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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

                            CHAPTER 123-S.F.No. 2046 
                  An act relating to workers' compensation; making 
                  technical changes; requiring interest earned on 
                  revenue collected by the special compensation fund to 
                  be deposited into the fund; extending a pilot program; 
                  providing for payment of various penalties to the 
                  commissioner of labor and industry; amending Minnesota 
                  Statutes 2000, sections 176.042, subdivision 2; 
                  176.102, subdivisions 3a, 11, 14; 176.103, subdivision 
                  3; 176.129, subdivisions 10, 13, by adding a 
                  subdivision; 176.1351, subdivision 5; 176.138; 
                  176.1812, subdivision 6; 176.191, subdivision 1a; 
                  176.192; 176.194, subdivision 4; 176.221, subdivisions 
                  1, 3, 3a, 6; 176.231, subdivisions 2, 6, 10; 176.238, 
                  subdivision 10; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2000, 
                  section 176.445. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.042, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [EXCEPTION.] An independent contractor, as 
        described in subdivision 1, is not an employee of an employer 
        for whom the independent contractor performs work or services if 
        the independent contractor meets all of the following conditions:
           (1) maintains a separate business with the independent 
        contractor's own office, equipment, materials, and other 
        facilities; 
           (2) holds or has applied for a federal employer 
        identification number or has filed business or self-employment 
        income tax returns with the federal Internal Revenue Service 
        based on that work or service in the previous year; 
           (3) operates under contracts to perform specific services 
        or work for specific amounts of money and under which the 
        independent contractor controls the means of performing the 
        services or work; 
           (4) incurs the main expenses related to the service or work 
        that the independent contractor performs under contract; 
           (5) is responsible for the satisfactory completion of work 
        or services that the independent contractor contracts to perform 
        and is liable for a failure to complete the work or service; 
           (6) receives compensation for work or service performed 
        under a contract on a commission or per-job or competitive bid 
        basis and not on any other basis; 
           (7) may realize a profit or suffer a loss under contracts 
        to perform work or service; 
           (8) has continuing or recurring business liabilities or 
        obligations; and 
           (9) the success or failure of the independent contractor's 
        business depends on the relationship of business receipts to 
        expenditures. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.102, 
        subdivision 3a, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3a.  [DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS.] The panel has authority 
        to discipline qualified rehabilitation consultants and vendors 
        and may impose a penalty of up to $3,000 per violation, payable 
        to the commissioner for deposit in the special compensation 
        fund, and may suspend or revoke certification.  Complaints 
        against registered qualified rehabilitation consultants and 
        vendors shall be made to the commissioner who shall investigate 
        all complaints.  If the investigation indicates a violation of 
        this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter, the 
        commissioner may initiate a contested case proceeding under the 
        provisions of chapter 14.  In these cases, the rehabilitation 
        review panel shall make the final decision following receipt of 
        the report of an administrative law judge.  The decision of the 
        panel is appealable to the workers' compensation court of 
        appeals in the manner provided by section 176.421.  The panel 
        shall continuously study rehabilitation services and delivery, 
        develop and recommend rehabilitation rules to the commissioner, 
        and assist the commissioner in accomplishing public education. 
           The commissioner may appoint alternates for one-year terms 
        to serve as a member when a member is unavailable.  The number 
        of alternates shall not exceed one labor member, one employer or 
        insurer member, and one member representing medicine, 
        chiropractic, or rehabilitation. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.102, 
        subdivision 11, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 11.  [RETRAINING; COMPENSATION.] (a) Retraining is 
        limited to 156 weeks.  An employee who has been approved for 
        retraining may petition the commissioner or compensation judge 
        for additional compensation not to exceed 25 percent of the 
        compensation otherwise payable.  If the commissioner or 
        compensation judge determines that this additional compensation 
        is warranted due to unusual or unique circumstances of the 
        employee's retraining plan, the commissioner may award 
        additional compensation in an amount not to exceed the 
        employee's request.  This additional compensation shall cease at 
        any time the commissioner or compensation judge determines the 
        special circumstances are no longer present.  
           (b) If the employee is not employed during a retraining 
        plan that has been specifically approved under this section, 
        temporary total compensation is payable for up to 90 days after 
        the end of the retraining plan; except that, payment during the 
        90-day period is subject to cessation in accordance with section 
        176.101.  If the employee is employed during the retraining plan 
        but earning less than at the time of injury, temporary partial 
        compensation is payable at the rate of 66-2/3 percent of the 
        difference between the employee's weekly wage at the time of 
        injury and the weekly wage the employee is able to earn in the 
        employee's partially disabled condition, subject to the maximum 
        rate for temporary total compensation.  Temporary partial 
        compensation is not subject to the 225-week or 450-week 
        limitations provided by section 176.101, subdivision 2, during 
        the retraining plan, but is subject to those limitations before 
        and after the plan. 
           (c) Any request for retraining shall be filed with the 
        commissioner before 156 weeks of any combination of temporary 
        total or temporary partial compensation have been paid. 
        Retraining shall not be available after 156 weeks of any 
        combination of temporary total or temporary partial compensation 
        benefits have been paid unless the request for the retraining 
        has been filed with the commissioner prior to the time the 156 
        weeks of compensation have been paid.  
           (d) The employer or insurer must notify the employee in 
        writing of the 156-week limitation for filing a request for 
        retraining with the commissioner.  This notice must be given 
        before 80 weeks of temporary total disability or temporary 
        partial disability compensation have been paid, regardless of 
        the number of weeks that have elapsed since the date of injury.  
        If the notice is not given before the 80 weeks, the period of 
        time within which to file a request for retraining is extended 
        by the number of days the notice is late, but in no event may a 
        request be filed later than 225 weeks after any combination of 
        temporary total disability or temporary partial disability 
        compensation have been paid.  The commissioner may assess a 
        penalty of $25 per day that the notice is late, up to a maximum 
        penalty of $2,000, against an employer or insurer for failure to 
        provide the notice.  The penalty is payable to the commissioner 
        for deposit in the assigned risk safety account. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.102, 
        subdivision 14, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 14.  [FEES.] The commissioner shall impose fees 
        sufficient to cover the cost of approving and monitoring 
        qualified rehabilitation consultants, consultant firms, and 
        vendors of rehabilitation services.  These fees are payable to 
        the commissioner for deposit in the special compensation fund. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.103, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [MEDICAL SERVICES REVIEW BOARD; SELECTION; 
        POWERS.] (a) There is created a medical services review board 
        composed of the commissioner or the commissioner's designee as 
        an ex officio member, two persons representing chiropractic, one 
        person representing hospital administrators, one physical 
        therapist, one registered nurse, and six physicians representing 
        different specialties which the commissioner determines are the 
        most frequently utilized by injured employees.  The board shall 
        also have one person representing employees, one person 
        representing employers or insurers, and one person representing 
        the general public.  The members shall be appointed by the 
        commissioner and shall be governed by section 15.0575.  Terms of 
        the board's members may be renewed.  The board may appoint from 
        its members whatever subcommittees it deems appropriate.  
           The commissioner may appoint alternates for one-year terms 
        to serve as a member when a member is unavailable.  The number 
        of alternates shall not exceed one chiropractor, one physical 
        therapist, one registered nurse, one hospital administrator, 
        three physicians, one employee representative, one employer or 
        insurer representative, and one representative of the general 
        public. 
           The board shall review clinical results for adequacy and 
        recommend to the commissioner scales for disabilities and 
        apportionment.  
           The board shall review and recommend to the commissioner 
        rates for individual clinical procedures and aggregate costs.  
        The board shall assist the commissioner in accomplishing public 
        education.  
           In evaluating the clinical consequences of the services 
        provided to an employee by a clinical health care provider, the 
        board shall consider the following factors in the priority 
        listed:  
           (1) the clinical effectiveness of the treatment; 
           (2) the clinical cost of the treatment; and 
           (3) the length of time of treatment.  
           The board shall advise the commissioner on the adoption of 
        rules regarding all aspects of medical care and services 
        provided to injured employees.  
           (b) The medical services review board may upon petition 
        from the commissioner and after hearing, issue a warning, a 
        penalty of $200 per violation, a restriction on providing 
        treatment that requires preauthorization by the board, 
        commissioner, or compensation judge for a plan of treatment, 
        disqualify, or suspend a provider from receiving payment for 
        services rendered under this chapter if a provider has violated 
        any part of this chapter or rule adopted under this chapter, or 
        where there has been a pattern of, or an egregious case of, 
        inappropriate, unnecessary, or excessive treatment by a provider.
        The hearings are initiated by the commissioner under the 
        contested case procedures of chapter 14.  The board shall make 
        the final decision following receipt of the recommendation of 
        the administrative law judge.  The board's decision is 
        appealable to the workers' compensation court of appeals in the 
        manner provided by section 176.421. 
           (c) The board may adopt rules of procedure.  The rules may 
        be joint rules with the rehabilitation review panel.  
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.129, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 1a.  [INTEREST.] Interest earned on revenue collected 
        by the special compensation fund shall be deposited into the 
        special compensation fund. 
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.129, 
        subdivision 10, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 10.  [PENALTY.] Sums paid to the commissioner 
        pursuant to this section shall be in the manner prescribed by 
        the commissioner.  The commissioner may impose a penalty payable 
        to the commissioner for deposit in the assigned risk safety 
        account of up to 15 percent of the amount due under this section 
        but not less than $1,000 in the event payment is not made in the 
        manner prescribed.  
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.129, 
        subdivision 13, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 13.  [EMPLOYER REPORTS.] All employers and insurers 
        shall make reports to the commissioner as required for the 
        proper administration of this section and Minnesota Statutes 
        1990, section 176.131, and Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 
        176.132.  Employers and insurers may not be reimbursed from the 
        special compensation fund for any periods for which the employer 
        has not properly filed reports as required by this section and 
        made all payments due unless the employer or insurer is up to 
        date with all past due and currently due assessments, penalties, 
        and reports to the special compensation fund under subdivision 3.
           Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.1351, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [REVOCATION, SUSPENSION, AND REFUSAL TO CERTIFY; 
        PENALTIES AND ENFORCEMENT.] (a) The commissioner shall refuse to 
        certify or shall revoke or suspend the certification of a 
        managed care plan if the commissioner finds that the plan for 
        providing medical or health care services fails to meet the 
        requirements of this section, or service under the plan is not 
        being provided in accordance with the terms of a certified plan. 
           (b) In lieu of or in addition to suspension or revocation 
        under paragraph (a), the commissioner may, for any noncompliance 
        with the managed care plan as certified or any violation of a 
        statute or rule applicable to a managed care plan, assess an 
        administrative penalty payable to the commissioner for deposit 
        in the special compensation fund in an amount up to $25,000 for 
        each violation or incidence of noncompliance.  The commissioner 
        may adopt rules necessary to implement this subdivision.  In 
        determining the level of an administrative penalty, the 
        commissioner shall consider the following factors: 
           (1) the number of workers affected or potentially affected 
        by the violation or noncompliance; 
           (2) the effect or potential effect of the violation or 
        noncompliance on workers' health, access to health services, or 
        workers' compensation benefits; 
           (3) the effect or potential effect of the violation or 
        noncompliance on workers' understanding of their rights and 
        obligations under the workers' compensation law and rules; 
           (4) whether the violation or noncompliance is an isolated 
        incident or part of a pattern of violations; and 
           (5) the potential or actual economic benefits derived by 
        the managed care plan or a participating provider by virtue of 
        the violation or noncompliance. 
           The commissioner shall give written notice to the managed 
        care plan of the penalty assessment and the reasons for the 
        penalty.  The managed care plan has 30 days from the date the 
        penalty notice is issued within which to file a written request 
        for an administrative hearing and review of the commissioner's 
        determination pursuant to section 176.85, subdivision 1. 
           (c) If the commissioner, for any reason, has cause to 
        believe that a managed care plan has or may violate a statute or 
        rule or a provision of the managed care plan as certified, the 
        commissioner may, before commencing action under paragraph (a) 
        or (b), call a conference with the managed care plan and other 
        persons who may be involved in the suspected violation or 
        noncompliance for the purpose of ascertaining the facts relating 
        to the suspected violation or noncompliance and arriving at an 
        adequate and effective means of correcting or preventing the 
        violation or noncompliance.  The commissioner may enter into 
        stipulated consent agreements with the managed care plan for 
        corrective or preventive action or the amount of the penalty to 
        be paid.  Proceedings under this paragraph shall not be governed 
        by any formal procedural requirements, and may be conducted in a 
        manner the commissioner deems appropriate under the 
        circumstances. 
           (d) The commissioner may issue an order directing a managed 
        care plan or a representative of a managed care plan to cease 
        and desist from engaging in any act or practice that is not in 
        compliance with the managed care plan as certified, or that it 
        is in violation of an applicable statute or rule.  Within 30 
        days of service of the order, the managed care plan may request 
        review of the cease and desist order by an administrative law 
        judge pursuant to chapter 14.  The decision of the 
        administrative law judge shall include findings of fact, 
        conclusions of law and appropriate orders, which shall be the 
        final decision of the commissioner.  In the event of 
        noncompliance with a cease and desist order, the commissioner 
        may institute a proceeding in district court to obtain 
        injunctive or other appropriate relief. 
           (e) A managed care plan, participating health care 
        provider, or an employer or insurer that receives services from 
        the managed care plan, shall cooperate fully with an 
        investigation by the commissioner.  For purposes of this 
        section, cooperation includes, but is not limited to, attending 
        a conference called by the commissioner under paragraph (c), 
        responding fully and promptly to any questions relating to the 
        subject of the investigation, and providing copies of records, 
        reports, logs, data, and other information requested by the 
        commissioner to assist in the investigation.  
           (f) Any person acting on behalf of a managed care plan who 
        knowingly submits false information in any report required to be 
        filed by a managed care plan is guilty of a misdemeanor. 
           Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, 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.  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 $600 
        payable to the commissioner for deposit in the assigned risk 
        safety account against a party who does not timely release data 
        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 paragraph 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 paragraph has a cause of 
        action for actual damages and punitive damages for a minimum of 
        $5,000. 
           Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.1812, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [PILOT PROGRAM.] The commissioner shall establish 
        a pilot program ending December 31, 2001 2004, in which up 
        to ten 20 private and up to ten 20 public employers shall be 
        authorized to enter into valid agreements under this section 
        with their employees.  The agreements shall be recognized and 
        enforced as provided by this section.  Employers shall 
        participate in the pilot program through collectively bargained 
        agreements with the certified and exclusive representatives of 
        their employees and without regard to the dollar insurance 
        premium limitations in subdivision 1.  A group of employers 
        engaged in workers' compensation group self-insurance complying 
        with chapter 79A, or a group of employers who purchase workers' 
        compensation insurance as a group, may not participate in any 
        pilot program under this subdivision. 
           Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.191, 
        subdivision 1a, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 1a.  [EQUITABLE APPORTIONMENT.] Equitable 
        apportionment of liability for an injury under this chapter is 
        not allowed except that apportionment among employers and 
        insurers is allowed in a settlement agreement filed pursuant to 
        section 176.521, and an employer or insurer may request 
        equitable apportionment of liability for workers' compensation 
        benefits among employer and insurers by arbitration pursuant to 
        subdivision 5.  For purposes of this subdivision, the term 
        "equitable apportionment of liability" shall include all 
        attempts to obtain contribution and/or reimbursement from other 
        employers or insurers.  To the same extent limited by this 
        subdivision, contribution and reimbursement actions based on 
        equitable apportionment are not allowed under this chapter.  If 
        the insurers choose to arbitrate apportionment, contribution, or 
        reimbursement issues pursuant to subdivision 5, the arbitration 
        proceeding is for the limited purpose of apportioning liability 
        for workers' compensation benefits payable among employers and 
        insurers.  This subdivision applies without regard to whether 
        one or more of the injuries results from cumulative trauma or a 
        specific injury, but does not apply to an occupational disease.  
        In the case of an occupational disease, section 176.66 applies.  
        In the arbitration of equitable apportionment under subdivision 
        5, the parties and the arbitrator must be guided by general 
        rules of arbitrator selection and presumptive apportionment 
        among employers and insurers that are developed and approved by 
        the commissioner of the department of labor and industry.  
        Apportionment against preexisting disability is allowed only for 
        permanent partial disability as provided in section 176.101, 
        subdivision 4a.  Nothing in this subdivision shall be 
        interpreted to repeal or in any way affect the law with respect 
        to special compensation fund statutory liability or benefits.  
           Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.192, is 
        amended to read: 
           176.192 [BOMB DISPOSAL UNIT EMPLOYEES.] 
           For purposes of this chapter, a member of a bomb disposal 
        unit approved by the commissioner of public safety and employed 
        by a municipality defined in section 466.01, is considered an 
        employee of the department of public safety solely for the 
        purposes of this chapter when disposing of or neutralizing bombs 
        or other similar hazardous explosives, as defined in section 
        299C.063, for another municipality or otherwise outside the 
        jurisdiction of the employer-municipality but within the state. 
           Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.194, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [PENALTIES.] The penalties for violations of 
        subdivision 3, clauses (1) through (6), are as follows: 
            1st through 5th violation
            of each paragraph                   written warning 
            6th through 10th violation          $3,000 per 
            of each paragraph                   violation 
                                                in excess of five 
            11 or more violations               $6,000 per violation 
            of each paragraph                   in excess of ten 
        For violations of subdivision 3, clauses (7) and (8), the 
        penalties are: 
            1st through 5th violation
            of each paragraph                   $3,000 per violation
            6 or more violations                $6,000 per violation 
            of each paragraph                   in excess of five 
           The penalties under this section may be imposed in addition 
        to other penalties under this chapter that might apply for the 
        same violation.  The penalties under this section are assessed 
        by the commissioner and are payable to the commissioner for 
        deposit in the assigned risk safety account.  A party may object 
        to the penalty and request a formal hearing under section 
        176.85.  If an entity has more than 30 violations within any 
        12-month period, in addition to the monetary penalties provided, 
        the commissioner may refer the matter to the commissioner of 
        commerce with recommendation for suspension or revocation of the 
        entity's (a) license to write workers' compensation insurance; 
        (b) license to administer claims on behalf of a self-insured, 
        the assigned risk plan, or the Minnesota insurance guaranty 
        association; (c) authority to self-insure; or (d) license to 
        adjust claims.  The commissioner of commerce shall follow the 
        procedures specified in section 176.195. 
           Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.221, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [COMMENCEMENT OF PAYMENT.] Within 14 days 
        of notice to or knowledge by the employer of an injury 
        compensable under this chapter the payment of temporary total 
        compensation shall commence.  Within 14 days of notice to or 
        knowledge by an employer of a new period of temporary total 
        disability which is caused by an old injury compensable under 
        this chapter, the payment of temporary total compensation shall 
        commence; provided that the employer or insurer may file for an 
        extension with the commissioner within this 14-day period, in 
        which case the compensation need not commence within the 14-day 
        period but shall commence no later than 30 days from the date of 
        the notice to or knowledge by the employer of the new period of 
        disability.  Commencement of payment by an employer or insurer 
        does not waive any rights to any defense the employer has on any 
        claim or incident either with respect to the compensability of 
        the claim under this chapter or the amount of the compensation 
        due.  Where there are multiple employers, the first employer 
        shall pay, unless it is shown that the injury has arisen out of 
        employment with the second or subsequent employer.  Liability 
        for compensation under this chapter may be denied by the 
        employer or insurer by giving the employee written notice of the 
        denial of liability.  If liability is denied for an injury which 
        is required to be reported to the commissioner under section 
        176.231, subdivision 1, the denial of liability must be filed 
        with the commissioner and served on the employee within 14 days 
        after notice to or knowledge by the employer of an injury which 
        is alleged to be compensable under this chapter.  If the 
        employer or insurer has commenced payment of compensation under 
        this subdivision but determines within 60 days of notice to or 
        knowledge by the employer of the injury that the disability is 
        not a result of a personal injury, payment of compensation may 
        be terminated upon the filing of a notice of denial of liability 
        within 60 days of notice or knowledge.  After the 60-day period, 
        payment may be terminated only by the filing of a notice as 
        provided under section 176.239.  Upon the termination, payments 
        made may be recovered by the employer if the commissioner or 
        compensation judge finds that the employee's claim of work 
        related disability was not made in good faith.  A notice of 
        denial of liability must state in detail the facts forming the 
        basis for the denial and specific reasons explaining why the 
        claimed injury or occupational disease was determined not to be 
        within the scope and course of employment and shall include the 
        name and telephone number of the person making this 
        determination.  
           Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.221, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [PENALTY.] If the employer or insurer does not 
        begin payment of compensation within the time limit prescribed 
        under subdivision 1 or 8, the commissioner may assess a penalty, 
        payable to the commissioner for deposit in the assigned risk 
        safety account, which shall be a percentage of the amount of 
        compensation to which the employee is entitled to receive up to 
        the date compensation payment is made.  
           The amount of penalty shall be determined as follows: 
                  Numbers of days late           Penalty  
                        1 - 15              30 percent of 
                                               compensation due,  
                                               not to exceed $500, 
                       16 - 30              55 percent of 
                                               compensation due, 
                                               not to exceed $1,500,
                       31 - 60              80 percent of 
                                               compensation due, 
                                               not to exceed $3,500,
                       61 or more          105 percent of 
                                               compensation due, 
                                               not to exceed $5,000.
           The penalty under this section is in addition to any 
        penalty otherwise provided by statute.  
           Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.221, 
        subdivision 3a, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3a.  [PENALTY.] In lieu of any other penalty under 
        this section, the commissioner may assess a penalty of up to 
        $2,000 payable to the commissioner for deposit in the assigned 
        risk safety account for each instance in which an employer or 
        insurer does not pay benefits or file a notice of denial of 
        liability within the time limits prescribed under this section.  
           Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.221, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [ASSESSMENT OF PENALTIES.] The division or 
        compensation judge shall assess the penalty payments provided 
        for by subdivision 3 or 3a and any increase in benefit payments 
        provided by section 176.225, subdivision 5, against the insurer. 
        The insurer is liable for a penalty payment assessed against it 
        even if the delay is attributable to the employer. 
           An insurer who has paid a penalty under this section may 
        recover from the employer the portion of the penalty 
        attributable to the acts of the employer which resulted in the 
        delay.  A penalty paid by an insurer under this section which is 
        attributable to the fault of the employer shall be treated as a 
        loss in an experience rated plan, retrospective rating plan, or 
        dividend calculation where appropriate.  
           Sec. 19.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.231, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [INITIAL REPORT, WRITTEN REPORT.] Where 
        subdivision 1 requires an injury to be reported within 48 hours, 
        the employer may make an initial report by telephone, telegraph, 
        or personal notice, and file a written report of the injury 
        within seven days from its occurrence or within such time as the 
        commissioner of labor and industry designates.  All written 
        reports of injuries required by subdivision 1 shall include the 
        date of injury, amounts of payments made, if any, and the date 
        of the first payment.  The reports shall be on a form designed 
        by the commissioner, with a clear copy suitable for imaging to 
        the commissioner, one copy to the insurer, and one copy to the 
        employee. 
           The employer must give the employee the "Minnesota Workers' 
        Compensation System Employee Information Sheet" at the time the 
        employee is given a copy of the first report of injury. 
           If an insurer or self-insurer repeatedly fails to pay 
        benefits within three days of the due date, pursuant to section 
        176.221, the insurer or self-insurer shall be ordered by the 
        commissioner to explain, in person, the failure to pay benefits 
        due in a reasonable time.  If prompt payments are not thereafter 
        made, the commissioner shall refer the insurer or self-insurer 
        to the commissioner of commerce for action pursuant to section 
        176.225, subdivision 4. 
           Sec. 20.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.231, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND 
        INDUSTRY; DUTY TO KEEP INFORMED.] The commissioner of the 
        department of labor and industry shall keep fully informed of 
        the nature and extent of all injuries compensable under this 
        chapter, their resultant disabilities, and of the rights of 
        employees to compensation.  The insurer or self-insured employer 
        must keep the department advised of all payments of 
        compensation, the amounts of payments made, and the date of the 
        first payment.  Where a physician or surgeon has examined, 
        treated, or has special knowledge relating to an injury which 
        may be compensable under this chapter, the commissioner of the 
        department of labor and industry or any member or employee 
        thereof shall request in writing a report from such person of 
        the attendant facts. 
           Sec. 21.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.231, 
        subdivision 10, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 10.  [FAILURE TO FILE REQUIRED REPORT, PENALTY.] If 
        an employer, insurer, physician, chiropractor, or other health 
        provider fails to file with the commissioner any report required 
        by this section in the manner and within the time limitations 
        prescribed, or otherwise fails to provide a report required by 
        this section in the manner provided by this section, the 
        commissioner may impose a penalty of up to $500 for each failure.
           The imposition of a penalty may be appealed to a 
        compensation judge within 30 days of notice of the penalty. 
           Penalties collected by the state under this subdivision 
        shall be paid payable to the commissioner for deposit into the 
        assigned risk safety account. 
           Sec. 22.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.238, 
        subdivision 10, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 10.  [FINES; VIOLATION.] An employer who violates 
        requirements set forth in this section or section 176.239 is 
        subject to a fine of up to $1,000 for each violation payable to 
        the commissioner for deposit in the special compensation fund. 
           Sec. 23.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.445, is repealed. 
           Sec. 24.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Section 23 is effective the day following final enactment. 
           Presented to the governor May 16, 2001 
           Signed by the governor May 18, 2001, 12:20 p.m.