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Phil Walker

On April 19, 2004, in a Boeing hangar in Long Beach, California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law aggressive workerscompensation reforms known as SB899. The reform is targeted to ultimately reduce workerscompensation premiums for California's employers while speeding medical treatment to injured workers. The changes in California's workerscompensation law are far-reaching and include the use of the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Fifth Edition , to assess impairment as a component in the California assessment

in AMA Guides® Newsletter
Jesse E. Bible
,
Dan M. Spengler
, and
Hassan R. Mir

Introduction Occupational injuries or illnesses represent a substantial percentage of many orthopedic practices. A physician's role within a workers' compensation injury extends far beyond just evaluation and treatment with several socioeconomic and psychological factors at play compared with similar injuries occurring outside of the workplace. Although workers' compensation statutes vary among states, all have several basic features with the overall goal of returning the injured worker to maximal function in the shortest time period, with the least residual

in AMA Guides® Newsletter
Marcos Iglesias

are associated with obesity and overweight. 23 Other conditions associated with obesity and overweight include elevated lipids, venous thrombosis (blood clots), gout, gallstones, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), kidney stones, and urinary incontinence. Obesity and overweight are also associated with a higher psychosocial burden, which includes mood disorders, stigma, discrimination, and lower hire rates. How Can Obesity Affect Workers' Compensation Claims? A retrospective cohort study published in 2007 looked at 35,000 full-time healthcare and university

in AMA Guides® Newsletter
Kathryn Mueller
and
Charles N Brooks

Given their education and training, treating physicians often address causality only from the standpoint of differential diagnosis (i.e., what is causing the individual's symptoms and signs). Etiology may be further considered from a prophylactic or therapeutic standpoint (i.e., how to prevent recurrent injury or eliminate the cause of the illness). In workerscompensation, however, causation analysis must extend beyond diagnosis, prophylaxis, and treatment. Physicians must consider whether the condition is attributable to the workplace, their opinion on

in AMA Guides® Newsletter
Christopher R. Brigham

Physicians performing impairment ratings may be requested to perform a rating for a patient covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA). This is an excellent opportunity for experienced evaluators who practice in the vicinity of “navigable waters.” Physicians need to understand how this Act applies and the need to perform ratings by extremity body part. Certain jurisdictions, such as California and Florida, do not make use of the AMA Guides for typical workers' compensation cases; however, the Guides are used for ratings

in AMA Guides® Newsletter
David Ring

EDITORIAL COMMENT This article provides invaluable guidance on the dynamics of injury and illness in the context of workers' compensation systems. It is recommended for all involved in evaluating and managing injured workers. The author, David Ring, MD, PhD, is associate dean for comprehensive care and professor of surgery and psychiatry at Dell Medical School. Trained as a hand and orthopedic surgeon, Ring's extensive research, patient care, and quality and patient safety leadership contributed to an understanding of and a passion for how mindset and

in AMA Guides® Newsletter
Pamela A. Warren

determine if the individual can complete the duties described. For reported workerscompensation (WC) psychological injuries, multiple factors must be considered. The issues that arise within the WC systems as well as the problematic concerns that arise with submitted treatment documentation are explored below. Lack of a Psychological Injury Standardized Definition Across WC Systems Each state and the federal government has a unique WC system that is administered by a specific state or federal agency. There is no overlap between systems. All states and the

in AMA Guides® Newsletter
Alan Colledge
and
Greg Krohm

Workerscompensation systems provide benefits for medical care and disability. The total estimated cost of workers compensation benefits in 2002 was 53.4 billion dollars. 1 Terminology may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but most of them recognize 4 broad divisions of claims benefits: Medical-only Temporary disability, for wage loss indemnity (TTD) Permanent disability, divided into Permanent Total (PT) and Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Death (including burial) Most workers' compensation injuries require only medical attention

in AMA Guides® Newsletter
Christopher R. Brigham
and
Jenny Walker

The AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment is the most widely used basis for determining impairment. The Guides are used in state workers' compensation systems, federal systems, automobile casualty, and personal injury. They are used in the majority of state workers' compensation jurisdictions. Table 1 summarizes their use and Table 2 provides information by state. 1 Table 1. Summary of AMA Guides Usage in State Workers Compensation Systems AMA Guides Edition or Other Guidelines Number of States Percentage Third

in AMA Guides® Newsletter
Steven D. Feinberg

Introduction It is imperative for evaluators to understand how their jurisdictions define and assess critical workers' compensation issues. They must also understand the current science pertaining to occupational and nonoccupational risk factors for a condition. This information is reflected in the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Disease and Injury Causation, Second Edition. 1 Whether California is a bellwether of things to come nationally or just one state's approach to workers' compensation, there are specific definitions, unique to that state, of (1

in AMA Guides® Newsletter