The WCAB has finally clarified how we are expected to prove up a valid MPN and appropriate notice sent to the applicant. What seems like common sense apparently was not and required a judge be overturned and for the WCAB to step in and confirm how to prove the existence of a valid MPN.
First, you need to prove a valid MPN. While this is simple, the actual MPN needs to be identified, since there are often different MPNs for different areas or employer/carrier specific MPNs where TPA’s are involved.
The defendant needs to go to the WCAB website listing MPNs, locate the correct MPN and the request the WCAB take judicial notice of the MPN on the WCAB website:
For a list of the MPN’s by name go to:
Of course if you know the date your MPN was started, you are also able to search the MPNs by date of approval.
Next, you will need to show notice of the MPN to the applicant. With luck, there will actually be two notifications, one by the employer and one by the carrier. Along that line, you should encourage the employer to give the appropriate notice to each employee and then have each employee sign the notice given to them. The signed form/notice is admissible by itself to show the proper notice was given to the applicant.
What is also required is the proper notice by the carrier. Normally the initial notice to the applicant is sent with the first correspondence from the carrier to the applicant. Since quite frequently the applicant is Spanish speaking, this notice should go out in both English and Spanish with the appropriate notices allowing the applicant to locate your MPN.
Next, which is frequently the case, the appropriate notices and objections to treatment outside the MPN should be sent to the applicant’s attorney, along with very specific directions on how to get to your MPN. The most common complaint I get from applicant attorneys is the inability to get to the correct MPN because of the inability to distinguish from different MPNs. I find that this usually occurs where the adjuster works for a TPA and has multiple MPNs they deal with for each of the employers or carriers they adjust for. The Applicant’s attorney then looks up the MPN they have used for the TPA rather than the specific MPN in their case. Consequently, it is worthwhile to provide the exact method of getting to the MPN on the internet and perhaps even include the webpage address and directions on how to get to into the MPN from there.
The notices sent to the applicant and the applicant’s attorney, as well as to any doctors, are then submitted as evidence. It then becomes the applicant’s burden to overcome these notices. As a side note, everything sent regarding these MPN notices should be sent with a proof of service to assist in the credibility of the document when submitted as evidence but it is not required.
Hopefully this will help assist you in proving up your MPN and get us one step closer to obtaining all of the applicant’s treatment with MPN doctors.