CA UR Requiring CA License AB 584

Existing law, for purposes of workers’ compensation, defines ‘psychologist’ to mean a licensed psychologist with a doctoral degree in psychology, or a doctoral degree deemed equivalent for licensure by the Board of Psychology, as specified, and who either has at least two years of clinical experience in a recognized health setting or has met the standards of the National Register of the Health Service Providers in Psychology.

This bill would require the psychologist to be licensed by California state law.

Existing law requires every employer to establish a medical treatment utilization review process, in compliance with specified requirements, either directly or through its insurer or an entity with which the employer or insurer contracts for these services. Existing law provides that no person other than a licensed physician who is competent to evaluate the specific clinical issues involved in the medical treatment services, and where these services are within the scope of the physician’s practice, requested by the physician may modify, delay, or deny requests for authorization of medical treatment for reasons of medical necessity to cure and relieve.

This bill would require the physician to be licensed by California state law.

Existing law authorizes the Employment Development Department to administer the disability compensation program. Existing law requires a claim for disability benefits to be supported by a certification of a treating physician or practitioner. Existing law defines physician by reference to the above provision and defines a practitioner as a person duly licensed or certified in California acting within the scope of his or her license or certification who is a dentist, podiatrist, or nurse practitioner, as specified, or, as to normal pregnancy or childbirth, a midwife, nurse midwife, or a nurse practitioner.

This bill would provide that claim for disability benefits may also be supported by a health professional as defined, and as specified.

This supports the opinion the Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCEs) performed by a non-licensed physician is not permitted within the California Workers’ Compensation system. It is important to note that physical therapists (PTs) or athletic trainers may perform Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCEs), however, any reference to impairment rating is not allowed in the California Workers’ Compensation system. Only physicians can rate impairment and physicians are defined as Medical, Osteopath and Chiropractic dostors. All Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCEs) performed by Medical Legal Experts Medical Inc. are performed by board certified physicians.