Defendants Are Also Entitled To An Expedited Hearing Regarding Medical

This case involves an Order Vacating Order Granting Reconsideration, and Opinion and Order Granting Removal and Decision After Reconsideration.

The applicant filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. In this case the employer had contracted with a Health Care Organization (HCO) for medical services for care for injured employees. Employees may elect to participate in he HCO plan or they may opt out of he program by selecting a predesignated personal physician.
Li this case the employer had the HCO plan and the employee had not predesignated a physician. After the initial 30 days from the date of injury the applicant’s attorney instructed the applicant not to attend any defense medical appointment.

The employer claimed that since the applicant was involved in an HCO plan the 30 day rule of medical control was not binding and the employer still had medical control. The employer filed a Request for Expedited Hearing and Decision to determine who had medical control.

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) set the case for pretrial conference. The defendant filed a petition for removal which the WCAB denied on the basis that the defendant was not entitled to an expedited hearing. The defendant men filed another petition for removal indicating mat different WCAB offices were granting defendants expedited hearings.

The defendant had filed a Petition for Order to Restore Medical Control. The applicant had refused to accept medical treatment from the HCO designated physician. The WCAB determined that if the applicant refuses me employer may not have a speedy remedy to resolve this issue if the employer has to await a conference, and then a trial, and then the judge’s decision.

The WCAB held that a defendant may obtain an expedited hearing to resolve disputes over and applicant’s entitlement to medical treatment and a defendant’s right to control that medical treatment for injured workers in and HCO plan. The WCAB recognized that this had the potential to effect the determination of temporary disability as well.


Harvey Brown
3501 Jamboree Rd. Suite 602
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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