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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1990 

                        CHAPTER 522-S.F.No. 2490 
           An act relating to workers' compensation; including 
          mentally retarded persons and those with related 
          conditions to the list of registrable conditions for 
          the subsequent disability special fund; regulating 
          medical data access; providing for preventative 
          treatment to employees exposed to rabies; regulating 
          notice of insurance coverage and cancellation; 
          amending Minnesota Statutes 1988, sections 176.131, 
          subdivisions 2 and 8; 176.138; 176.185, subdivision 1; 
          Minnesota Statutes 1989 Supplement, section 176.135, 
          subdivision 1. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 176.131, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  If the employee's personal injury results in 
disability or death, and if the injury, death, or disability 
would not have occurred except for the preexisting physical 
impairment registered with the special compensation fund, the 
employer shall pay all compensation provided by this chapter, 
and shall be fully reimbursed from the special compensation fund 
for the compensation except that this full reimbursement shall 
not be made for cardiac disease or a condition registered 
pursuant to subdivision 8, clause (t) (u) or (u) (v), unless the 
commissioner by rule provides otherwise. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 176.131, 
subdivision 8, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 8.  As used in this section the following terms have 
the meanings given them: 
    "Physical impairment" means any physical or mental 
condition that is permanent in nature, whether congenital or due 
to injury, disease or surgery and which is or is likely to be a 
hindrance or obstacle to obtaining employment except that 
physical impairment is limited to the following: 
    (a) Epilepsy, 
    (b) Diabetes, 
    (c) Hemophilia, 
    (d) Cardiac disease, provided that objective medical 
evidence substantiates at least the minimum permanent partial 
disability listed in the workers' compensation permanent partial 
disability schedule, 
    (e) Partial or entire absence of thumb, finger, hand, foot, 
arm or leg, 
    (f) Lack of sight in one or both eyes or vision in either 
eye not correctable to 20/40, 
    (g) Residual disability from poliomyelitis, 
    (h) Cerebral Palsy, 
    (i) Multiple Sclerosis, 
    (j) Parkinson's disease, 
    (k) Cerebral vascular accident, 
    (l) Chronic Osteomyelitis, 
    (m) Muscular Dystrophy, 
    (n) Thrombophlebitis, 
    (o) Brain tumors, 
    (p) Pott's disease, 
    (q) Seizures, 
    (r) Cancer of the bone, 
    (s) Leukemia, 
    (t) Mental retardation or other related conditions, 
    (u) Any other physical impairment resulting in a disability 
rating of at least ten percent of the whole body if the physical 
impairment were evaluated according to standards used in 
workers' compensation proceedings, and 
    (u) (v) Any other physical impairments of a permanent 
nature which the commissioner may by rule prescribe;. 
    "Compensation" has the meaning defined in section 176.011;. 
    "Employer" includes insurer;.  
    "Disability" means, unless otherwise indicated, any 
condition causing either temporary total, temporary partial, 
permanent total, permanent partial, death, medical expense, or 
rehabilitation. 
    "Mental retardation" means significantly subaverage 
intellectual functioning existing concurrently with demonstrated 
deficits in adaptive behavior that require supervision and 
protection for the person's welfare or the public welfare. 
    "Other related conditions" means severe chronic 
disabilities that are (i) attributable to cerebral palsy, 
epilepsy, autism, or any other condition, other than mental 
illness, found to be closely related to mental retardation 
because the condition results in impairment of general 
intellectual functioning or adaptive behavior similar to that of 
persons with mental retardation or requires treatment or 
services similar to those required for persons with mental 
retardation; (ii) likely to continue indefinitely; and (iii) 
result in substantial functional limitations in three or more of 
the following areas of major life activity:  self-care, 
understanding and use of language, learning, mobility, 
self-direction, or capacity for independent living. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1989 Supplement, section 
176.135, subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [MEDICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, CHIROPRACTIC, 
PODIATRIC, SURGICAL, HOSPITAL.] (a) The employer shall furnish 
any medical, psychological, chiropractic, podiatric, surgical 
and hospital treatment, including nursing, medicines, medical, 
chiropractic, podiatric, and surgical supplies, crutches and 
apparatus, including artificial members, or, at the option of 
the employee, if the employer has not filed notice as 
hereinafter provided, Christian Science treatment in lieu of 
medical treatment, chiropractic medicine and medical supplies, 
as may reasonably be required at the time of the injury and any 
time thereafter to cure and relieve from the effects of the 
injury.  This treatment shall include treatments necessary to 
physical rehabilitation.  Exposure to rabies is an injury and an 
employer shall furnish preventative treatment to employees 
exposed to rabies.  The employer shall furnish replacement or 
repair for artificial members, glasses, or spectacles, 
artificial eyes, podiatric orthotics, dental bridge work, 
dentures or artificial teeth, hearing aids, canes, crutches, or 
wheel chairs damaged by reason of an injury arising out of and 
in the course of the employment.  In case of the employer's 
inability or refusal seasonably to do so the employer is liable 
for the reasonable expense incurred by or on behalf of the 
employee in providing the same, including costs of copies of any 
medical records or medical reports that are in existence, 
obtained from health care providers, and that directly relate to 
the items for which payment is sought under this chapter, 
limited to the charges allowed by subdivision 7, and attorney 
fees incurred by the employee.  No action to recover the cost of 
copies may be brought until the commissioner adopts a schedule 
of reasonable charges under subdivision 7.  Attorney's fees 
shall be determined on an hourly basis according to the criteria 
in section 176.081, subdivision 5.  The employer shall pay for 
the reasonable value of nursing services by a member of the 
employee's family in cases of permanent total disability. 
    (b) Both the commissioner and the compensation judges have 
authority to make determinations under this section in 
accordance with sections 176.106 and 176.305.  
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 176.138, is 
amended to read: 
    176.138 [MEDICAL DATA; ACCESS.] 
    (a) Notwithstanding any other state laws related to the 
privacy of medical data or any private agreements to the 
contrary, the release in writing, by telephone discussion, or 
otherwise of medical data related to a current claim for 
compensation under this chapter to the employee, employer, or 
insurer who are parties to the claim, or to the department of 
labor and industry, shall not require prior approval of any 
party to the claim.  This section does not preclude the release 
of medical data under section 175.10 or 176.231, subdivision 9.  
Requests for pertinent data shall be made, and the date of 
discussions with medical providers about medical data shall be 
confirmed, in writing to the person or organization that 
collected or currently possesses the data.  The Written medical 
data that exists at the time the request is made shall be 
provided by the collector or possessor within seven working days 
of receiving the request.  Nonwritten medical data may be 
provided, but is not required to be provided, by the collector 
or possessor.  In all cases of a request for the data or 
discussion with a medical provider about the data, except when 
it is the employee who is making the request, the employee shall 
be sent written notification of the request by the party 
requesting the data at the same time the request is made or a 
written confirmation of the discussion.  This data shall be 
treated as private data by the party who requests or receives 
the data and the party receiving the data shall provide the 
employee or the employee's attorney with a copy of all data 
requested by the requester.  
    (b) Medical data which is not directly related to a current 
injury or disability shall not be released without prior 
authorization of the employee. 
    (c) The commissioner may impose a penalty of up to $200 
payable to the special compensation fund against a party who 
does not timely release the data in a timely manner as required 
in this section.  A party who does not treat this data as 
private pursuant to this section is guilty of a misdemeanor.  
This section clause applies only to written medical data which 
exists at the time the request is made.  
    (d) Workers' compensation insurers and self-insured 
employers may, for the sole purpose of identifying duplicate 
billings submitted to more than one insurer, disclose to health 
insurers, including all insurers writing insurance described in 
section 60A.06, subdivision 1, clause (5)(a), nonprofit health 
service plan corporations subject to chapter 62C, health 
maintenance organizations subject to chapter 62D, and joint 
self-insurance employee health plans subject to chapter 62H, 
computerized information about dates, coded items, and charges 
for medical treatment of employees and other medical billing 
information submitted to them by an employee, employer, health 
care provider, or other insurer in connection with a current 
claim for compensation under this chapter, without prior 
approval of any party to the claim.  The data may not be used by 
the health insurer for any other purpose whatsoever and must be 
destroyed after verification that there has been no duplicative 
billing.  Any person who is the subject of the data which is 
used in a manner not allowed by this section has a cause of 
action for actual damages and punitive damages for a minimum of 
$5,000. 
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 176.185, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [NOTICE OF COVERAGE, TERMINATION, 
CANCELLATION.] (a) Within ten days after the issuance of a 
policy of insurance covering the liability to pay compensation 
under this chapter written by an insurer licensed to insure such 
liability in this state, the insurer shall file notice of 
coverage with the commissioner under rules and on forms 
prescribed by the commissioner.  No policy shall be canceled by 
the insurer within the policy period nor terminated upon its 
expiration date until a notice in writing is delivered or mailed 
to the insured and filed with the commissioner, fixing the date 
on which it is proposed to cancel it, or declaring that the 
insurer does not intend to renew the policy upon the expiration 
date.  A cancellation or termination is not effective until 30 
days after written notice has been filed with the commissioner 
in a manner prescribed by the commissioner unless prior to the 
expiration of the 30-day period the employer obtains other 
insurance coverage or an order exempting the employer from 
carrying insurance as provided in section 176.181.  Upon receipt 
of the notice the commissioner shall notify the insured that the 
insured must obtain coverage from some other licensed carrier 
and that, if unable to do so, the insured shall request the 
commissioner of commerce to require the issuance of a policy as 
provided in section 79.251, subdivision 4.  Upon a cancellation 
or termination of a policy by the insurer the employer is 
entitled to be assigned a policy in accordance with sections 
79.251 and 79.252.  
    (b) Notice of cancellation or termination by the insured 
shall be served upon the insurer by written statement mailed or 
delivered to the insurer.  Upon receipt of the notice the 
insurer shall notify the commissioner of the cancellation or 
termination and the commissioner shall ask the employer for the 
reasons for the cancellation or termination and notify the 
employer of the duty under this chapter to insure the employer's 
employees.  
    (c) In addition to the requirements under paragraphs (a) 
and (b), with respect to any trucker employer in classifications 
7219, 7230, 7231, or 7360 pursuant to the classification plan 
required to be filed under section 79.61, if the insurer or its 
agent has delivered or mailed a written certificate of insurance 
certifying that a policy in the name of a trucker employer under 
this paragraph is in force, then the insurer or its agent shall 
also deliver or mail written notice of any mid-term cancellation 
to the trucker employer recipient of the certificate of 
insurance at the address listed on the certificate.  If an 
insurer or its agent fails to mail or deliver notice of any 
mid-term cancellation of the trucker employer's policy to the 
trucker employer recipient of the certificate of insurance, then 
the special compensation fund shall indemnify and hold harmless 
the recipient from any award of benefits or other damages under 
this chapter resulting from the failure to give notice. 
    Presented to the governor April 24, 1990 
    Signed by the governor April 26, 1990, 11:28 p.m.