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Chapter 4.5. Division of Workers' Compensation
Subchapter 1. Administrative Director--Administrative Rules
Article 5.5.1. Utilization Review Standards
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§9792.8. Utilization Review Standards--Medically-Based Criteria.

(a)(1) The criteria shall be consistent with the schedule for medical treatment utilization adopted pursuant to Labor Code section 5307.27. Prior to adoption of the schedule, the criteria or guidelines used in the utilization review process shall be consistent with the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine's (ACOEM) Practice Guidelines, Second Edition. The guidelines set forth in the ACOEM Practice Guidelines shall be presumptively correct on the issue of extent and scope of medical treatment until the effective date of the utilization schedule adopted pursuant to Labor Code section 5307.27. The presumption is rebuttable and may be controverted by a preponderance of the scientific medical evidence establishing that a variance from the guidelines is reasonably required to cure or relieve the injured worker from the effects of his or her injury.

(2) For all conditions or injuries not addressed by the ACOEM Practice Guidelines or by the official utilization schedule after adoption pursuant to Labor Code section 5307.27, authorized treatment shall be in accordance with other evidence-based medical treatment guidelines that are generally recognized by the national medical community and are scientifically based. Treatment may not be denied on the sole basis that the treatment is not addressed by the ACOEM Practice Guidelines until adoption of the medical treatment utilization schedule pursuant to Labor Code section 5307.27. After the Administrative Director adopts a medical treatment utilization schedule pursuant to Labor Code section 5307.27, treatment may not be denied on the sole basis that the treatment is not addressed by that schedule.

(3) The relevant portion of the criteria or guidelines used shall be disclosed in written form to the requesting physician, the injured worker, and if the injured worker is represented by counsel, the injured worker's attorney, if used as the basis of a decision to modify, delay, or deny services in a specific case under review. The claims administrator may not charge an injured worker, the injured worker's attorney or the requesting physician for a copy of the relevant portion of the criteria or guidelines used to modify, delay or deny the treatment request.

(4) Nothing in this section precludes authorization of medical treatment not included in the specific criteria under section 9792.8(a)(3).

NOTE

Authority cited: Sections 133, 4603.5 and 5307.3, Labor Code. Reference: Sections 4062, 4600, 4600.4, 4604.5 and 4610, Labor Code.

HISTORY

1. New section filed 12-9-2004 as an emergency; operative 12-13-2004 (Register 2004, No. 50). A Certificate of Compliance must be transmitted to OAL by 4-12-2005 or emergency language will be repealed by operation of law on the following day.

2. New section refiled 4-6-2005 as an emergency; operative 4-12-2005 (Register 2005, No. 14). A Certificate of Compliance must be transmitted to OAL by 8-10-2005 or emergency language will be repealed by operation of law on the following day.

3. Certificate of Compliance as to 4-6-2005 order, including amendment of section, transmitted to OAL 8-10-2005 and filed 9-22-2005 (Register 2005, No. 38).

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