The California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) recently announced that the proposed Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) Emergency Regulation found in California Code of Regulations Section 46.3 became effective on January 18, 2022 and will expire on July 19, 2022.
The DWC adopted CCR §46.3 to allow physicians to perform Medical-Legal evaluations remotely via telehealth. CCR §46.3 was adopted in response to the continued COVID-19 pandemic.
The DWC also announced that the regulation may be extended in accordance with Government Code §11346.1(h) for up to a total of 180 additional days.
A physician may perform a Medical-Legal evaluation via telehealth. For medical-legal evaluations performed via telehealth, the physician must use an approved electronic means of creating a virtual meeting between the physician and the injured worker.
The emergency regulation mandates that the telehealth evaluation must utilize:
Per the emergency regulation, a Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) or Agreed Medical Evaluator (AME) may complete a Medical-Legal evaluation through telehealth when a hands-on physical examination is not necessary.
For a telehealth evaluation, the emergency regulations demand that all of the following additional conditions are true:
Physicians can find the full text of emergency regulation CCR §46.3 here. We encourage physicians who wish to perform a Medical-Legal evaluation via telehealth to review the regulation in its entirety.
As always, we do our best to publish recent developments that are relevant to our clients and readers. That said, we encourage everyone to sign up for Newslines to receive the latest updates directly from the DWC.
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