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TITLE 8. INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Article 3. Assignment of Qualified Medical Evaluators, Evaluation Procedure
DIVISION 1. DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
CHAPTER 1. DIVISION OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION-QUALIFIED MEDICAL EVALUATOR
§34. Appointment Notification and Cancellation.
(a) Whenever an appointment for a comprehensive medical evaluation is made with a QME, the QME shall complete an appointment notification form by submitting the form in Section 110 (QME Appointment Notification Form)(See, 8 Cal. Code Regs. § 110). The completed form shall be postmarked or sent by facsimile to the employee and the claims administrator, or if none the employer, within 5 business days of the date the appointment was made. In a represented case, a copy of the completed form shall also be sent to the attorney who represents each party, if known. Failure to comply with this requirement shall constitute grounds for denial of reappointment under section 51 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations.
(b) The QME shall schedule an appointment for the first comprehensive medical-legal examination which shall be conducted only at the medical office listed on the panel selection form. Any subsequent evaluation appointments may be performed at another medical office of the selected QME if it is listed with the Medical Director and is within a reasonable geographic distance from the injured worker's residence.
(c) The QME shall include within the notification whether a Certified Interpreter, as defined by Labor Code Section 5811 and subject to the provisions of section 9795.3 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations, is required and specify the language. The interpreter shall be arranged by the party who is to pay the cost as provided for in Section 5811 of the Labor Code.
(d) An evaluator, whether an AME, Agreed Panel QME or QME, shall not cancel a scheduled appointment less than six (6) business days prior to the appointment date, except for good cause. Whenever an evaluator cancels a scheduled appointment, the evaluator shall advise the parties in writing of the reason for the cancellation. The Appeals Board shall retain jurisdiction to resolve disputes among the parties regarding whether an appointment cancellation pursuant to this subdivision was for good cause. The Administrative Director shall retain jurisdiction to take appropriate disciplinary action against any Agreed Panel QME or QME for violations of this section.
(e) An Agreed Panel QME or a QME who cancels a scheduled appointment shall reschedule the appointment to a date within thirty (30) calendar days of the date of cancellation. The re-scheduled appointment date may not be more than sixty (60) calendar days from the date of the initial request for an appointment, unless the parties agree in writing to accept the date beyond the sixty (60) day limit.
(f) An Agreed Medical Evaluator who cancels a scheduled appointment shall reschedule the appointment within sixty (60) calendar days of the date of the cancellation, unless the parties agree in writing to accept an appointment date no more than thirty (30) calendar days beyond the sixty (60) day limit.
(g) Failure to receive relevant medical records, as provided in section 35 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations and section 4062.3 of the Labor Code, prior to a scheduled appointment shall not constitute good cause under this section for the evaluator to cancel the appointment, unless the evaluator is a psychiatrist or psychologist performing an evaluation regarding a disputed injury to the psyche who states in the evaluation report that receipt of relevant medical records prior to the evaluation was necessary to conduct a full and fair evaluation.
(h) An appointment scheduled with an evaluator, whether an AME, Agreed Panel QME or QME shall not be cancelled or rescheduled by a party or the party's attorney less than six (6) business days before the appointment date, except for good cause. Whenever the claims administrator, or if none the employer, or the injured worker, or either party's attorney, cancels an appointment scheduled by an evaluator, the cancellation shall be made in writing, state the reason for the cancellation and be served on the opposing party. Oral cancellations shall be followed with a written confirming letter that is faxed or mailed by first class U.S. mail within twenty four hours of the verbal cancellation and that complies with this section. An injured worker shall not be liable for any missed appointment fee whenever an appointment is cancelled for good cause. The Appeals Board shall retain jurisdiction to resolve disputes regarding whether an appointment cancellation by a party pursuant to this subdivision was for good cause.
(i) The date of cancellation shall be determined from the date of postmark, if mailed, or from the facsimile receipt date as shown on the recipient's fax copy.
NOTE: Form referred to above is 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 and 5307.3, Labor Code. Reference: Sections 4060, 4061, 4062, 4062.1, 4062.2 and 4067, Labor Code.
1. New section filed 8-1-94; operative 8-31-94 (Register 94, No. 31).
2. Amendment of subsections (a) and (c) filed 4-14-2000; operative 5-14-2000 (Register 2000, No. 15).
3. Amendment of section heading, section and Note filed 1-13-2009; operative 2-17-2009 (Register 2009, No. 3).
4. Amendment of subsection (b) filed 9-16-2013; operative 9-16-2013 pursuant to Government Code section 11343.4(b)(3) (Register 2013, No. 38).
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