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California updates medical treatment guidelines

Posted On: Nov. 3, 2017 10:13 AM CST

California updates medical treatment guidelines

The guidelines for how injured workers are treated in California will change starting Dec. 1, with modifications in line with current American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine standards, according to the California Department of Labor’s Division of Workers’ Compensation.

George Parisotto, the division’s administrative director, on Wednesday signed off on the changes, which now include ACOEM evidence-based guidelines, to 16 revised sections of the state’s Medical Treatment Utilization Schedule, known as MTUS.

Among the sections revised include those that provide guidelines on disorders involving the spine, shoulder, elbow, wrist and knees, and disorders involving stress and lung diseases. The revisions also address chronic pain and opioids.

The division said in a notice that the changes are necessary to “accurately represent current evidence-based standards of care.”

“There have been many new scientific and medical developments since the MTUS was initially adopted in 2007,” the notice states. “Because most of the treatment guidelines have not been updated since 2007, these new scientific and medical developments have not been incorporated into the MTUS. The MTUS must be able to keep up with the evolving nature of scientific evidence to ensure that its recommendations accurately represent current standards of care.”