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California's Division of Workers’ Compensation Posts Order Adopting Updates to Medical Treatment Guidelines
By Lonce Lamonte and the California DIR's Newsline - October 1, 2018

The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) has posted an order adopting regulations to update the evidence-based treatment guidelines of the Medical Treatment Utilization Schedule (MTUS).

The updates, effective for medical treatment services rendered on or after October 31, 2018, incorporate by reference the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’s (ACOEM’s) most recent treatment guidelines to the General Approaches and Special Topics sections of the MTUS.

"We are publishing this Administrative Order one month before its effective date to give the public, especially treating physicians and utilization review physicians, 30 days to prepare before these evidence-based updates become effective,” said DWC Administrative Director George Parisotto.

The ACOEM guidelines that are incorporated by reference into the MTUS are:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury Guideline (November 15, 2017)
  • Prevention (May 1, 2011)
  • General Approach to Initial Assessment and Documentation (July 25, 2016)
  • Cornerstones of Disability Prevention and Management (May 1, 2011)

“DWC has incorporated the most recent guidelines to ensure the MTUS contain the most recent, state-of-the-art current evidence-based recommendations,” said DWC Executive Medical Director Dr. Raymond Meister.

The administrative order consists of the order and two addendum:

  • Addendum one shows the regulatory amendments directly related to the evidence-based updates to the MTUS.
  • Addendum two contains hyperlinks to the updated ACOEM guidelines adopted and incorporated into the MTUS by reference.

Since the ACOEM guidelines contain proprietary content, a commercial license from ReedGroup, the publisher of the ACOEM guidelines, is required when physicians and entities use the MTUS for commercial purposes.

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