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The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is issuing a notice of public hearing for the Medical Treatment Utilization Schedule (MTUS) regulations. The proposed rulemaking sets forth a framework to determine best practices for providing medical care for work – related illnesses or injuries. A public hearing on the proposed regulations has been scheduled at 10 a.m., July 1, in the auditorium of the Elihu Harris Building, 1515 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612. Members of the public may also submit written comment on the regulations until 5 p.m. that day.

The proposed amendments to the MTUS clarify the scientific process by which evidence – based clinical decisions should be made for individuals diagnosed with industrial conditions. The role of the MTUS is clearly established as the standard for the provision of medical care in accordance with Labor Code section 4600. The proposed regulations then set forth the process used to determine reasonable and necessary medical care when the MTUS is silent on a particular medical condition, therapeutic procedure, or diagnostic test or when the MTUS is successfully rebutted pursuant to Labor Code section 4604.5.

The process begins with a medical literature search sequence to guide those making treatment decisions in finding recommendations applicable to the injured worker’s medical condition. The proposed regulations detail how medical evidence shall be evaluated according to an explicit, systematic, strength – of – evidence methodology to determine which recommendation is supported with the best available evidence. Recommendations supported with the best available medical evidence shall be used to determine what is reasonably required to cure or relieve the injured worker from the effects of his or her injury.

Finally, the proposed regulations add two additional members to the Medical Evidence Evaluation Advisory Committee (MEEAC) and address the role and duties of MEEAC.

The proposed changes to the MTUS regulations start with section 9792.20 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations.

DWC will consider all public comments, and may modify the proposed regulations for consideration during an additional 15 – day public comment period. The notices of rulemaking, text of the regulations, and the initial statements of reasons can be found on the MTUS rulemaking page .