WHAT CARRIERS SHOULD DO AFTER RECEIVING A VARIANCE REQUEST
Carriers have to decide whether they will obtain an IME or review of the records report. If the Carrier plans to obtain either an IME or a review of records report, they must notify the WCB of that intention within 5 days of receipt of the variance request. If the variance was sent by e-mail or fax, the received date is deemed the same date of transmission, whereas if the variance was sent via mail the received date is five days from the date of postage. The Carrier notified the WCB of their intention to obtain an IME or review of the records by completing section "D" of of the form MG-2.
If the Carrier does not plan on getting an IME or review of the records report, the Carrier must notify the WCB within 15 calendar days after receipt of the variance request. If the Carrier has chosed to get an IME or review of records, the Carrier must issue a responde to the varriance request within 30 days of receipt of that variance request. Since this creates a huge burden on Carriers, one suggestion has been to get examining physicians to set aside one day per month for these varriance requests.
POSSIBLE RESPONSES TO VARIANCE REQUESTS
2) Denial - Denials must be issued even if the Carrier has already filed a C-7 controverting the case. Controverting the case is not enough to constitute a denial of the variance.
3) AuthorizeWithout Prejudice - available only if the claim has been controverted or the time to respond has not yet expired.
4) No response - if a Carrier does not respond within the time allotted the Chair will issue an Order of the Chair. This decision will likely result in an approval of the variance. An Order of the Chair issued for no response or for an untimely response is not subject to an Appeal under WCL Sec. 23.
DENIAL OF VARIANCES
Denials must be fully explained by the Carrier under Section "E" of form MG-2. Any reason for denial that is not explained is waived. There are 4 possible grounds for denial:
- Treatment requested has already been rendered
- Health Care Provider did not meet burden of proof
- Treatment requested is not medically appropriate or necessary (must be supported by an IME or review of the records report)
- Claimant failed to appear to a scheduled IME.