On October 13, 2016, applicant attorney filed a Petition for Writ of Review to the 4th DCA in Parrent v. Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board/Pacific Bell Telephone Co. SBC, Case Number D071162, with the defendant filing an Answer on November 7, 2016. The principal question in this case is of great importance to employers in the workers’ compensation community because it addresses whether the employer has the right to submit a request for treatment by an MPN physician through the Utilization Review process. The case was previously tried at the San Diego District office of the WCAB where the Judge ruled that the defendant’s participation in an MPN did not preclude it from referring the treatment recommendations of the applicant’s MPN physician to UR. The WCJ further found that, if the applicant disagreed with the Utilization Review determination, the proper remedy would be the Independent Medical Review (IMR) process. A three-member panel upheld the judge’s ruling on appeal. Applicant’s counsel is now asking the higher court to determine whether the IMR process provided under Labor Code §4616.4 and §4610 are, in fact, independent of one another, thereby allowing an injured worker to escape the UR process of treatment requests by MPN physicians and, instead, follow the MPN IMR process for treatment disputes.
You can follow the case status here.