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Chapter 4.5. Division of Workers' Compensation
Subchapter 1. Administrative Director--Administrative Rules
Article 3.5. Medical Provider Networks

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§9767.9. Transfer of Ongoing Care into the MPN.

(a) If the injured covered employee's injury or illness does not meet the conditions set forth in (e)(1) through (e)(4), the injured covered employee may be transferred into the MPN for medical treatment.

(b) Until the injured covered employee is transferred into the MPN, the employee's physician may make referrals to providers within or outside the MPN.

(c) Nothing in this section shall preclude an insurer or employer from agreeing to provide medical care with providers outside of the MPN.

(d) If an injured covered employee is being treated for an occupational injury or illness by a physician or provider prior to coverage of a medical provider network, and the injured covered employee's physician or provider becomes a provider within the MPN that applies to the injured covered employee, then the employer or insurer shall inform the injured covered employee and his or her physician or provider if his/her treatment is being provided by his/her physician or provider under the provisions of the MPN.

(e) The employer or insurer shall authorize the completion of treatment for injured covered employees who are being treated outside of the MPN for an occupational injury or illness that occurred prior to the coverage of the MPN and whose treating physician is not a provider within the MPN, including injured covered employees who pre-designated a physician and do not fall within the Labor Code section 4600(d), for the following conditions:

(1) An acute condition. For purposes of this subdivision, an acute condition is a medical condition that involves a sudden onset of symptoms due to an illness, injury, or other medical problem that requires prompt medical attention and that has a duration of less than 90 days. Completion of treatment shall be provided for the duration of the acute condition.

(2) A serious chronic condition. For purposes of this subdivision, a serious chronic condition is a medical condition due to a disease, illness, catastrophic injury, or other medical problem or medical disorder that is serious in nature and that persists without full cure or worsens over 90 days and requires ongoing treatment to maintain remission or prevent deterioration. Completion of treatment shall be authorized for a period of time necessary, up to one year: (A) to complete a course of treatment approved by the employer or insurer; and (B) to arrange for transfer to another provider within the MPN, as determined by the insurer or employer. The one year period for completion of treatment starts from the date of the injured covered employee's receipt of the notification, as required by subdivision (f), of the determination that the employee has a serious chronic condition.

(3) A terminal illness. For purposes of this subdivision, a terminal illness is an incurable or irreversible condition that has a high probability of causing death within one year or less. Completion of treatment shall be provided for the duration of a terminal illness.

(4) Performance of a surgery or other procedure that is authorized by the insurer or employer as part of a documented course of treatment and has been recommended and documented by the provider to occur within 180 days from the MPN coverage effective date.

(f) If the employer or insurer decides to transfer the covered employee's medical care to the medical provider network, the employer or insurer shall notify the covered employee of the determination regarding the completion of treatment and the decision to transfer medical care into the medical provider network. The notification shall be sent to the covered employee's residence and a copy of the letter shall be sent to the covered employee's primary treating physician. The notification shall be written in English and Spanish and use layperson's terms to the maximum extent possible.

(g) If the injured covered employee disputes the medical determination under this section, the injured covered employee shall request a report from the covered employee's primary treating physician that addresses whether the covered employee falls within any of the conditions set forth in subdivisions (e)(1-4). The treating physician shall provide the report to the covered employee within twenty calendar days of the request. If the treating physician fails to issue the report, then the determination made by the employer or insurer referred to in (f) shall apply.

(h) If the employer or insurer or injured covered employee objects to the medical determination by the treating physician, the dispute regarding the medical determination made by the treating physician concerning the transfer of care shall be resolved pursuant to Labor Code section 4062.

(i) If the treating physician agrees with the employer's or insurer's determination that the injured covered employee's medical condition does not meet the conditions set forth in subdivisions (e)(1) through (e)(4), the transfer of care shall go forward during the dispute resolution process.

(j) If the treating physician does not agree with the employer's or insurer's determination that the injured covered employee's medical condition does not meet the conditions set forth in subdivisions (e)(1) through (e)(4), the transfer of care shall not go forward until the dispute is resolved.

NOTE

Authority cited: Sections 133, 4616(g), and 4062, Labor Code. Reference: Sections 4616 and 4616.2, Labor Code.

HISTORY

1. New section filed 11-1-2004 as an emergency; operative 11-1-2004 (Register 2004, No. 45). A Certificate of Compliance must be transmitted to OAL by 3-1-2005 or emergency language will be repealed by operation of law on the following day.

2. New section refiled 2-28-2005 as an emergency; operative 3-1-2005 (Register 2005, No. 9). A Certificate of Compliance must be transmitted to OAL by 6-29-2005 or emergency language will be repealed by operation of law on the following day.

3. New section refiled 6-20-2005 as an emergency; operative 6-29-2005 (Register 2005, No. 25). A Certificate of Compliance must be transmitted to OAL by 10-27-2005 or emergency language will be repealed by operation of law on the following day.

4. Certificate of Compliance as to 6-20-2005 order, including amendment of section, transmitted to OAL 7-29-2005 and filed 9-9-2005 (Register 2005, No. 36).

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