At the California Workers’ Compensation and Risk Conference in Dana Point, California, the state’s Division of Workers’ Compensation announced a new proposal for IME and QME (qualified medical expert) panel requests. The regulatory changes are designed to expedite the process, which has faced much criticism due to backlogs since its implementation in the wake of Senate Bill 863 (which overhauled several major parts of California’s comp system.) Destie Overpeck, the administrator of the DWC, discussed the news in her presentation, which was met by cheers from attendees. She acknowledged concerns about the backlog and cited figures that reveal a steady increase in the number of IME and QME requests since 2009. In 2009, there were roughly 8,000 requests per month, currently, the number hover around 12,000 per month. California accounts for about 25% of workers’ comp premiums in the country so the new regulations, should they pass, may prove to be an important tool for other states with backlogs. See the full overview of the announcement from WorkCompCentral here. Read the text of the new regulations and the open forum commenting guidelines here.