Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) has extended the allowance of Telehealth medical-legal evaluations – performed in a virtual environment (not in person) – through October 18, 2022.
On the one hand, the opportunity to perform evaluations remotely potentially streamlines the medical legal and litigation process. On the other hand, care should be taken to avoid any medical legal evaluation believed to interfere with your defense and litigation plan, arguing that the evaluation cannot constitute substantial medical evidence. Examples may include situations where precise objective passive/active measurements are needed to be performed in order to determine WPI, restrictions, etc., but are essentially impossible to perform in a virtual environment. The virtual testing results could ultimately be inaccurate, leading to additional litigation and challenges to the substantiality of the medical reporting.
Source: State of California Department of Industrial Relations, July 20, 2022: www.dir.ca.gov/DIRNews/2022/2022-60.html