How has Almaraz/Guzman changed workers’ compensation?

AMA Guides 5th Ed.

AMA Guides 5th Ed.

Clearly, Almaraz/Guzman has been a boon to the U.S. Postal Service.  I’ve been receiving Almaraz/Guzman letters from Applicant attorneys on my files ever since the en banc decision came out.  These letters typically fall into one of three categories:

  1. Increased demands for settlement
  2. Demands for additional discovery per Almaraz/Guzman
  3. Letters to the PQME/AME requesting their opinions on impairment outside the AMA Guidelines to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Fifth Edition

I’ve also heard of some doctors completely abandoning the AMA Guidelines to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Fifth Edition, in favor of just analogizing impairment.  This is not what was intended by the en banc panel in WCAB in Almaraz/Guzman.

Here’s what Almaraz/Guzman means for workers’ compensation practitioners:

So, remember:

  1. Whether you agree with the AMA Guides or the 2005 PDRS they’re still the law of the land and must be addressed.
  2. Whether you agree with Almaraz/Guzman, it’s still good law and must be addressed.
  3. Almaraz/Guzman does not absolve a doctor from the responsibility to generate a medical report which addresses the AMA Guides and constitutes substantial medical evidence.

California Organic Eggs Recall

When Eggs Go Bad

When Eggs Go Bad

This weekend I learned that there had been a recall of organic brown eggs produced at en Dulk Poultry Farms in Ripon, California and distributed through Safeway, Pak n’ Save, and CostCo. 1  Although no illnesses have been reported, they are initiating this recall admist concerns about Salmonella.

Here’s how to check if you have these recalled eggs:

  • You have “Kirkland Organic Brown Eggs” from CostCo in the 18-count cartons.  It will have either of the expiration and plant codes:
    • April 1 062, 35 P1776
    • April 8 069, 35 P1776
  • You have “O Organic Grade A Large Brown Eggs” from Safeway and Pack n’ Save in the 12-count cartons with the expiration and plant code:
    • April 1 062, 35 P1776

I’m glad I checked:  I had the 12 count container of recalled eggs from Safeway in my fridge.  More details about the egg recall can be found in the article from the San Jose Mercury News.

  1. When Eggs Go Bad courtesy of TimOve. []

Battlestar Galactica Finale: Explained

SPOILER warning: This post discusses every big reveal from series finale

Battlestar Galactica: The Finale

Battlestar Galactica: The Finale

If you’re a fan of Battlestar Galactica like myself, you may have watched the finale on Friday night and thought, “What the hell?”  This show has introduced so much character development, conflict, and drama over four years that it is honestly difficult to tell whether I’m disappointed the series is ending or disappointed with the series’ ending.1 They wrapped up most of the big questions and left a lot unanswered.  Without further ado, I present you with the answers to all the outstanding questions gleaned from the post-finale press conference:

  1. What’s the deal with the Battlestar Galactica “Final Supper” picture?
    Red Herring

    Red Herringe?

    • Its an unintentional red herring. 2  basically has nothing to do with the show’s plot.  It was a photo op someone thought would be cool.3  The writers had nothing to do with the photo setup, so don’t read anything into it.
  2. What’s the deal with the “Cylon god”?
    • We don’t know.  The “Cylon god” is not necessarily the same “god” referred to by the imaginary Baltar and Six.  We probably won’t know for sure about the “Cylon god” until “Battlestar Galactica: The Plan” comes out in Fall 2009.
  3. What’s the deal with imaginary Baltar and Six and the real Baltar and Caprica Six?
    • The imaginary Baltar and Six are agents of “god” that apparently only manifest to the real Baltar and Caprica Six.  They are neither good nor bad, neither angels nor demons.  The “god” the imaginary Baltar and Caprica Six serve is something akin to the collective unconscious underlying the universe.  Their sole mission was to ensure the real Baltar and Caprica Six survive to deliver Hera to the CIC on the Galactica.  The real Baltar and Caprica Six come to believe in the god described by their imaginary counterparts.  This belief enables Baltar (a true cynic) to deliver his speach to Cavil and almost broker peace between the Cylons and humans and break the cycle of violence.
  4. What’s the deal with the opera house dreams?
    • Four people (9Sharon “Athena” Agathon – a Cylon 8 model, President Laura Roslin, Dr. Gaius Baltar, and Caprica Six)) shared the opera house dream.  This dream was meant to guide each of these people to the CIC on the Galactica at the end of the confrontation between the humans and Cylons.
  5. What’s the deal with Kara Thrace/Starbuck?
    • Who the frak knows.  While we don’t know how she was brought back to life, we do know why she was brought back.  We also have no idea where she went or how she just disappeared.  She was brought back from the dead for the purpose of entering the numeric equivalent of “All Along the Watchtower” into the FTL drive.  Starbuck, her father, and Hera all tapped into something eternal and fundamental underlying the entire universe in order to hear/play this song.
  6. What’s the deal with Daniel? Was Daniel the father of Kara Thrace/Starbuck?
    • Red Herring

      Red Herring

      He was an unintentional red herring.  He was meant to be a “Cain and Abel” back story for Cavil to show he was a right bastard – nothing more.  While there are certain pieces which support this theory, he was never meant to be Starbuck’s dad.  The “Daniel” model Cylon would have been permanently destroyed long before Starbuck was ever born.

  7. What happened to the Cylons in the base near the black hole?
    • After Racetrack’s Viper was knocked around, it accidentally nuked the Cylon baseship.  After the battle and after the Galactica jumped away, it lost its stable orbit at the edge of the black hole and was pulled in.
  8. What’s the deal with the various prophecies, the mandala/nebula/nova in Starbuck’s drawings, and “All Along the Watchtower”?
    • “Everything has happened before and will happen again.”  The cycle of humans, humans building Cylons, Cylons evolving, human-Cylon violence, has occurred for thousands of years and will occur again.  During these cycles certain people (Starbuck, Starbuck’s father, prophets, those who see the opera house dreams, etc) all tap into the collective unconscious underlying the universe.  This allows Starbuck’s father to compose “All Along the Watchtower,” Hera to paint the musical notes for it, the song to be the key to unlock the final five, and the song to be the numerical equivalent of the way to our Earth.  150,000 years after everything in this series, humankind has again evolved to the point of embracing technology.  This would allow the new BSG series to serve as a background and origin story for the original BSG series.

Most of this information is from the post-Battlestar Galactica finale interview.  I’ve tried to make it as intelligible as I can.

Do you disagree with my descriptions above?  Do you have another BSG question you need resolved?  Let me know in the comments!

  1. Photo by way of “diverse distinctive dave’s” blog []
  2. Photo courtesy of stridli.  Editing, all me! []
  3. And, they were right. []

EAMS: Rise of the Machines

Your request for hearing has been DENIED

Request for hearing DENIED

Tuesday I tried to submit settlement documents for a walk-through in Oakland. 1 I had prepared the document cover sheet, minutes of hearing, and had everything ready to go.  As per procedure, I left the packet with the court clerk and came back about half an hour later.

When I returned the settlement documents were still on the counter, but without any indication of which judge I would be seeking approval from.  I was told that the documents had already been signed by the day’s walk-through judge.

That’s when the fun started.

The computer told the clerk that the original documents in front of us had the judge’s signature and that the judge had the file.  The documents clearly did not have the judge’s signature.  However, since EAMS believed the documents were already approved, it felt (?) I  shouldn’t be given the opportunity to walk the documents through.  Even more interestingly, the EAMS was telling us that the documents had been approved that very afternoon.

Since I had stamped the documents in, the clerk did not want to return them to me so that I could ask the judge if he had signed the settlement.  Mind you, the judge would have had to sign the documents (in invisible ink) in the half hour between the time I dropped off the documents and came back to pick them up.  Eventually I was allowed to take the documents with me to ask the judge if he had signed them.

Once before the walk-through judge, I explained that I had no board file because EAMS believed he already had the file and had approved the documents I was handing him.  Puzzled, the judge went to investigate whether he had approved the documents that did not have his signature.  He returned a few minutes later saying that he did not have the file, he did not recall signing the documents, and that he did not recall signing any documents for myself or the Applicant’s attorney involved.  EAMS was adamant that he had signed those documents.

Thankfully everyone in the hearing room was good-natured about the entire thing.  The funniest part about the entire situation is that the court clerk, myself, and the judge were made to doubt our own recollection, the documentary evidence in front of us, and sanity because EAMS said so.

If you haven’t seen this already, you should really see this incredibly funny EAMS video.

  1. Photo courtesy of racatumba. []

500 Registered Users!

Indy 500

Indy 500

Wow!  500 registered users!

Last month I mentioned that this website had a record number of new visitors.  I honestly thought that was an anomalous one day spike in traffic.  Instead we’ve had a sustained increase in new visitors and people signing up to use the workers’ compensation calculators for free.

Since February 13, 20091 I’ve enjoyed posting about:

Ever since I relaunched this website I’ve had this idea in the back of my mind that getting to 500 users would be a big deal.  There are literally hundreds of workers’ compensation professionals who rely on this website and its calculators to make their lives a little easier.  This certainly feels like a big deal to me.

  1. When the 400th user registered. []
  2. I am keeping this calculator in beta testing until I get a little more feedback.  If you want to try it out, just drop me a line! []

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