Workers Compensation

img1Workers’ Compensation – Injured Worker Rehabilitation, Treatment, and Prevention of Work Place Injuries

Dr. Muldavin has been an active leader in Workers Compensation since 1988. Dr. Muldavin and his staff are sensitive to the needs of injured workers and familiar with the complexities of the Workers’ Compensation system. For instance, the relatively new law SB899 (passed in 2004) and the changes with the newest law SB863 (passed August 2012) have mandated that for injuries occurring on and after January 1st, 2004 “employees shall be entitled to no more than 24 Chiropractic visits.” Many insurance companies have sent false letters to injured workers pertaining to the newest law, SB863 which was passed in August of 2012. These letters state that the injured worker must choose a non-Chiropractic Primary Treating Physician, even if the worker has not had 24 Chiropractic visits. On the contrary, Chiropractors are considered Primary Treating Physicians (PTPs) in the workers compensation system for ALL injuries occurring after 2004 until the injured worker has reached the 24 visit limit. In fact, Chiropractors can be designated prior to an injury that the Chiropractor will be their Primary Treating Physician in case of an injury (see below).

Furthermore, insurance companies have also sent out notices to injured workers who have had injuries prior to 2004, which state they must choose a non-Chiropractor as their Primary Treating Physician. This is false! All Future Care injuries that occurred prior to January 2004 do not fall under the 2004 law (SB899) and can continue to be treated by their Chiropractor as their PTP.

Treatment/Evaluation

Dr. Muldavin has not only successfully treated hundreds of injured workers as a Primary Treating Physician but also has been a respected industrial evaluator since 1991, performing hundreds of evaluations including Agreed Medical Evaluations (AMEs). Dr. Muldavin has also been a Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) since the inception of the program in 1992, for the State of California. Dr. Muldavin works with occupational medicine and pain management physicians in the area, including Kaiser.

Medical Provider Networks (MPNs)

Medical Provider Networks (MPNs) were created in 2004 based on SB899, which was a sweeping law attempting to reform workers compensation. This law states that employers/insurance companies could create their own networks of medical providers (MPNs) and would thus have more control of medical care and presumably lower costs. In other words, injured workers (employees) choose from a list of providers given to them by the insurance company and cannot go out this network, even if they had a pre-designated physician or chiropractor. The exceptions to this are if this list of providers was not readily available to the employee (within 1-3 days) or the list did not contain someone geographically close to the employee OR did not contain the type of physician the injured worker wanted. In January of 2014, the new law (SB863) mandates that ALL MPNs must be clearly listed online so they will be able to choose who they want from the MPN list and not from a list that the insurance company gives them. Fortunately, Dr. Muldavin is on the majority of MPNs, including State Compensation Insurance Fund, which is the largest in the state of California and insures all state workers.

Pre-designation of Your Personal Chiropractor

Pre-designation has been changed and has been strengthened by the newest law (SB863) passed in August of 2012. Pre-designation of your personal Chiropractor is a form you can fill out (ask our office for the form) which states that in the event of a work place injury you can go to your Chiropractor as the Primary Treating Physician (PTP) for your injury. In the past, if the physician or chiropractor were not part of the MPN then you could not go to them. The new law states that an employee can bypass the insurance company’s MPN list if they have pre-designated prior to the date of injury. Also, you do not have to wait 30 days to go to the Chiropractor or physician of your choosing (when pre-designated), you only have to go to a single visit with the Chiropractor or physician assigned by your insurance company before seeing your pre-designated Chiropractor. In other words, your employer/insurance company has the legal right to send you to the physician of their choosing (from their MPN) for the initial exam only. Many times, the insurance companies will allow you to go directly to the pre-designated Chiropractor or physician.

Rehabilitation of the Injured Worker

Dr. Muldavin utilizes functional rehabilitation exercises, including Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS), taught by Dr. Kolar at the Prague School of Rehabilitation. He detects compensatory faulty movement patterns through his functional movement screen (FMS) and examination procedures. Dr. Muldavin and his staff not only treat the overall pain of the injured worker, but works to bridge the gap between the injured worker’s current capacity and the functional demands of his or her employment.

Our office was recently expanded and remodeled to include a mini-gym which has exercise equipment, including a treadmill, elliptical, and recumbent stationary bicycle, as well as mats, mirrors, and resistance training which are available for injury rehabilitation and stabilization. Dr. Muldavin is also able to perform body-fat composition testing, should it ever be needed. We also have state of the art physical therapy equipment, including a super pulsed laser (see *link*) which relieves pain and enhances healing of the body.