Three Physicians In Any Specialty Are All That Is Needed For A Valid MPN

In a split panel decision of Luna v. The Home Depot, the WCAB stated that the defendant’s MPN is valid even though it did not have three orthopedists within the applicable geographic radius to act as primary treating physician (PTP).  The WCAB majority stated that the regulations only require the defendant to provide three PTPs of a “relevant specialty” (Luna v. The Home Depot  2016 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 405) and they can be in a different specialty.  Presumably, the PTP could be in three different specialties, such as an internist, an orthopedist and a neurologist.  Furthermore, if the applicant wants a specialist, the search radius is 30 miles or 60 minutes, not 15 miles or 30 minutes as argued by the applicant.  This case shows the trend of the case law is to strictly interpret the regulations which should support the validity of MPNs in more rural and remote areas.

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