Bulletin No. 52-06
October 5, 2006

Division of Workers’ Compensation seeks nominations for medical guideline advisory committee

The California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is seeking nominations for its medical evidence evaluation advisory committee. This committee will, under the guidance of the DWC executive medical director, use the hierarchy of evidence set forth in the division’s medical treatment guideline regulations to systematically review evidence and make recommendations to the DWC administrative director on revising, updating or supplementing the treatment guidelines.

“The division’s regulations will soon be ready for a second review by the public,” said DWC Executive Medical Director Dr. Anne Searcy. “We want to get nominations now so that when the regulations are final this committee is ready to dive into the evaluation process.”

The division is seeking nominations from the following fields, some of which are new fields that will be proposed in a forthcoming update to the proposed regulations:

The proposed medical treatment utilization schedule regulations, commonly referred to as medical treatment guideline regulations, were published Jul. 7 and a public hearing was held Aug. 23. The proposed regulations adopt and incorporate by reference the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine's Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines (ACOEM Practice Guidelines) into the medical treatment utilization schedule.

Following comments from the public, the regulations are being revised and will soon be released for a 15-day comment period. This revision includes the expansion of the guideline evaluation committee to include a member from the fields of occupational therapy, neurosurgery, family medicine, neurology, internal medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation.

The division will also propose that one of the committee members be a doctor of osteopathy.

“Evidence based medicine helps minimize unnecessary treatment and speed recovery,” said Searcy. “While ACOEM guidelines provide the best available evidence, they don’t cover everything. This committee’s first priority will be to address gaps in the guidelines for areas such as acupuncture, spinal surgery and chronic pain.”

Members of the medical evidence evaluation advisory committee will serve a term of two years and remain in the position until a successor is selected.

Nominations should be sent to Dr. Searcy by email at asearcy@dir.ca.gov or by regular mail at:

Dr. Anne Searcy
Division of Workers’ Compensation
1515 Clay Street, 17th floor
Oakland CA 94612