New SLU Guidelines Presentation by the Board

Here are some questions that were answered, and some that were not, during the Board’s presentation on the new SLU Guidelines.

Question:

Please clarify – should claimant’s attorneys and carriers provide both of the new C-4.3 forms to doctors to avoid an appearance that they are suggesting a permanency outcome to the medical provider?

Answer:

Dr. Sobol-Berger suggested that this was not necessary.  However, this would make me nervous.  I think all forms should be provided to avoid the appearance that we are suggesting an outcome.

 

Question:

If a claim includes injuries for both schedulable and non-schedulable injuries, which forms should the doctor use?

Answer:

Dr. Sobol-Berger said that both forms should be used.  It is up to the judge to take information regarding the SLU injury and the classifiiable injury and make rulings on that information (presumable about LWEC).

 

Question:

If a medical record provides the ROM of a contralateral side which is not “available” at the time of the permanency evaluation, i.e., because of recent non-causally related injury or surgery, can a previous measurement of the ROM of the contralateral side, or the injured side, be used as a baseline?

Answer:

This question was not answered.

 

Question:

The Board has held in Board Panel decisions that suggesting to an IME doctor in a cover letter that permanency should result in a SLU is an improper attempt to influence the doctor’s opinion on permanency.  Hence wouldn’t providing a doctor with only the SLU forms be an improper attempt to influence the doctor’s opinion?  The doctor could conclude that an extremity condition should be classified?

Answer:

This question was not answered.

 

Question:

If a claimant has multiple injuries to extremities from one claim should the doctors use a SLU form for each schedulable body part?

Answer:

Dr. Sobol-Berger noted that Part B to the C-4.3 has room for multiple extremities and SLU values.

 

Question:

If a doctor reviews the permanent impairment guidelines and decides that the decision should be classifiable instead of scheduled should he or she change forms?

Answer:

This question was not answered.

 

Question:

How are doctors supposed to assess the severity of an impairment to an extremity which he or she decides should be classifiable instead of scheduable?

Answer:

This question was not answered.

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