Independent Medical Review an Anonymous Blanket of Trust
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 | 362 | 0 | min read
WorkCompCentral’s Sherri Okamoto did a great job reviewing the arguments and issues in the current independent medical review debate now before the California 1st District Court of Appeals.
From what I see, the IMR system is given this anonymous blanket of trust.
The same blanket we have seen abused by adjusters and insurance companies in the utilization review process.
Too many times the medical records are not sent nor is there compliance with the reviewing physician being in the same field of expertise as the requesting treating doctor. A lot of times the UR doctors don't even treat patients.
Without the right to cross-examine the IMR doctor, how will we know if an actual review was done versus a regurgitation of the UR denial? How will we know if crucial records or deposition transcripts were read?
We won't, and that is a violation of due process.
It's not the right to cross-examine that is the denial of due process; it's the right to insure that the process which deals with, in some instances, life or death decisions is in compliance with the law.
Compliance has always been a key component to the constitution, whether it be the federal or state. The plenary power cannot be the sword that pierces individual rights.
What if the legislators said all those individuals injured on the job must be interned in an internment camp and receive treatment in a camp? Would the Appellate Court or the Supreme Court bury its head in the plenary power or stand up and identify the abuse of process and injustice?
I have to believe, as an oath-taking lawyer 27 years ago, that both the Appellate Court justices and Supreme Court justices will do as they have always done and recognize the rights of all people who have been created equal under the Constitution regardless of whether they were injured on the job or not.
Keith More, an applicants' attorney, is a managing partner with the BermanMoreGonzalez law firm in Santa Ana, California.