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Industry Insights

Grinberg: Extended QME COVID Regs

  • State: California
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Are we all planning on attending the Zoom public hearing at 9 a.m. Friday regarding proposed changes to the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board regulations? Rumor has it that the news regarding returning to the board for in-person trials is going to be discussed as well.

Gregory Grinberg

Gregory Grinberg

But that’s not what this post is about at this moment. There is actually some other news that merits our attention as well.

A little while ago, the Department of Industrial Relations announced that the emergency regulations regarding virtual qualified medical evaluations that were set to expire on Oct. 12 are to be extended for an additional 90 days.

From my own in-the-trenches on-the-ground anecdotal experience, most QMEs on my files are seeing applicants in person. There are a few evaluators who are doing only virtual exams, but that often means seeking a replacement if the injury is orthopedic in nature. 

The situation is a tricky one, of course. While we are dealing with the delta variant and several other Greek letters to follow, California reportedly has the lowest transmission rate in the United States.

From my perspective, it certainly seems confusing that the QME evaluations would continue to incline toward virtual while the trials would edge toward going in person.  

Perhaps this is a good time to try my idea of having 100% of all work done by robots while we all live like kings in our automated palaces.

Gregory Grinberg is managing partner of Gale, Sutow & Associates’ S.F. Bay South office and a certified specialist in workers’ compensation law. This post is reprinted with permission from Grinberg’s WCDefenseCA blog.

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