Last week, on behalf of a group of qualified medical examiners (QMEs), Nicholas Roxborough sent a letter to the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) to issue an emergency regulation specifically allowing QMEs to perform evaluations via telemedicine during the current COVID-19 outbreak, not only to keep the cases moving but also to protect the health and safety of injured workers and the QMEs alike. “As you may be aware, a large portion of the QME industry is over 65 years of age. Consistent with their safety as well as the safety of injured workers, utilizing telemedicine during this outbreak, for evaluations, is sensible for several reasons,” he wrote.
A group of qualified medical evaluators (QMEs) pressing the Division of Workers’ Compensation to authorize remote med-legal evaluations were less than impressed with the Department’s non-committal response to the request. The Division says it is encouraging “creative delivery methods” during the current state of emergency but is “not authorizing any particular course of action.”
“It’s like a lawyer reserving their right to sue you,” says attorney Nick Roxborough of the Division’s response, and he should know. “Do what you think is best, but we’re still reserving the right to sue you.” Roxborough is representing over 100 QMEs, as well as the California Society for Industrial Medicine and Surgery (CSIMS) and several medical management companies active in the QME system.
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