california 160522 640

Form Focus: Calif. 31-7 (Assignment of Qualified Medical Evaluators, Evaluation Procedure)

03 Mar, 2024 Frank Ferreri

california 160522 640
                               

Sacramento, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) -- In California, when there's a need to change qualified medical examiners, there are rules and a form that must be followed.

Basics

Once an Agreed Medical Evaluator, an Agreed Panel QME, or a panel Qualified Medical Evaluator has issued a comprehensive medical-legal report in a case and a new medical dispute arises, the parties, to the extent possible, shall obtain a follow-up evaluation or a supplemental evaluation from the same evaluator.

Changing Specialties

Upon a showing of good cause that a panel of QME physicians in a different specialty is needed to assist the parties reach an expeditious and just resolution of disputed medical issues in the case, the Medical Director shall issue an additional panel of QME physicians selected at random in the specialty requested.

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'Good Cause'

Under California law, "good cause" means:

(1) A written agreement by the parties in a represented case that there is a need for an additional comprehensive medical-legal report by an evaluator in a different specialty and the specialty that the parties have agreed upon for the additional evaluation; or

(2) Where an acupuncturist has referred the parties to the Medical Unit to receive an additional panel because disability is in dispute in the matter; or

(3) An order by a Workers' Compensation Administrative Law Judge for a panel of QME physicians that also either designates a party to select the specialty or states the specialty to be selected and the residential or employment-based zip code from which to randomly select evaluators; or

(4) In an unrepresented case, that the parties have conferred with an Information and Assistance Officer, have explained the need for an additional QME evaluator in another specialty to address disputed issues and, as noted by the Information and Assistance Officer on the panel request form, the parties have reached agreement in the presence of and with the assistance of the Officer on the specialty requested for the additional QME panel. The parties may confer with the Information and Assistance Officer in person or by conference call.


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    About The Author

    • Frank Ferreri

      Frank Ferreri, M.A., J.D. covers workers' compensation legal issues. He has published books, articles, and other material on multiple areas of employment, insurance, and disability law. Frank received his master's degree from the University of South Florida and juris doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

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