Workers Comp Zone


The California Division of Workers’ Comp is going back to the drawing board on possible changes to the medical-legal fee schedule.

A public meeting to discuss a possible new schedule has been announced for October 17 in Oakland.

A large turnout is likely. After all, some possible changes to the current med-legal fee schedule met a robust and negative response by many stakeholders in a May 2018 forum. Online comments from scores of QMEs warned that the proposed changes would likely drive them away from doing QME work or reduce the quality of the reports they could generate.

The press release from the DWC notes that:

“DWC seeks input from stakeholders who will be affected by the final version of the medical-legal fee schedule. The Division is particularly interested in:

  • Determining the best format for the new fee schedule to offer optimum benefit for QMEs, AMEs, Injured Workers, Employers, Medical Management Organizations and Carriers;
  • Identifying any possible obstacles to that process; and
  • Identifying representatives to participate in small pre-rulemaking meetings tofurther develop the best format for the new medical-legal fee schedule.The public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 17 at 10 a.m. in the auditorium of the Elihu Harris Building, 1515 Clay Street, Oakland.”

Whatever ideas are advanced at the public meeting are unlikely to be translated into a final reformation of the med-legal fee schedule by the end of 2018. There’s just not time for the rule making process to finish even if the plans were ready on the shelf.

But if there are holdovers in the DIR/DWC leadership under a new governor, then this October meeting may give policymakers under the next governor a fast start on putting together new medical-legal rules.

Here is a post I did in May 2018 on the medical-legal fee schedule issue:

Stay tuned. As always, you can subscribe to the blog by entering your address in the box on the upper right column.

Julius Young