Recent Developments in Telemedicine in California Workers Compensation

by Michael P. Burns (March 2, 2017)

The past decade has seen an explosion in online access and improvements in technology. These changes have naturally resulted in changes in medicine. Smartphone applications and videoconferencing are methods by which business, and now medicine, is conducted. California’s workers compensation system is no stranger to these advancements. But what happens when technology is applied to the century-old workers' compensation system? Several recent cases outline the attempt to bring the system into the 21st Century.

The WCAB has addressed the role of treatment via telemedicine. In Oranje v. Crestwood Behavioral Health, 2014 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 602, defendant sought reconsideration of the findings and order holding that applicant was entitled to either face-to-face or "telephonic therapy" with a marriage and family therapist. The WCAB allowed applicant to have telephonic therapy because she had moved to Nevada and the therapist was located in California.

QUICK, EASY, AND FREE DISCOVERY

by Claire E. Carson (March 1, 2017)

Bookmark this page! It contains many useful links for researching your claims.

Do you sometimes find that your claims do not add up? For example, despite claimant being off work TTD, a coworker reports she is playing in a softball game on a local softball league; or, despite claimant being off work TTD for an extended period of time a coworker sees her at a local swap meet moving without difficulty and notices she has pink fingers (which is often indicative of farm workers who pick strawberries) or, despite claimant being off work TTD on a back claim with 9 out of 10 pain level complaints, the lumbar spine MRI and bilateral EMG/NCV testing is normal, etc. etc. etc. As we all unfortunately know, the examples of these apparent discrepancies are endless.

LIEN LEGISLATION RAISES QUESTIONS FOR MANY AT WCAB

by John P. Kamin (February 28, 2017)

The passage of anti-fraud legislation that became effective on Jan. 1, 2017, has caused a bit of turmoil at the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board as judges, defendants, and lien claimants try to implement the new laws and the Division of Workers’ Compensation refines the rules of the playing field.

Confusion reigned in early January as stakeholders struggled to interpret how exactly Senate Bill 1160 and Assembly Bill 1244 would apply. State lawmakers drafted the bills to target medical providers who have been convicted or charged with criminal fraud in the workers’ compensation, Medi-Cal, and Medicare systems.