MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT RATE INCREASES FOR 2019
The medical mileage reimbursement rate will increase from $0.545 in 2018 to
$0.58 for travel done on or after 1/1/2019. This is consistent with the 2019 business mileage rate as recently announced by the IRS.
PQME ALLOWED TO REVIEW DEFENSE VOC. REHAB. REPORTS
Saydiel Ocana v. Selah Gourmet Food
(2018) 2018 Cal.Wrk.Comp. P.D. LEXIS 440, applicant objected to the non-medical defense vocational rehabilitation reports of Ray Largo and Kelly Winn being submitted to the orthopedic and psych PQMEs. The issue was set for a hearing, where the WCJ disallowed the reports. However on appeal, the WCAB stated the reports should be provided to the PQMEs because there is a "...nexus between medical and vocational evidence, and the reporting physicians should be able to take anything into consideration that affects permanent disability". The defense was thus allowed to send the reports to the two PQMEs.
[COMMENT: While this panel-only decided case could open the doors to vocational reports being submitted to PQMEs, remember those reports are still not medical reports and therefore are potentially vulnerable to a timely objection by the opposing party per A.D. Regulation 35, which could be appropriate if the quality of the vocational report is suspect or the opposing party is awaiting a rebuttal report.]