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Apr022012

F. Addressing Duplication of Impairment Post AG 1 - October 2, 2009

The WCAB's first Almaraz-Guzman decision was issued February 3, 2009. It was intended to be used for the rare and unusual case in which the AMA Guides didn't address an injured worker's impairment. However, in the 7 months it was in effect , we have witnessed an explosion of  'anything goes.'
By seminars, letters, webminars and many other forms of communications, physicians were told that they no longer needed to abide to the rating principles of the AMA Guides and the Schedule for Rating Permanent Disabilities (PDRS). Many physicians expanded their roles to become claims administrators, DEU Rater, WCAB Judges to determine the fairness of permanent disability, and authors when re-writing the AMA Guides.
To quote Dr. John D. Warbritton in one of his recent AME reports: "Pursuant to the Almaraz-Guzman Decision, it is mandatory to determine that the impairment rating pursuant to the 'classical' interpretation of the AMA Guides is 'inequitable or disproportionate,'  and once this is determined, the AMA Guides may be rebutted."

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