Monday
Apr022012

The Limited Scope of IME Reports in the CA WC System - May 31, 2006

In the California Workers Compensation System, there is no need for an Independent Medical Examiner (IME) to determine if an impairment rating was miscalculated or the AMA Guides was misapplied. The IME process as described by the AMA Guides was not adopted in California and does not replace the expert contribution of both California workers compensation medical and non-medical professionals. There are no Independent Medical Examiners (IME) protocols in the California QME system, nor are there WCAB provisions for their admissibility as evidence.
Who Can Comment on AMA Guide Misapplications? Required skills for determining impairment or critiquing the misapplication of the AMA Guides are not the exclusive venue of medical experts. It is the purpose of the AMA Guides to be used for the consistent and reliable acquisition of medical information, communication and utilization of medical information through a single set of standards. When clinical findings are fully described, any knowledgeable observer may check the findings with the Guides criteria. Nowhere in the AMA Guides are non-medical professionals restricted from its use, application, or interpretation.

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Monday
Apr022012

C. Occupational Group Number Characteristics - Updated April 5, 2012

In Section III of the Schedule for Rating Permanent Disabilities, pg. 3-1, "Occupations & Group Numbers" you will find an alphabetical listing of occupations and their related three-digit group numbers with a corresponding industrial designation to distinguish it from other occupations having the same title but whose functions and activities differ. The Schedule divides the labor market into 45 numbered occupational groups. Each group is assigned a three-digit code called an occupational group number. The first digit of the code refers to the arduousness of the duties, ranking jobs from 1 to 5 in ascending order of physical arduousness. The second digit separates occupations into broad categories sharing common characteristics. The third digit differentiates between occupations within these groups." 05PDRS, page 1-8.

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Monday
Apr022012

B. Brachial Plexus Impairments & Thoracic Outlet Syndrome November 3, 2006

"Entrapment/compression neuropathies are rated when an objective verifiable diagnosis is present, supported by positive clinical findings and loss of function." AMA Guides, page 493. Without objective clinical findings or symptoms at MMI, can a diagnosis of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome based on one ancillary test be the only support for impairment using Table 16-14?

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