Can a party in a denied case request an Expedited Hearing to obtain a PQME?

Labor Code Sections 4060(c), 4062.2 and 5502(b)(3) read together appear to allow for an expedited hearing for any dispute regarding a medical-legal examination. However, WCAB Rule 10782(a) as well as the WCAB Procedure Manual state expedited hearings are reserved only for accepted injury claims.

To address the statutory conflict, the WCAB in the a removal-related opinion in Corado v. WCAB (8/19/2021) stated the correct procedure to address a PQME issue in a denied case would be to file for an expedited hearing, with the conference judge to then either resolve the issue or to re-designate the matter for a MSC from which a Trial could be set of necessary.

[COMMENT: As MSC's are being set rather quickly, the most efficient approach may be to file for a MSC which then eliminates one hearing.]