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SF 1234

3rd Engrossment - 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014) Posted on 05/23/2013 04:31pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language. underscored = added, new language.

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Current Version - 3rd Engrossment

1.1A bill for an act
1.2relating to workers' compensation; making various policy and housekeeping
1.3changes; adopting advisory council recommendations; requiring a report;
1.4amending Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 176.011, subdivisions 15, 16;
1.5176.081, subdivisions 1, 7; 176.101, subdivision 1; 176.102, subdivisions 3a, 5,
1.610; 176.106, subdivisions 1, 3; 176.129, subdivision 13; 176.136, subdivision
1.71b; 176.138; 176.183, subdivision 4; 176.245; 176.521; 176.645; 176.83,
1.8subdivision 5.
1.9BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

1.10ARTICLE 1
1.11WORKERS' COMPENSATION DEPARTMENT PROPOSALS

1.12    Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.102, subdivision 3a, is amended to read:
1.13    Subd. 3a. Disciplinary actions. The panel has authority to discipline qualified
1.14rehabilitation consultants and vendors and may impose a penalty of up to $3,000 per
1.15violation, payable to the commissioner for deposit in the assigned risk safety account, and
1.16may suspend or revoke certification. Complaints against registered qualified rehabilitation
1.17consultants and vendors shall be made to the commissioner who shall may investigate
1.18all complaints. If the investigation indicates a violation of this chapter or rules adopted
1.19under this chapter, the commissioner may initiate a contested case proceeding under the
1.20provisions of chapter 14. In these cases, the rehabilitation review panel shall make the
1.21final decision following receipt of the report of an administrative law judge. The decision
1.22of the panel is appealable to the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals in the manner
1.23provided by section 176.421. The panel shall continuously study rehabilitation services
1.24and delivery, develop and recommend rehabilitation rules to the commissioner, and assist
1.25the commissioner in accomplishing public education.
2.1The commissioner may appoint alternates for one-year terms to serve as a member
2.2when a member is unavailable. The number of alternates shall not exceed one labor
2.3member, one employer or insurer member, and one member representing a licensed or
2.4registered health care provider, chiropractic, or rehabilitation.
2.5EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.

2.6    Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.106, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
2.7    Subdivision 1. Scope. All determinations by the commissioner or compensation
2.8judge pursuant to section 176.102, 176.103, 176.135, or 176.136 shall be in accordance
2.9with the procedures contained in this section. For medical disputes under sections 176.135
2.10and 176.136, the commissioner shall have jurisdiction to hold an administrative conference
2.11and issue decisions and orders under this section if the amount in dispute at the time the
2.12medical request is filed is $7,500 or less. The $7,500 limit does not apply if the medical
2.13issue to be determined is whether a charge for a service, article, or supply is excessive
2.14under section 176.136, subdivision 1, 1a, 1b, or 1c, and corresponding Minnesota Rules.
2.15EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment
2.16and applies to medical disputes filed on or after that date.

2.17    Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.129, subdivision 13, is amended to read:
2.18    Subd. 13. Employer reports. (a) All employers and insurers shall make reports to
2.19the commissioner as required for the proper administration of this section and Minnesota
2.20Statutes 1990, section 176.131, and Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 176.132. Employers
2.21and insurers may not be reimbursed from the special compensation fund for any
2.22periods unless the employer or insurer is up to date with all past due and currently due
2.23assessments, penalties, and reports to the special compensation fund under this section.
2.24The commissioner may allow an offset of the reimbursements due an employer or insurer
2.25pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 176.131, and Minnesota Statutes 1994,
2.26section 176.132, against the assessment due under the section or against any other debt
2.27owed to the special compensation fund by the employer or insurer.
2.28(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c), the special compensation fund shall not
2.29reimburse an insolvent insurer for subsequent injury or supplementary benefits after a
2.30declaration of bankruptcy or order of liquidation or insolvency is issued for the insurer,
2.31even if the benefits were paid before the declaration or order. This does not limit the claim
2.32distribution or set-off authority of a court, trustee, or liquidator under federal bankruptcy
2.33law or under chapter 60B or a similar law in another jurisdiction. For purposes of this
3.1paragraph, subsequent injury benefits are the benefits paid pursuant to Minnesota Statutes
3.21990, section 176.131, and supplementary benefits are the benefits paid pursuant to
3.3Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 176.132.
3.4(c) The special compensation fund shall reimburse an insolvent insurer for
3.5subsequent injury or supplemental benefits after a declaration of bankruptcy or order of
3.6liquidation or insolvency to an insolvent insurer who has filed for reimbursement from the
3.7special compensation fund before June 1, 2013. This includes reimbursement for any past,
3.8pending, or future claims that may arise out of the insolvent insurer's coverage.
3.9EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment
3.10and applies to claims for reimbursement filed with the special compensation fund on or
3.11after that date.

3.12    Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.138, is amended to read:
3.13176.138 MEDICAL DATA; ACCESS.
3.14(a) Notwithstanding any other state laws related to the privacy of medical data or
3.15any private agreements to the contrary, the release in writing, by telephone discussion, or
3.16otherwise of medical data related to a current claim for compensation under this chapter
3.17to the employee, employer, or insurer who are parties to the claim, or to the Department
3.18of Labor and Industry, shall not require prior approval of any party to the claim. This
3.19section does not preclude the release of medical data under section 175.10 or 176.231,
3.20subdivision 9
. Requests for pertinent data shall be made, and the date of discussions
3.21with medical providers about medical data shall be confirmed, in writing to the person
3.22or organization that collected or currently possesses the data. Written medical data that
3.23exists at the time the request is made shall be provided by the collector or possessor within
3.24seven working days of receiving the request. Nonwritten medical data may be provided,
3.25but is not required to be provided, by the collector or possessor. In all cases of a request
3.26for the data or discussion with a medical provider about the data, except when it is the
3.27employee who is making the request, the employee shall be sent written notification of the
3.28request by the party requesting the data at the same time the request is made or a written
3.29confirmation of the discussion. This data shall be treated as private data by the party who
3.30requests or receives the data and the party receiving the data shall provide the employee or
3.31the employee's attorney with a copy of all data requested by the requester.
3.32(b) Medical data which is not directly related to a current injury or disability shall
3.33not be released without prior authorization of the employee.
4.1(c) The commissioner may impose a penalty of up to $600 payable to the
4.2commissioner for deposit in the assigned risk safety account against a party who does not
4.3timely release data as required in this section. A party who does not treat this data as
4.4private pursuant to this section is guilty of a misdemeanor. This paragraph applies only to
4.5written medical data which exists at the time the request is made.
4.6(d) Workers' compensation insurers and self-insured employers may, for the sole
4.7purpose of identifying duplicate billings submitted to more than one insurer, disclose to
4.8health insurers, including all insurers writing insurance described in section 60A.06,
4.9subdivision 1
, clause (5)(a), nonprofit health service plan corporations subject to chapter
4.1062C, health maintenance organizations subject to chapter 62D, and joint self-insurance
4.11employee health plans subject to chapter 62H, computerized information about dates,
4.12coded items, and charges for medical treatment of employees and other medical billing
4.13information submitted to them by an employee, employer, health care provider, or other
4.14insurer in connection with a current claim for compensation under this chapter, without
4.15prior approval of any party to the claim. The data may not be used by the health insurer
4.16for any other purpose whatsoever and must be destroyed after verification that there has
4.17been no duplicative billing. Any person who is the subject of the data which is used in
4.18a manner not allowed by this paragraph has a cause of action for actual damages and
4.19punitive damages for a minimum of $5,000.
4.20(e) Medical data collected, stored, used, or disseminated by or filed with the
4.21commissioner in connection with a claim for workers' compensation benefits governed by
4.22this chapter does not constitute genetic information for the purposes of section 13.386.
4.23EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.

4.24    Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.183, subdivision 4, is amended to read:
4.25    Subd. 4. Notice by commissioner; rights of parties. (a) If the commissioner
4.26authorizes the special compensation fund to commence payment without the issuance of
4.27a temporary order, the commissioner shall serve by certified first class mail notice upon
4.28the employer and other interested parties of the intention to commence payment. This
4.29notice shall be served at least ten calendar days before commencing payment and shall
4.30be mailed to the last known address of the parties employer. The notice shall include a
4.31statement that failure of the employer to respond within ten calendar days of the date
4.32of service will be deemed acceptance by the employer of the proposed action by the
4.33commissioner special compensation fund and will be deemed a waiver of defenses the
4.34employer has to a subrogation or indemnity action by the commissioner the special
4.35compensation fund's action to recover amounts specified under subdivision 2. At any time
5.1prior to final determination of liability, the employer may appear as a party and present
5.2defenses the employer has, whether or not an appearance by the employer has previously
5.3been made in the matter. The commissioner special compensation fund has a cause of
5.4action against the employer to recover compensation paid by the special fund under this
5.5section amounts specified under subdivision 2.
5.6(b) The commissioner shall notify the employer by first class mail if the special
5.7compensation fund intends to enter into a settlement agreement with the employee for
5.8the payment of benefits under this section. This notice shall be sent by first class mail to
5.9the last known address of the employer at least 15 calendar days before executing the
5.10settlement agreement, and shall include:
5.11(1) a copy of the proposed settlement agreement;
5.12(2) a statement that within 15 calendar days the employer must notify the special
5.13compensation fund in writing of its objection to the proposed settlement; and
5.14(3) a statement that if the special compensation fund does not receive the employer's
5.15written objection within 15 calendar days, the employer must be deemed to have waived
5.16all defenses to the special compensation fund's claim for amounts specified under
5.17subdivision 2.
5.18(c) If a settlement agreement is approved by the commissioner or compensation judge
5.19after the commissioner has provided notice to the employer under paragraph (b), and if the
5.20employer did not provide timely written notification to the special compensation fund of
5.21the employer's objection, then the employer must be deemed to have waived all defenses
5.22to the special compensation fund's claim for amounts specified under subdivision 2.
5.23EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.

5.24    Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.245, is amended to read:
5.25176.245 RECEIPTS FOR PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION, FILING.
5.26An employer shall promptly file with the division receipts for payment of
5.27compensation as may be required by the rules of the division.
5.28The commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry shall periodically check
5.29its records to determine whether these receipts have been promptly filed, and if not,
5.30shall require the employer to do so. The commissioner may determine, using statistical
5.31methodology similar to Six Sigma, the most efficient manner of reviewing or auditing
5.32the records filed under this chapter, including using sampling methodology, to determine
5.33compliance with this chapter.
5.34EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.

6.1    Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.521, is amended to read:
6.2176.521 SETTLEMENT OF CLAIMS.
6.3    Subdivision 1. Validity. (a) An agreement between an employee or an employee's
6.4dependent and the employer or insurer to settle any claim, which is not upon appeal before
6.5the court of appeals, for compensation under this chapter is valid where it has been executed
6.6in writing and signed by the parties and intervenors in the matter, and, where one or more
6.7of the parties is not represented by an attorney, the commissioner or a compensation judge
6.8has approved the settlement and made an award thereon. If the matter is upon appeal before
6.9the Court of Appeals or district court, the court of appeals or district court is the approving
6.10body. An agreement to settle any claim is not valid if a guardian or conservator is required
6.11under section 176.092 and an employee or dependent has no guardian or conservator.
6.12(b) If the matter is on appeal before the workers' compensation court of appeals, the
6.13proposed settlement shall be submitted for approval to a compensation judge at the Office
6.14of Administrative Hearings. Before the settlement is submitted to the compensation judge,
6.15the parties shall notify the workers' compensation court of appeals and request that it
6.16suspend further action on the appeal pending review of the settlement by the compensation
6.17judge. Within 14 days after the compensation judge's final approval or disapproval of the
6.18settlement, the parties shall notify the workers' compensation court of appeals of the
6.19compensation judge's action and shall request that the appeal be dismissed or reactivated.
6.20    Subd. 2. Approval. Settlements shall be approved only if the terms conform with
6.21this chapter.
6.22The commissioner, a compensation judge, the court of appeals, and the district court
6.23shall exercise discretion in approving or disapproving a proposed settlement.
6.24The parties to the agreement of settlement have the burden of proving that the
6.25settlement is reasonable, fair, and in conformity with this chapter. A settlement agreement
6.26where both the employee or the employee's dependent and the employer or insurer are
6.27represented by an attorney shall be conclusively presumed to be reasonable, fair, and in
6.28conformity with this chapter except when the settlement purports to be a full, final, and
6.29complete settlement of an employee's right to medical compensation under this chapter
6.30or rehabilitation under section 176.102. A settlement which purports to do so must be
6.31approved by the commissioner, or a compensation judge, or court of appeals.
6.32The conclusive presumption in this subdivision is not available in cases involving
6.33an employee or dependent with a guardian or conservator.
6.34The conclusive presumption in this subdivision applies to a settlement agreement
6.35entered into on or after January 15, 1982, whether the injury to which the settlement
6.36applies occurred prior to or on or after January 15, 1982.
7.1    Subd. 2a. Settlements not subject to approval. When a settled case is not
7.2subject to approval, upon receipt of the stipulation for settlement, the commissioner, or
7.3 a compensation judge, or the court of appeals shall immediately sign the award and file
7.4it with the commissioner. Payment pursuant to the award shall be made within 14 days
7.5after it is filed with the commissioner. The commissioner may correct mathematical or
7.6clerical errors at any time.
7.7    Subd. 3. Setting aside award upon settlement. Notwithstanding the provisions of
7.8subdivision 1, 2, or 2a, or any provision in the agreement of settlement to the contrary,
7.9upon the filing of a petition by any party to the settlement, the workers' compensation
7.10court of appeals may set aside an award made upon a settlement, pursuant to this chapter.
7.11In appropriate cases, the workers' compensation court of appeals may refer the matter to
7.12the chief administrative law judge for assignment to a compensation judge for hearing.
7.13EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective for settlement agreements submitted
7.14for approval on or after July 1, 2013.

7.15ARTICLE 2
7.16WORKERS' COMPENSATION ADVISORY COUNCIL RECOMMENDATIONS

7.17    Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.011, subdivision 15, is amended to read:
7.18    Subd. 15. Occupational disease. (a) "Occupational disease" means a mental
7.19impairment as defined in paragraph (d) or physical disease arising out of and in the
7.20course of employment peculiar to the occupation in which the employee is engaged
7.21and due to causes in excess of the hazards ordinary of employment and shall include
7.22undulant fever. Physical stimulus resulting in mental injury and mental stimulus resulting
7.23in physical injury shall remain compensable. Mental impairment is not considered a
7.24disease if it results from a disciplinary action, work evaluation, job transfer, layoff,
7.25demotion, promotion, termination, retirement, or similar action taken in good faith by the
7.26employer. Ordinary diseases of life to which the general public is equally exposed outside
7.27of employment are not compensable, except where the diseases follow as an incident of an
7.28occupational disease, or where the exposure peculiar to the occupation makes the disease
7.29an occupational disease hazard. A disease arises out of the employment only if there be a
7.30direct causal connection between the conditions under which the work is performed and
7.31if the occupational disease follows as a natural incident of the work as a result of the
7.32exposure occasioned by the nature of the employment. An employer is not liable for
7.33compensation for any occupational disease which cannot be traced to the employment as a
7.34direct and proximate cause and is not recognized as a hazard characteristic of and peculiar
8.1to the trade, occupation, process, or employment or which results from a hazard to which
8.2the worker would have been equally exposed outside of the employment.
8.3(b) If immediately preceding the date of disablement or death, an employee was
8.4employed on active duty with an organized fire or police department of any municipality,
8.5as a member of the Minnesota State Patrol, conservation officer service, state crime bureau,
8.6as a forest officer by the Department of Natural Resources, state correctional officer, or
8.7sheriff or full-time deputy sheriff of any county, and the disease is that of myocarditis,
8.8coronary sclerosis, pneumonia or its sequel, and at the time of employment such employee
8.9was given a thorough physical examination by a licensed doctor of medicine, and a written
8.10report thereof has been made and filed with such organized fire or police department, with
8.11the Minnesota State Patrol, conservation officer service, state crime bureau, Department
8.12of Natural Resources, Department of Corrections, or sheriff's department of any county,
8.13which examination and report negatived any evidence of myocarditis, coronary sclerosis,
8.14pneumonia or its sequel, the disease is presumptively an occupational disease and shall
8.15be presumed to have been due to the nature of employment. If immediately preceding
8.16the date of disablement or death, any individual who by nature of their position provides
8.17emergency medical care, or an employee who was employed as a licensed police officer
8.18under section 626.84, subdivision 1; firefighter; paramedic; state correctional officer;
8.19emergency medical technician; or licensed nurse providing emergency medical care; and
8.20who contracts an infectious or communicable disease to which the employee was exposed
8.21in the course of employment outside of a hospital, then the disease is presumptively an
8.22occupational disease and shall be presumed to have been due to the nature of employment
8.23and the presumption may be rebutted by substantial factors brought by the employer
8.24or insurer. Any substantial factors which shall be used to rebut this presumption and
8.25which are known to the employer or insurer at the time of the denial of liability shall be
8.26communicated to the employee on the denial of liability.
8.27(c) A firefighter on active duty with an organized fire department who is unable
8.28to perform duties in the department by reason of a disabling cancer of a type caused
8.29by exposure to heat, radiation, or a known or suspected carcinogen, as defined by the
8.30International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the carcinogen is reasonably linked to
8.31the disabling cancer, is presumed to have an occupational disease under paragraph (a). If a
8.32firefighter who enters the service after August 1, 1988, is examined by a physician prior to
8.33being hired and the examination discloses the existence of a cancer of a type described
8.34in this paragraph, the firefighter is not entitled to the presumption unless a subsequent
8.35medical determination is made that the firefighter no longer has the cancer.
9.1(d) For the purposes of this chapter, "mental impairment" means a diagnosis of
9.2post-traumatic stress disorder by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist. For the purpose
9.3of this chapter, "post-traumatic stress disorder" means the condition as described in
9.4the most recently published edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
9.5Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association.

9.6    Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.011, subdivision 16, is amended to read:
9.7    Subd. 16. Personal injury. "Personal injury" means any mental impairment as
9.8defined in subdivision 15, paragraph (d), or physical injury arising out of and in the course
9.9of employment and includes personal injury caused by occupational disease; but does
9.10not cover an employee except while engaged in, on, or about the premises where the
9.11employee's services require the employee's presence as a part of that service at the time of
9.12the injury and during the hours of that service. Where the employer regularly furnished
9.13transportation to employees to and from the place of employment, those employees are
9.14subject to this chapter while being so transported. Physical stimulus resulting in mental
9.15injury and mental stimulus resulting in physical injury shall remain compensable. Mental
9.16impairment is not considered a personal injury if it results from a disciplinary action, work
9.17evaluation, job transfer, layoff, demotion, promotion, termination, retirement, or similar
9.18action taken in good faith by the employer. Personal injury does not include an injury
9.19caused by the act of a third person or fellow employee intended to injure the employee
9.20because of personal reasons, and not directed against the employee as an employee, or
9.21because of the employment. An injury or disease resulting from a vaccine in response
9.22to a declaration by the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human
9.23Services under the Public Health Service Act to address an actual or potential health
9.24risk related to the employee's employment is an injury or disease arising out of and in
9.25the course of employment.

9.26    Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.081, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
9.27    Subdivision 1. Limitation of fees. (a) A fee for legal services of 25 20 percent of
9.28the first $4,000 of compensation awarded to the employee and 20 percent of the next
9.29$60,000 $130,000 of compensation awarded to the employee is the maximum permissible
9.30fee and does not require approval by the commissioner, compensation judge, or any other
9.31party. All fees, including fees for obtaining medical or rehabilitation benefits, must be
9.32calculated according to the formula under this subdivision, except as otherwise provided
9.33in clause (1) or (2).
10.1(1) The contingent attorney fee for recovery of monetary benefits according to the
10.2formula in this section is presumed to be adequate to cover recovery of medical and
10.3rehabilitation benefit or services concurrently in dispute. Attorney fees for recovery of
10.4medical or rehabilitation benefits or services shall be assessed against the employer or
10.5insurer only if the attorney establishes that the contingent fee is inadequate to reasonably
10.6compensate the attorney for representing the employee in the medical or rehabilitation
10.7dispute. In cases where the contingent fee is inadequate the employer or insurer is liable
10.8for attorney fees based on the formula in this subdivision or in clause (2).
10.9    For the purposes of applying the formula where the employer or insurer is liable for
10.10attorney fees, the amount of compensation awarded for obtaining disputed medical and
10.11rehabilitation benefits under sections 176.102, 176.135, and 176.136 shall be the dollar
10.12value of the medical or rehabilitation benefit awarded, where ascertainable.
10.13(2) The maximum attorney fee for obtaining a change of doctor or qualified
10.14rehabilitation consultant, or any other disputed medical or rehabilitation benefit for which
10.15a dollar value is not reasonably ascertainable, is the amount charged in hourly fees for the
10.16representation or $500, whichever is less, to be paid by the employer or insurer.
10.17(3) The fees for obtaining disputed medical or rehabilitation benefits are included
10.18in the $13,000 $26,000 limit in paragraph (b). An attorney must concurrently file all
10.19outstanding disputed issues. An attorney is not entitled to attorney fees for representation
10.20in any issue which could reasonably have been addressed during the pendency of other
10.21issues for the same injury.
10.22(b) All fees for legal services related to the same injury are cumulative and may
10.23not exceed $13,000 $26,000. If multiple injuries are the subject of a dispute, the
10.24commissioner, compensation judge, or court of appeals shall specify the attorney fee
10.25attributable to each injury.
10.26(c) If the employer or the insurer or the defendant is given written notice of claims
10.27for legal services or disbursements, the claim shall be a lien against the amount paid or
10.28payable as compensation. Subject to the foregoing maximum amount for attorney fees, up
10.29to 25 20 percent of the first $4,000 $130,000 of periodic compensation awarded to the
10.30employee and 20 percent of the next $60,000 of periodic compensation awarded to the
10.31employee may be withheld from the periodic payments for attorney fees or disbursements
10.32if the payor of the funds clearly indicates on the check or draft issued to the employee for
10.33payment the purpose of the withholding, the name of the attorney, the amount withheld,
10.34and the gross amount of the compensation payment before withholding. In no case
10.35shall fees be calculated on the basis of any undisputed portion of compensation awards.
10.36Allowable fees under this chapter shall be based solely upon genuinely disputed claims or
11.1portions of claims, including disputes related to the payment of rehabilitation benefits or
11.2to other aspects of a rehabilitation plan. The existence of a dispute is dependent upon a
11.3disagreement after the employer or insurer has had adequate time and information to take
11.4a position on liability. Neither the holding of a hearing nor the filing of an application for a
11.5hearing alone may determine the existence of a dispute. Except where the employee is
11.6represented by an attorney in other litigation pending at the department or at the Office
11.7of Administrative Hearings, a fee may not be charged after June 1, 1996, for services
11.8with respect to a medical or rehabilitation issue arising under section 176.102, 176.135,
11.9or 176.136 performed before the employee has consulted with the department and the
11.10department certifies that there is a dispute and that it has tried to resolve the dispute.
11.11(d) An attorney who is claiming legal fees for representing an employee in a workers'
11.12compensation matter shall file a statement of attorney fees with the commissioner,
11.13compensation judge before whom the matter was heard, or Workers' Compensation Court
11.14of Appeals on cases before the court. A copy of the signed retainer agreement shall also
11.15be filed. The employee and insurer shall receive a copy of the statement. The statement
11.16shall be on a form prescribed by the commissioner and shall report the number of hours
11.17spent on the case.
11.18(e) Employers and insurers may not pay attorney fees or wages for legal services
11.19of more than $13,000 $26,000 per case.
11.20(f) An attorney must file a statement of attorney fees within 12 months of the date
11.21the attorney has submitted the written notice specified in paragraph (c). If the attorney
11.22has not filed a statement of attorney fees within the 12 months, the attorney must send a
11.23renewed notice of lien to the insurer. If 12 months have elapsed since the last notice of
11.24lien has been received by the insurer and no statement of attorney fees has been filed, the
11.25insurer must release the withheld money to the employee, except that before releasing the
11.26money to the employee, the insurer must give the attorney 30 days' written notice of the
11.27pending release. The insurer must not release the money if the attorney files a statement of
11.28attorney fees within the 30 days.

11.29    Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.081, subdivision 7, is amended to read:
11.30    Subd. 7. Award; additional amount. If the employer or insurer files a denial of
11.31liability, notice of discontinuance, or fails to make payment of compensation or medical
11.32expenses within the statutory period after notice of injury or occupational disease, or
11.33otherwise unsuccessfully resists the payment of compensation or medical expenses,
11.34or unsuccessfully disputes the payment of rehabilitation benefits or other aspects of
11.35a rehabilitation plan, and the injured person has employed an attorney at law, who
12.1successfully procures payment on behalf of the employee or who enables the resolution of
12.2a dispute with respect to a rehabilitation plan, the compensation judge, commissioner, or
12.3the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals upon appeal, upon application, shall award
12.4to the employee against the insurer or self-insured employer or uninsured employer, in
12.5addition to the compensation benefits paid or awarded to the employee, an amount equal
12.6to 30 percent of that portion of the attorney's fee which has been awarded pursuant to this
12.7section that is in excess of $250. This subdivision shall apply only to contingent fees
12.8payable from the employee's compensation benefits, and not to other fees paid by the
12.9employer and insurer, including but not limited to those fees payable for resolution of a
12.10medical dispute or rehabilitation dispute, or pursuant to section 176.191.

12.11    Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.101, subdivision 1, is amended to read:
12.12    Subdivision 1. Temporary total disability. (a) For injury producing temporary total
12.13disability, the compensation is 66-2/3 percent of the weekly wage at the time of injury.
12.14(b)(1) Commencing on October 1, 2008 2013, and each October 1 thereafter, the
12.15maximum weekly compensation payable is $850 per week 102 percent of the statewide
12.16average weekly wage for the period ending December 31 of the preceding year.
12.17(2) The Workers' Compensation Advisory Council may consider adjustment
12.18increases and make recommendations to the legislature.
12.19(c) The minimum weekly compensation payable is $130 per week or the injured
12.20employee's actual weekly wage, whichever is less.
12.21(d) Temporary total compensation shall be paid during the period of disability
12.22subject to the cessation and recommencement conditions in paragraphs (e) to (l).
12.23(e) Temporary total disability compensation shall cease when the employee returns
12.24to work. Except as otherwise provided in section 176.102, subdivision 11, temporary
12.25total disability compensation may only be recommenced following cessation under this
12.26paragraph, paragraph (h), or paragraph (j) prior to payment of 130 weeks of temporary
12.27total disability compensation and only as follows:
12.28(1) if temporary total disability compensation ceased because the employee returned
12.29to work, it may be recommenced if the employee is laid off or terminated for reasons other
12.30than misconduct if the layoff or termination occurs prior to 90 days after the employee
12.31has reached maximum medical improvement. Recommenced temporary total disability
12.32compensation under this clause ceases when any of the cessation events in paragraphs
12.33(e) to (l) occurs; or
12.34(2) if temporary total disability compensation ceased because the employee returned
12.35to work or ceased under paragraph (h) or (j), it may be recommenced if the employee is
13.1medically unable to continue at a job due to the injury. Where the employee is medically
13.2unable to continue working due to the injury, temporary total disability compensation
13.3may continue until any of the cessation events in paragraphs (e) to (l) occurs following
13.4recommencement. If an employee who has not yet received temporary total disability
13.5compensation becomes medically unable to continue working due to the injury after
13.6reaching maximum medical improvement, temporary total disability compensation shall
13.7commence and shall continue until any of the events in paragraphs (e) to (l) occurs
13.8following commencement. For purposes of commencement or recommencement under
13.9this clause only, a new period of maximum medical improvement under paragraph
13.10(j) begins when the employee becomes medically unable to continue working due to
13.11the injury. Temporary total disability compensation may not be recommenced under
13.12this clause and a new period of maximum medical improvement does not begin if the
13.13employee is not actively employed when the employee becomes medically unable to
13.14work. All periods of initial and recommenced temporary total disability compensation are
13.15included in the 130-week limitation specified in paragraph (k).
13.16(f) Temporary total disability compensation shall cease if the employee withdraws
13.17from the labor market. Temporary total disability compensation may be recommenced
13.18following cessation under this paragraph only if the employee reenters the labor market
13.19prior to 90 days after the employee reached maximum medical improvement and prior to
13.20payment of 130 weeks of temporary total disability compensation. Once recommenced,
13.21temporary total disability ceases when any of the cessation events in paragraphs (e) to
13.22(l) occurs.
13.23(g) Temporary total disability compensation shall cease if the total disability ends
13.24and the employee fails to diligently search for appropriate work within the employee's
13.25physical restrictions. Temporary total disability compensation may be recommenced
13.26following cessation under this paragraph only if the employee begins diligently searching
13.27for appropriate work within the employee's physical restrictions prior to 90 days after
13.28maximum medical improvement and prior to payment of 130 weeks of temporary total
13.29disability compensation. Once recommenced, temporary total disability compensation
13.30ceases when any of the cessation events in paragraphs (e) to (l) occurs.
13.31(h) Temporary total disability compensation shall cease if the employee has been
13.32released to work without any physical restrictions caused by the work injury.
13.33(i) Temporary total disability compensation shall cease if the employee refuses an
13.34offer of work that is consistent with a plan of rehabilitation filed with the commissioner
13.35which meets the requirements of section 176.102, subdivision 4, or, if no plan has been
13.36filed, the employee refuses an offer of gainful employment that the employee can do in the
14.1employee's physical condition. Once temporary total disability compensation has ceased
14.2under this paragraph, it may not be recommenced.
14.3(j) Temporary total disability compensation shall cease 90 days after the employee
14.4has reached maximum medical improvement, except as provided in section 176.102,
14.5subdivision 11, paragraph (b)
. For purposes of this subdivision, the 90-day period after
14.6maximum medical improvement commences on the earlier of: (1) the date that the
14.7employee receives a written medical report indicating that the employee has reached
14.8maximum medical improvement; or (2) the date that the employer or insurer serves the
14.9report on the employee and the employee's attorney, if any. Once temporary total disability
14.10compensation has ceased under this paragraph, it may not be recommenced except if the
14.11employee returns to work and is subsequently medically unable to continue working
14.12as provided in paragraph (e), clause (2).
14.13(k) Temporary total disability compensation shall cease entirely when 130 weeks
14.14of temporary total disability compensation have been paid, except as provided in section
14.15176.102, subdivision 11, paragraph (b) . Notwithstanding anything in this section to the
14.16contrary, initial and recommenced temporary total disability compensation combined shall
14.17not be paid for more than 130 weeks, regardless of the number of weeks that have elapsed
14.18since the injury, except that if the employee is in a retraining plan approved under section
14.19176.102, subdivision 11 , the 130-week limitation shall not apply during the retraining, but
14.20is subject to the limitation before the plan begins and after the plan ends.
14.21(l) Paragraphs (e) to (k) do not limit other grounds under law to suspend or
14.22discontinue temporary total disability compensation provided under this chapter.
14.23(m) Once an employee has been paid 52 weeks of temporary total compensation,
14.24the employer or insurer must notify the employee in writing of the 130-week limitation
14.25on payment of temporary total compensation. A copy of this notice must also be filed
14.26with the department.

14.27    Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.102, subdivision 5, is amended to read:
14.28    Subd. 5. On-the-job training; job development limitation. (a) On-the-job training
14.29is to be given consideration in developing a rehabilitation plan especially where it would
14.30produce an economic status similar to that enjoyed prior to disability.
14.31(b) For purposes of this subdivision, job development means systematic contact with
14.32prospective employers resulting in opportunities for interviews and employment that
14.33might not otherwise have existed, and includes identification of job leads and arranging
14.34for job interviews. Job development facilitates a prospective employer's consideration
14.35of a qualified employee for employment. Job development services provided by a
15.1qualified rehabilitation consultant firm or a registered rehabilitation vendor must not
15.2exceed 20 hours per month or 26 consecutive or intermittent weeks. When 13 consecutive
15.3or intermittent weeks of job development services have been provided, the qualified
15.4rehabilitation consultant must consult with the parties and either file a plan amendment
15.5reflecting an agreement by the parties to extend job development services for up to
15.6an additional 13 consecutive or intermittent weeks, or file a request for a rehabilitation
15.7conference under section 176.106. The commissioner or compensation judge may issue an
15.8order modifying the rehabilitation plan or make other determinations about the employee's
15.9rehabilitation, but must not order more than 26 total consecutive or intermittent weeks of
15.10job development services.

15.11    Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.102, subdivision 10, is amended to read:
15.12    Subd. 10. Rehabilitation; consultants and vendors. (a) The commissioner shall
15.13approve rehabilitation consultants who may propose and implement plans if they satisfy
15.14rules adopted by the commissioner for rehabilitation consultants. A consultant may be an
15.15individual or public or private entity, and except for rehabilitation services, Department of
15.16Employment and Economic Development, a consultant may not be a vendor or the agent
15.17of a vendor of rehabilitation services. The commissioner shall also approve rehabilitation
15.18vendors if they satisfy rules adopted by the commissioner.
15.19(b) An individual qualified rehabilitation consultant registered by the commissioner
15.20must not provide any medical, rehabilitation, or disability case management services related
15.21to an injury that is compensable under this chapter when these services are part of the same
15.22claim, unless the case management services are part of an approved rehabilitation plan.

15.23    Sec. 8. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.106, subdivision 3, is amended to read:
15.24    Subd. 3. Conference. The matter shall be scheduled for an administrative
15.25conference within 60 days after receipt of the request for a conference, except that an
15.26administrative conference on a rehabilitation issue under section 176.102 must be held
15.27within 21 days, unless the issue involves only fees for rehabilitation services that have
15.28already been provided or there is good cause for holding the conference later than 21
15.29days. If there is a rehabilitation plan in effect, the qualified rehabilitation consultant must
15.30continue to provide reasonable services under the plan until the date the conference was
15.31initially scheduled to be held. Notice of the conference shall be served on all parties no
15.32later than 14 days prior to the conference, unless the commissioner or compensation judge
15.33determines that a conference shall not be held. The commissioner or compensation judge
16.1may order an administrative conference before the commissioner's designee whether or
16.2not a request for conference is filed.
16.3The commissioner or compensation judge may refuse to hold an administrative
16.4conference and refer the matter for a settlement or pretrial conference or may certify the
16.5matter to the Office of Administrative Hearings for a full hearing before a compensation
16.6judge.

16.7    Sec. 9. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.136, subdivision 1b, is amended to read:
16.8    Subd. 1b. Limitation of liability. (a) The liability of the employer for treatment,
16.9articles, and supplies provided to an employee while an inpatient or outpatient at a small
16.10hospital shall be the hospital's usual and customary charge, unless the charge is determined
16.11by the commissioner or a compensation judge to be unreasonably excessive. A "small
16.12hospital," for purposes of this paragraph, is a hospital which has 100 or fewer licensed beds.
16.13(b) The liability of the employer for the treatment, articles, and supplies that are
16.14not limited by subdivision 1a or 1c or paragraph (a) shall be limited to 85 percent of
16.15the provider's usual and customary charge, or 85 percent of the prevailing charges for
16.16similar treatment, articles, and supplies furnished to an injured person when paid for by
16.17the injured person, whichever is lower. On this basis, the commissioner or compensation
16.18judge may determine the reasonable value of all treatment, services, and supplies, and
16.19the liability of the employer is limited to that amount. The commissioner may by rule
16.20establish the reasonable value of a service, article, or supply in lieu of the 85 percent
16.21limitation in this paragraph. A prevailing charge established under Minnesota Rules,
16.22part 5221.0500, subpart 2, must be based on no more than two years of billing data
16.23immediately preceding the date of the service.
16.24(c) The limitation of liability for charges provided by paragraph (b) does not apply
16.25to a nursing home that participates in the medical assistance program and whose rates are
16.26established by the commissioner of human services.
16.27(d) An employer's liability for treatment, articles, and supplies provided under this
16.28chapter by a health care provider located outside of Minnesota is limited to the payment that
16.29the health care provider would receive if the treatment, article, or supply were paid under
16.30the workers' compensation law of the jurisdiction in which the treatment was provided.

16.31    Sec. 10. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.645, is amended to read:
16.32176.645 ADJUSTMENT OF BENEFITS.
16.33    Subdivision 1. Amount. For injuries occurring after October 1, 1975, for which
16.34benefits are payable under section 176.101, subdivisions 1, 2 and 4, and section 176.111,
17.1subdivision 5
, the total benefits due the employee or any dependents shall be adjusted in
17.2accordance with this section. On October 1, 1981, and thereafter on the anniversary of
17.3the date of the employee's injury the total benefits due shall be adjusted by multiplying
17.4the total benefits due prior to each adjustment by a fraction, the denominator of which
17.5is the statewide average weekly wage for December 31, of the year two years previous
17.6to the adjustment and the numerator of which is the statewide average weekly wage for
17.7December 31, of the year previous to the adjustment. For injuries occurring after October
17.81, 1975, all adjustments provided for in this section shall be included in computing
17.9any benefit due under this section. Any limitations of amounts due for daily or weekly
17.10compensation under this chapter shall not apply to adjustments made under this section.
17.11No adjustment increase made on or after October 1, 1977, but prior to October 1,
17.121992, under this section shall exceed six percent a year; in those instances where the
17.13adjustment under the formula of this section would exceed this maximum, the increase
17.14shall be deemed to be six percent. No adjustment increase made on or after October 1,
17.151992, under this section shall exceed four percent a year; in those instances where the
17.16adjustment under the formula of this section would exceed this maximum, the increase
17.17shall be deemed to be four percent. For injuries occurring on and after October 1, 1995, no
17.18adjustment increase made on or after October 1, 1995, shall exceed two percent a year;
17.19in those instances where the adjustment under the formula of this section would exceed
17.20this maximum, the increase shall be deemed to be two percent. For injuries occurring on
17.21and after October 1, 2013, no adjustment increase shall exceed three percent a year. If
17.22the adjustment under the formula of this section would exceed three percent, the increase
17.23shall be three percent. No adjustment under this section shall be less than zero percent.
17.24The Workers' Compensation Advisory Council may consider adjustment or other further
17.25increases and make recommendations to the legislature.
17.26    Subd. 2. Time of first adjustment. For injuries occurring on or after October 1,
17.271981, the initial adjustment made pursuant to subdivision 1 is deferred until the first
17.28anniversary of the date of the injury. For injuries occurring on or after October 1, 1992,
17.29the initial adjustment under subdivision 1 is deferred until the second anniversary of the
17.30date of the injury. The adjustment made at that time shall be that of the last year only. For
17.31injuries occurring on or after October 1, 1995, the initial adjustment under subdivision 1 is
17.32deferred until the fourth anniversary of the date of injury. The adjustment at that time shall
17.33be that of the last year only. For injuries occurring on or after October 1, 2013, the initial
17.34adjustment under subdivision 1 is deferred until the third anniversary of the date of injury.
17.35The adjustment made at that time shall be that of the last year only.

18.1    Sec. 11. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 176.83, subdivision 5, is amended to read:
18.2    Subd. 5. Treatment standards for medical services. (a) In consultation with the
18.3Medical Services Review Board or the rehabilitation review panel, the commissioner shall
18.4adopt rules establishing standards and procedures for health care provider treatment. The
18.5rules shall apply uniformly to all providers including those providing managed care under
18.6section 176.1351. The rules shall be used to determine whether a provider of health
18.7care services and rehabilitation services, including a provider of medical, chiropractic,
18.8podiatric, surgical, hospital, or other services, is performing procedures or providing
18.9services at a level or with a frequency that is excessive, unnecessary, or inappropriate
18.10under section 176.135, subdivision 1, based upon accepted medical standards for quality
18.11health care and accepted rehabilitation standards.
18.12(b) The rules shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
18.13(1) criteria for diagnosis and treatment of the most common work-related injuries
18.14including, but not limited to, low back injuries and upper extremity repetitive trauma
18.15injuries;
18.16(2) criteria for surgical procedures including, but not limited to, diagnosis, prior
18.17conservative treatment, supporting diagnostic imaging and testing, and anticipated
18.18outcome criteria;
18.19(3) criteria for use of appliances, adaptive equipment, and use of health clubs or
18.20other exercise facilities;
18.21(4) criteria for diagnostic imaging procedures;
18.22(5) criteria for inpatient hospitalization; and
18.23(6) criteria for treatment of chronic pain; and
18.24(7) criteria for the long-term use of opioids or other scheduled medications to
18.25alleviate intractable pain and improve function, including the use of written contracts
18.26between the injured worker and the health care provider who prescribes the medication.
18.27(c) If it is determined by the payer that the level, frequency, or cost of a procedure or
18.28service of a provider is excessive, unnecessary, or inappropriate according to the standards
18.29established by the rules, the provider shall not be paid for the procedure, service, or cost
18.30by an insurer, self-insurer, or group self-insurer, and the provider shall not be reimbursed
18.31or attempt to collect reimbursement for the procedure, service, or cost from any other
18.32source, including the employee, another insurer, the special compensation fund, or any
18.33government program unless the commissioner or compensation judge determines at a
18.34hearing or administrative conference that the level, frequency, or cost was not excessive
18.35under the rules in which case the insurer, self-insurer, or group self-insurer shall make
18.36the payment deemed reasonable.
19.1(d) A rehabilitation provider who is determined by the rehabilitation review panel
19.2board, after hearing, to be consistently performing procedures or providing services at an
19.3excessive level or cost may be prohibited from receiving any further reimbursement for
19.4procedures or services provided under this chapter. A prohibition imposed on a provider
19.5under this subdivision may be grounds for revocation or suspension of the provider's
19.6license or certificate of registration to provide health care or rehabilitation service in
19.7Minnesota by the appropriate licensing or certifying body. The commissioner and Medical
19.8Services Review Board shall review excessive, inappropriate, or unnecessary health care
19.9provider treatment under section 176.103.

19.10    Sec. 12. PATIENT ADVOCATE PILOT PROGRAM.
19.11The commissioner of labor and industry shall implement a two-year patient
19.12advocate program for employees with back injuries who are considering back fusion
19.13surgery. The purpose of the program is to ensure that injured workers understand their
19.14treatment options and receive treatment for their work injuries according to accepted
19.15medical standards. The services provided by the patient advocate shall be paid for from
19.16the special compensation fund.

19.17    Sec. 13. REIMBURSEMENT COST STUDY.
19.18The commissioner of labor and industry shall study the effectiveness and costs of
19.19potential reforms and barriers within the workers' compensation carrier and health care
19.20provider reimbursement system, including, but not limited to, carrier administrative costs,
19.21prompt payment, uniform claim components, and the effect on provider reimbursements
19.22and injured worker co-payments of implementing the subjects studied. The commissioner
19.23shall consult with interested stakeholders including health care providers, workers'
19.24compensation insurance carriers, and representatives of business and labor to provide
19.25relevant data promptly to the department to complete the study. The commissioner shall
19.26report findings and recommendations to the Workers' Compensation Advisory Council
19.27by December 31, 2013.
19.28EFFECTIVE DATE.This section is effective the day following final enactment.

19.29    Sec. 14. EFFECTIVE DATE.
19.30(a) Sections 1 to 6 and 10 are effective for employees with dates of injury occurring
19.31on or after October 1, 2013.
19.32(b) Sections 7, 8, and 12 are effective on October 1, 2013.
20.1(c) Section 9 is effective on October 1, 2013, and shall be used to establish prevailing
20.2charges on or after that date.
20.3(d) Section 11 is effective October 1, 2013, and applies to employees with all dates
20.4of injury who receive treatment after the rules are adopted.

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569