Once in a while we get to review medical-legal blunders with the same gusto ordinarily reserved for football blunders like the Packers-Seahawks officiating error of Monday night, 9/24/12
We'll spare readers the details of the officiating blunder that led to the Seahawks 14-12 declared win last night. We're confident that it'll be subject to review for years to come. We're also confident that SB 863 will be reviewed as the fiasco that it is, i.e., a method that conceals the names of Independent Medical Review (IMR) doctors while at the same time rendering them practically immune from legal appeals from even the most egregiously wrong decisions, much akin to the NFL standing by the blunders of its replacement referees.
As matters stand now, the IMR doctors who'll replace the current Utilization Review system can only be challenged based on bias, fraud, or conflict of interest. That's the genius of the California Labor Federation, Grimmway, and Governor Brown, all of whom must have skimmed this part of the bill with about as much insight as the NFL replacement referees used last night. They seem to have overlooked how difficult it is to accuse someone of bias, fraud, or conflict of interest without knowing the name of the alleged perpetrator.
If a spirited appeal is to be mounted against SB 863, it should start with repeal of the IMR section of SB 863 or with a restraining order against it.
Then we can test other sections of SB 863, for instance, to what extent were the new lien processes or the Medicare RBRVS improperly composed as intentional encumbrances to the legitimate rights of injured workers.