Valdez v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd.Annotate this Case
At issue in this case was the section of the Labor Code (article 2.3) that establishes a process for employees who dispute the diagnosis or treatment provided by a medical provider network (MPN). Petitioner was injured when she fell at work. Petitioner began treatment with a physician in Employer's MPN, but later undertook treatment with a doctor outside the network, Dr. Nario. Thereafter, Petitioner applied for temporary disability benefits, relying on reports by Dr. Nario. Employer argued that reports from non-MPN doctors were inadmissible under Cal. Labor Code 4616.6, an article 2.3 provision, for purposes of the disability hearing. The workers' compensation judge (WCJ) overruled the objection, concluding that reports from all treating doctors were admissible. The Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (Board) rescinded the WCJ's decision, holding that section 4616.6 precluded the admission of reports from any doctor outside the MPN. The court of appeal annulled the Board's decisions. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that section 4616.6 restricts the admission of medical reports only in proceedings under article 2.3 to resolve disputes over diagnosis and treatment within an MPN.