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TITLE 8. INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
DIVISION 1. DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
CHAPTER 1. DIVISION OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION-QUALIFIED MEDICAL EVALUATOR
Article 3. Assignment of Qualified Medical Evaluators, Evaluation Procedure
§31.7. Obtaining Additional QME Panel in a Different Specialty.
(a) Once an Agreed Medical Evaluator, an Agreed Panel QME, or a panel Qualified Medical Evaluator has issued a comprehensive medical/legal report in a case and a new medical dispute arises, the parties, to the extent possible, shall obtain a follow-up evaluation or a supplemental evaluation from the same evaluator.
(b) Upon a showing of good cause that a panel of QME physicians in a different specialty is needed to assist the parties reach an expeditious and just resolution of disputed medical issues in the case, the Medical Director shall issue an additional panel of QME physicians selected at random in the specialty requested. For the purpose of this section, good cause means:
(1) A written agreement by the parties in a represented case that there is a need for an additional comprehensive medical legal report by an evaluator in a different specialty and the specialty that the parties have agreed upon for the additional evaluation; or
(2) The AME or QME selected advises the parties and the Medical Director, or his or her designee, that she or he has completed or will complete a timely evaluation of the disputed medical issues within his or her scope of practice and areas of clinical competence but recommends that a new evaluator in another specialty is needed to evaluate one or more remaining disputed medical conditions, injuries or issues that are outside of the evaluator's areas of clinical competence, and either the injured worker is unrepresented or the parties in a represented case have been unable to select an Agreed Medical Evaluator for that purpose; or
(3) An order by a Workers' Compensation Administrative Law Judge for a panel of QME physicians that also either designates a party to select the specialty or states the specialty to be selected and the residential or employment-based zip code from which to randomly select evaluators; or
(4) In an unrepresented case, that the parties have conferred with an Information and Assistance Officer, have explained the need for an additional QME evaluator in another specialty to address disputed issues and, as noted by the Information and Assistance Officer on the panel request form, the parties have reached agreement in the presence of and with the assistance of the Officer on the specialty requested for the additional QME panel. The parties may confer with the Information and Assistance Officer in person or by conference call.
Note: Authority cited: Sections 133, 139.2, 4061, 4062, 4062.3, 4062.5, 5307.3 and 5703.5, Labor Code. Reference: Sections 139.2, 4061, 4062, 4062.1, 4062.2, 4062.3, 4064 and 4067, Labor Code.
1. New section filed 1-13-2009; operative 2-17-2009 (Register 2009, No. 3).
2. Amendment of subsections (b)(1) and (b)(3) 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.
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