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The Supreme Court rules employers in disputes over AMA ratings



The Supreme Court of Kansas ruled in favor of a food distributor in a long-running battle over which version of the American Medical Association's guidelines would be used to assign values ​​to workers.

In Johnson v. US Food Service Kansas Supreme Court on Friday reversed an appeals court ruling ruling that 2013 state reforms requiring workers injured on or after January 1, 2015, should be judged on the basis of The Sixth Edition of the AMA Guidelines is Constitutional

Howard Johnson III worked for the US Food Service and injured his spine when he tried to open a door on a trailer that had frozen frozen. He received compensation for workers and was diagnosed with herniated discs and underwent surgery.

Mr. Johnson received $ 1

5,500 temporary total disability benefit from October 2015 to April 2016. He returned to work on modifications and achieved maximum medical improvement in July 2016. His doctor rated him as 6% permanently partially impaired by the sixth edition of the AMA guidelines that had has been enacted by the Kansas Workers Compensation Act.

Mr. Johnson appealed the rating, arguing that the use of the sixth edition was unconstitutional because it resulted in a lower write-down rate and therefore deprived workers of their right to a cure. Had he been judged with the older fourth edition, which was in place before the 2013 change, his write-down value would have been 19 percentage points higher, he claimed.

An Appeals Board agreed with Mr Johnson, arguing that with the "adoption of the sixth edition of the AMA Guides, the law has become so impressive that it is no longer an adequate quo pro quo for injured workers suffering from permanent deterioration as a result. of an injury occurring on or after January 1, 2015. "

The Supreme Court of Kansas overturned the appeal decision and ruled that the sixth edition could reasonably be interpreted as a guideline rather than a state mandate and was constitutional under state statutes.

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