It was recently announced that Don Barthel’s name was submitted to the American Medical Association as a potential expert reviewer of the AMA Guides (6th edition), which is scheduled for publication in late 2007. That nomination received the AMA’s approval on April 21, 2006, when Guides‘ Senior Developmental Editor Nancy Baker announced Mr. Barthel had been “selected as a reviewer due to [his] recognized expertise and knowledge in [his] field.”
While confidentiality agreements preclude Mr. Barthel from disclosing any details regarding the upcoming edition of the AMA Guides, it has been revealed that the 6th edition attempts to incorporate the latest scientific evidence and, where evidence is lacking, to develop a consensus view that reflects prevailing medical opinion regarding the impairment rating process. The 6th edition will also attempt to address some of the major criticisms of the 5th edition by embracing a paradigm shift that adopts a contemporary model of disablement, is evidenced-based, is simplified, is functionally based, and is internally consistent to the fullest extent possible.
Based on his initial review, Mr. Barthel stated he is “very excited” about the improvements found in the 6th edition. He believes the 6th edition will be well accepted in California and predicts that California will adopt the 6th edition in short order.
“The reliance on objective evidence and the editors’ determination to simplify the use of the Guides is striking,” states Mr. Barthel. “I think California’s workers’ compensation professionals will find this treatise to be far more user-friendly than the current edition that we are using here [in California].”
Congratulations, Don, on your newest challenge!
Mark S. Fletcher is Bradford & Barthel’s Managing Partner
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