Workers' Compensation Committee Update
Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg
May 29, 2013
The Business Council has been diligently working with the help of many workers' comp committee members to bring about positive administrative change in the comp system. We have been advocating for a significant speed-up of the classification of PPDs from the current average of six years to a reasonable time period that reflects medical reality of MMI. Today, the Board has taken a significant step forward in announcing that it is creating specialized parts in each district to handle the classification of PPD claims. Parties will be directed to obtain medical evidence on permanency in appropriate cases either by letter from the Board or by direction from a workers' compensation law judge at a hearing, using 2012 Guidelines to make determinations.
The Board states, “Injured workers generally reach MMI within two years of the injury. Special circumstances may require additional time to reach MMI, but these circumstances must be documented. If a treating provider or independent medical examiner (IME) is asked to provide a permanency evaluation and believes that the injured worker has not yet reached MMI, the provider must document the treatment the claimant is receiving, specific improvements that are expected, and a timeframe by which the claimant is expected to reach MMI. As clearly stated in the regulatory definition, palliative or symptomatic treatment does not preclude an MMI finding.”