compliance as to 7-1-2013 order, including further amendment of section, transmitted to OAL 8-2-2013 and filed 9-16-2013; amendments operative 9-16-2013 pursuant to Government Code section 11343.4(b)(3) (Register 2013, No. 38).