In separate incidents, Miguel Velazquez and Servando Velazquez suffered injuries, and each required Spanish language interpreting services in connection with their medical care. Meadowbrook was the carrier for the claimants’ employers and accepted both claims and administered benefits.
DFS Interpreting, provided interpreter services to each claimant, and timely submitted invoices to Meadowbrook. Meadowbrook issued explanations of review pursuant to Labor Code section 4603.3, explaining that it refused to pay the invoices DFS submitted.
DFS objected to those explanations of review, but did not request a second review pursuant to section 4603.2, subdivision (e) or California Code of Regulations, title 8, section 9792.5.5.
After each underlying case resolved, the cases were consolidated to determine whether DFS properly contested Meadowbrook’s explanations of review, and, if not, whether to award further payment to DFS. The parties stipulated that the interpreters were necessary at all medical treatment appointments, DFS timely submitted the invoices, Meadowbrook timely issued the explanations of review, and DFS objected to the explanations of review but did not request a second review.
The WCJ issued her findings and award and order in favor of DFS, and found that the liens were not barred by its failure to request a second review, because the administrative director had not adopted a fee schedule pursuant to section 4600, subdivision (g).
The WCAB denied the reconsideration petition. It reasoned that the AD had not specifically adopted a fee schedule for interpreters after the Legislature enacted Senate Bill No. 863. Thus, there was not an applicable fee schedule and DFS was not required to submit a request for second review.
The Court of Appeal reversed in the published case of Meadowbrook v WCAB.
The AD adopted Title 8, section 9795.3, entitled “Fees for Interpreter Services” in 1994. The section also describes interpreter fees that “shall be presumed to be reasonable.”
There is no requirement that the AD adopt a fee schedule after Senate Bill No. 863 was enacted. Title 8, section 9795.3 is an applicable fee schedule as required by the labor code and regulations.The parties offer no authority establishing that the schedule of fees set out in Title 8, section 9795.3 is not a “fee schedule” such that it qualifies as such under the relevant regulation.
“Because the fee schedule set out in Title 8, section 9795.3 is an “applicable fee schedule” as required by Title 8, section 9792.5.4, we hold that DFS’s liens are barred by its failure to request a second review. Because the WCAB’s interpretation of the law is clearly mistaken, the WCAB’s opinion and decision on reconsideration must be annulled.”