Expensive to Obtain a Second Rating

By Jason Weinstock on January 30, 2012

 Each year the WCS Medical Unit of the Division of Industrial Relations (DIR) updates the Medical Fee Schedule that determines the fees for medical services, including impairment evaluations.  Effective February 1, 2012, the current 138 authorized rating doctors may charge $693.31 for up to two body parts.  $231.54  is chargeable for each  additional body part.  For example, an injured worker with an injury to his neck, his low back, and to his left shoulder has  three injured body parts. A rating exam of all three injured body parts would cost $924.85.

An injured worker has the right to obtain a second rating if he disagrees with the percentage determined by the initial rating doctor.  However ,the cost of a second rating must be paid up front by the injured worker.  Whether it makes sense economically to pay for a second rating, or whether a less costly rating review based only on the medical records  is a better tactical move is a decision for experienced legal counsel.  Sometimes it is possible to convince a hearing officer to order the insurer to pay for a second rating exam without having a second rating evaluation.   An injured worker, or her attorney, must be very knowledgeable about how percentages are determined under the AMA Guides before paying for a second rating.  This office will review a rating report for free to help injured workers determine whether to accept the PPD offered, or to contest the percentage.

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