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Chapter 4.5. Division of Workers' Compensation
Subchapter 1. Administrative Director--Administrative Rules
Article 5.6. Medical-Legal Expenses and Comprehensive Medical-Legal Evaluations

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§9793. Definitions.

As used in this article:

(a) “Claim” means a claim for compensation as evidenced by either the filing of a claim form pursuant to Section 5401 of the Labor Code or notice or knowledge of an injury under Section 5400 or 5402 of the Labor Code.

(b) “Contested claim” means any of the following:

(1) Where the claims administrator has rejected liability for a claimed benefit.

(2) Where the claims administrator has failed to accept liability for a claim and the claim has become presumptively compensable under Section 5402 of the Labor Code.

(3) Where the claims administrator has failed to respond to a demand for the payment of compensation after the expiration of any time period fixed by statute for the payment of indemnity benefits, including where the claims administrator has failed to either commence the payment of temporary disability indemnity or issue a notice of delay within 14 days after knowledge of an employee's injury and disability as provided in Section 4650 of the Labor Code.

(4) Where the claims administrator has accepted liability for a claim and a disputed medical fact exists.

(c) “Comprehensive medical-legal evaluation” means an evaluation of an employee which (A) results in the preparation of a narrative medical report prepared and attested to in accordance with Section 4628 of the Labor Code, any applicable procedures promulgated under Section 139.2 of the Labor Code, and the requirements of Section 10606 and (B) is either:

(1) performed by a Qualified Medical Evaluator pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 139.2 of the Labor Code, or

(2) performed by a Qualified Medical Evaluator, Agreed Medical Evaluator, or the primary treating physician for the purpose of proving or disproving a contested claim, and which meets the requirements of paragraphs (1) through (5), inclusive, of subdivision (g).

(d) “Claims Administrator” means a self-administered insurer providing security for the payment of compensation required by Divisions 4 and 4.5 of the Labor Code, a self-administered self-insured employer, a group self-insurer, or a third-party claims administrator for a self-insured employer, insurer, legally uninsured employer, group self-insurer, or joint powers authority.

(e) “Disputed medical fact” means an issue in dispute, including an objection to a medical determination made by a treating physician under Section 4062 of the Labor Code, concerning (1) the employee's medical condition, (2) the cause of the employee's medical condition, (3) For dates of injury before December 31, 2012, where the evaluation occurs on or before June 30, 2013, treatment for the employee's medical condition, (4) the existence, nature, duration or extent of temporary or permanent disability caused by the employee's medical condition, or (5) the employee's medical eligibility for rehabilitation services.

(f) “Explanation of review” means the document described in Labor Code sections 4603.3(a) and 4622 that is provided to a Qualified Medical Evaluator, Agreed Medical Evaluator, or the primary treating physician when the claims administrator has objected to the cost of a medical-legal expense

(g) “Follow-up medical-legal evaluation” means an evaluation which includes an examination of an employee which (A) results in the preparation of a narrative medical report prepared and attested to in accordance with Section 4628 of the Labor Code, any applicable procedures promulgated under Section 139.2 of the Labor Code, and the requirements of Section 10606, (B) is performed by a qualified medical evaluator, agreed medical evaluator, or primary treating physician within nine months following the evaluator's examination of the employee in a comprehensive medical-legal evaluation and (C) involves an evaluation of the same injury or injuries evaluated in the comprehensive medical- legal evaluation.

(h) “Medical-legal expense” means any costs or expenses incurred by or on behalf of any party or parties, the administrative director, or the appeals board for X-rays, laboratory fees, other diagnostic tests, medical reports, medical records, medical testimony, and as needed, interpreter's fees, for the purpose of proving or disproving a contested claim. The cost of medical evaluations, diagnostic tests, and interpreters is not a medical-legal expense unless it is incidental to the production of a comprehensive medical-legal evaluation report, follow-up medical-legal evaluation report, or a supplemental medical-legal evaluation report and all of the following conditions exist:

(1) The report is prepared by a physician, as defined in Section 3209.3 of the Labor Code.

(2) The report is obtained at the request of a party or parties, the administrative director, or the appeals board for the purpose of proving or disproving a contested claim and addresses the disputed medical fact or facts specified by the party, or parties or other person who requested the comprehensive medical-legal evaluation report. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prohibit a physician from addressing additional related medical issues.

(3) The report is capable of proving or disproving a disputed medical fact essential to the resolution of a contested claim, considering the substance as well as the form of the report, as required by applicable statutes, regulations, and case law.

(4) The medical-legal examination is performed prior to receipt of notice by the physician, the employee, or the employee's attorney, that the disputed medical fact or facts for which the report was requested have been resolved.

(5) In the event the comprehensive medical-legal evaluation is served on the claims administrator after the disputed medical fact or facts for which the report was requested have been resolved, the report is served within the time frame specified in Section 139.2(j)(1) of the Labor Code.

(i) “Medical-legal testimony” means expert testimony provided by a physician at a deposition or workers' compensation appeals board hearing, regarding the medical opinion submitted by the physician.

(j) “Medical research” is the investigation of medical issues. It includes investigating and reading medical and scientific journals and texts. “Medical research” does not include reading or reading about the Guides for the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (any edition), treatment guidelines (including guidelines of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine), the Labor Code, regulations or publications of the Division of Workers' Compensation (including the Physicians' Guide), or other legal materials.

(k) “Primary treating physician” is the treating physician primarily responsible for managing the care of the injured worker in accordance with subdivision (a) of Section 9785.

(l) “Reports and documents required by the administrative director” means an itemized billing, a copy of the medical-legal evaluation report, and any verification required under Section 9795(c).

(m) “Supplemental medical-legal evaluation” means an evaluation which (A) does not involve an examination of the patient, (B) is based on the physician's review of records, test results or other medically relevant information which was not available to the physician at the time of the initial examination, or a request for factual correction pursuant to Labor Code section 4061(d), (C) results in the preparation of a narrative medical report prepared and attested to in accordance with Section 4628 of the Labor Code, any applicable procedures promulgated under Section 139.2 of the Labor Code, and the requirements of Section 10606 and (D) is performed by a qualified medical evaluator, agreed medical evaluator, or primary treating physician following the evaluator's completion of a comprehensive medical-legal evaluation.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 133, 4622, 4627, 5307.3 and 5307.6, Labor Code. Reference: Sections 4061, 4061.5, 4062, 4610.5, 4620, 4621, 4622, 4625, 4628, 4650, 5307.6 and 5402, Labor Code.

HISTORY

1. New article 5.6 (sections 9793-9795) filed 1-10-85; designated effective 3-1-85 (Register 85, No. 2).

2. Change without regulatory effect filed 7-11-86; effective upon filing (Register 86, No. 28).

3. Repealer and new section filed 8-3-93; operative 8-3-93. Submitted to OAL for printing only pursuant to Government Code section 11351 (Register 93, No. 32).

4. Amendment of article heading, section and Note filed 12-31-93; operative 1-1-94. Submitted to OAL for printing only pursuant to Government Code section 11351 (Register 93, No. 53).

5. Change without regulatory effect amending subsections (f) and (i) filed 6-12-2002 pursuant to section 100, title 1, California Code of Regulations (Register 2002, No. 24).

6. Amendment of subsections (a) and (b)(3), new subsection (i), subsection relettering and amendment of newly designated subsection (j) filed 6-30-2006; operative 7-1-2006. Submitted to OAL for filing with the Secretary of State and printing only pursuant to Government Code section 11340.9(g) (Register 2006, No. 26).

7. Amendment of subsection (e), new subsection (f), subsection relettering, amendment of newly designated subsection (m) and amendment of Note 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


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