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California Labor Code Section 4604.5

4604.5. (a) The recommended guidelines set forth in the medical treatment utilization schedule adopted by the administrative director pursuant to Section 5307.27 shall be presumptively correct on the issue of extent and scope of medical treatment. The presumption is rebuttable and may be controverted by a preponderance of the scientific medical evidence establishing that a variance from the guidelines reasonably is required to cure or relieve the injured worker from the effects of his or her injury. The presumption created is one affecting the burden of proof.

(b) The recommended guidelines set forth in the schedule adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall reflect practices that are evidence and scientifically based, nationally recognized, and peer reviewed. The guidelines shall be designed to assist providers by offering an analytical framework for the evaluation and treatment of injured workers, and shall constitute care in accordance with Section 4600 for all injured workers diagnosed with industrial conditions.

(c) (1) Notwithstanding the medical treatment utilization schedule, for injuries occurring on and after January 1, 2004, an employee shall be entitled to no more than 24 chiropractic, 24 occupational therapy, and 24 physical therapy visits per industrial injury.

(2) (A) Paragraph (1) shall not apply when an employer authorizes, in writing, additional visits to a health care practitioner for physical medicine services. Payment or authorization for treatment beyond the limits set forth in paragraph (1) shall not be deemed a waiver of the limits set forth by paragraph (1) with respect to future requests for authorization.

(B) The Legislature finds and declares that the amendments made to subparagraph (A) by the act adding this subparagraph are declaratory of existing law.

(3) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to visits for postsurgical physical medicine and postsurgical rehabilitation services provided in compliance with a postsurgical treatment utilization schedule established by the administrative director pursuant to Section 5307.27.

(d) For all injuries not covered by the official utilization schedule adopted pursuant to Section 5307.27, authorized treatment shall be in accordance with other evidence-based medical treatment guidelines that are recognized generally by the national medical community and scientifically based.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 363, Sec. 41. Effective January 1, 2013.)

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Last modified: September 9, 2016