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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

                            CHAPTER 262-S.F.No. 3136 
                  An act relating to workers' compensation; modifying 
                  payment provisions; modifying intervention procedures; 
                  changing the calculation of special fund assessments; 
                  amending Minnesota Statutes 2000, sections 176.092, 
                  subdivision 1, by adding a subdivision; 176.106, 
                  subdivision 6; 176.111, subdivision 22; 176.129, 
                  subdivisions 7, 9, by adding subdivisions; 176.130, 
                  subdivisions 8, 9; 176.139, subdivision 2; 176.155, 
                  subdivision 2; 176.181, subdivision 3; 176.182; 
                  176.185, subdivision 5a; 176.194, subdivision 3; 
                  176.361; 176.84, subdivision 2; Minnesota Statutes 
                  2001 Supplement, sections 176.103, subdivision 3; 
                  176.129, subdivisions 10, 13; 176.194, subdivision 4; 
                  repealing Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.129, 
                  subdivisions 3, 4, 4a. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.092, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [WHEN REQUIRED.] An injured employee or a 
        dependent under section 176.111 who is a minor or an 
        incapacitated person as that term is defined in section 525.54, 
        subdivision 2 or 3, shall have a guardian or conservator to 
        represent the interests of the employee or dependent in 
        obtaining compensation according to the provisions of this 
        chapter.  This section applies if the employee receives or is 
        eligible for permanent total disability benefits, supplementary 
        benefits, or permanent partial disability benefits totaling more 
        than $3,000 or a dependent receives or is eligible for 
        dependency benefits, or if the employee or dependent receives or 
        is offered a lump sum that exceeds five times the statewide 
        average weekly wage. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.092, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 1a.  [PARENT AS GUARDIAN.] A parent is presumed to be 
        the guardian for purposes of this section.  Where the parents of 
        the employee are divorced, either parent with legal custody may 
        be considered the guardian for purposes of this section.  
        Notwithstanding subdivision 1, where the employee receives or is 
        eligible for a lump sum payment of permanent total disability 
        benefits, supplementary benefits, or permanent partial 
        disability benefits totaling more than $3,000 or if the employee 
        receives or is offered a settlement that exceeds five times the 
        statewide average weekly wage, the compensation judge shall 
        review such cases to determine whether benefits should be paid 
        in a lump sum or through an annuity. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2001 Supplement, 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.  
        Notwithstanding section 15.059, this board does not expire 
        unless the board no longer fulfills the purpose for which the 
        board was established, the board has not met in the last 18 
        months, or the board does not comply with the registration 
        requirements of section 15.0599, subdivision 3. 
           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.  Any penalties collected under this subdivision shall 
        be payable to the commissioner for deposit in the assigned risk 
        safety account.  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. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.106, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [PENALTY.] At a conference, if the insurer does 
        not provide a specific reason for nonpayment of the items in 
        dispute, the commissioner's designee may assess a penalty of 
        $300 payable to the commissioner for deposit in the assigned 
        risk safety account, unless it is determined that the reason for 
        the lack of specificity was the failure of the insurer, upon 
        timely request, to receive information necessary to remedy the 
        lack of specificity.  This penalty is in addition to any penalty 
        that may be applicable for nonpayment.  
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.111, 
        subdivision 22, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 22.  [PAYMENTS TO ESTATE; DEATH OF EMPLOYEE.] In 
        every case of death of an employee resulting from personal 
        injury arising out of and in the course of employment where 
        there are no persons entitled to monetary benefits of dependency 
        compensation, the employer shall pay to the estate of the 
        deceased employee the sum of $60,000.  This payment must be made 
        within 14 days of notice to the insurer of the appointment of a 
        personal representative of the estate.  Within 14 days of notice 
        to the insurer of the death of the employee, the insurer must 
        send notice to the estate, at the deceased employee's last known 
        address, that this payment will be made after a personal 
        representative has been appointed by a probate court. 
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.129, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 1b.  [DEFINITIONS.] (a) For purposes of this section, 
        the terms defined in this subdivision have the meanings given 
        them. 
           (b) "Paid indemnity losses" means gross benefits paid for 
        temporary total disability, economic recovery compensation, 
        permanent partial disability, temporary partial disability, 
        impairment compensation, permanent total disability, vocational 
        rehabilitation benefits, or dependency benefits, exclusive of 
        medical and supplementary benefits.  In the case of policy 
        deductibles, paid indemnity losses includes all benefits paid, 
        including the amount below deductible limits. 
           (c) "Standard workers' compensation premium" means the data 
        service organization's designated statistical reporting pure 
        premium after the application of experience rating plan 
        adjustments, but prior to the application of premium discounts, 
        policyholder dividends, other premium adjustments, expense 
        constants, and other deviations from the designated statistical 
        reporting pure premium. 
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.129, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 2a.  [PAYMENTS TO FUND.] (a) On or before April 1 of 
        each year, all self-insured employers shall report paid 
        indemnity losses and insurers shall report paid indemnity losses 
        and standard workers' compensation premium in the form and 
        manner prescribed by the commissioner.  On June 1 of each year, 
        the commissioner shall determine the total amount needed to pay 
        all estimated liabilities, including administrative expenses, of 
        the special compensation fund for the following fiscal year.  
        The commissioner shall assess this amount against self-insured 
        employers and insurers.  The total amount of the assessment must 
        be allocated between self-insured employers and insured 
        employers based on paid indemnity losses for the preceding 
        calendar year.  The method of assessing self-insured employers 
        must be based on paid indemnity losses.  The method of assessing 
        insured employers is based on premium, collectible through a 
        policyholder surcharge.  On or before June 30 of each year, the 
        commissioner shall provide notification to each self-insured 
        employer and insurer of amounts due.  At least one-half of the 
        payment shall be made to the commissioner for deposit into the 
        special compensation fund on or before August 1 of the same 
        calendar year.  The remaining balance is due on February 1 of 
        the following calendar year. 
           (b) The portion of the total amount that is collected from 
        self-insured employers is equal to that proportion of the paid 
        indemnity losses for the preceding calendar year, which the paid 
        indemnity losses of all self-insured employers bore to the total 
        paid indemnity losses made by all self-insured employers and 
        insured employers during the preceding calendar year.  The 
        portion of the total amount that is collected from insured 
        employers is equal to that proportion of the total paid 
        indemnity losses on behalf of all insured employers bore to the 
        total paid indemnity losses on behalf of all self-insured 
        employers and insured employers during the preceding calendar 
        year.  The portion of the total assessment allocated to insured 
        employers that is collected from each insured employer must be 
        based on standard workers' compensation premium written in the 
        state during the preceding calendar year.  An employer who has 
        ceased to be self-insured shall continue to be liable for 
        assessments based on paid indemnity losses made by the employer 
        in the preceding calendar year. 
           (c) Insurers shall collect the assessments from their 
        insured employers through a surcharge based on premium, as 
        provided in paragraph (a).  Assessments when collected do not 
        constitute an element of loss for the purpose of establishing 
        rates for workers' compensation insurance, but for the purpose 
        of collection are treated as separate costs imposed on insured 
        employers.  The premium surcharge is included in the definition 
        of gross premium as defined in section 297I.01.  An insurer may 
        cancel a policy for nonpayment of the premium surcharge.  The 
        premium surcharge is excluded from the definition of premium 
        except as otherwise provided in this paragraph. 
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.129, 
        subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 7.  [REFUNDS.] In case deposit is or has been made 
        under subdivision 2 and dependency later is shown, or if deposit 
        is or has been made pursuant to subdivision 2 or 3 2a by mistake 
        or inadvertence, or under circumstances that justice requires a 
        refund, the state treasurer is authorized to refund the deposit 
        under order of the commissioner, a compensation judge, the 
        workers' compensation court of appeals, or a district 
        court.  Claims for refunds must be submitted to the commissioner 
        within three years of the assessment due date.  There is 
        appropriated to the commissioner from the fund an amount 
        sufficient to make the refund and payment.  
           Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.129, 
        subdivision 9, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 9.  [POWERS OF FUND.] In addition to powers granted 
        to the special compensation fund by this chapter the fund may do 
        the following:  
           (a) sue and be sued in its own name; 
           (b) intervene in or commence an action under this chapter 
        or any other law, including, but not limited to, intervention or 
        action as a subrogee to the division's right in a third-party 
        action, any proceeding under this chapter in which liability of 
        the special compensation fund is an issue, or any proceeding 
        which may result in other liability of the fund or to protect 
        the legal right of the fund; 
           (c) enter into settlements including but not limited to 
        structured, annuity purchase agreements with appropriate parties 
        under this chapter.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this 
        chapter, any settlement may provide that the fund partially or 
        totally denies liability for payment of benefits, and no 
        determination of employer insurance status and liability under 
        section 176.183, subdivision 2, shall be required for approval 
        of the stipulation for a settlement; 
           (d) contract with another party to administer the special 
        compensation fund; 
           (e) take any other action which an insurer is permitted by 
        law to take in operating within this chapter; and 
           (f) conduct a financial audit of indemnity claim payments, 
        premium, and assessments reported to the fund.  This may be 
        contracted by the fund to a private auditing firm. 
           Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 2001 Supplement, 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 or 
        reports are not submitted in the manner prescribed.  
           Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 2001 Supplement, 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 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 this section. 
           Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.130, 
        subdivision 8, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 8.  [PENALTIES; WOOD MILLS.] If the assessment 
        provided for in this chapter is not paid on or before February 
        15 of the year when due and payable, the commissioner may impose 
        penalties as provided in section 176.129, subdivision 10, 
        payable to the commissioner for deposit in the assigned risk 
        safety account.  
           Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.130, 
        subdivision 9, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 9.  [FALSE REPORTS.] Any person or entity that, for 
        the purpose of evading payment of the assessment or avoiding the 
        reimbursement, or any part of it, makes a false report under 
        this section shall pay to the commissioner for deposit in the 
        assigned risk safety account, in addition to the assessment, a 
        penalty of 75 percent of the amount of the assessment.  A person 
        who knowingly makes or signs a false report, or who knowingly 
        submits other false information, is guilty of a misdemeanor.  
           Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.139, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [FAILURE TO POST; PENALTY.] The commissioner may 
        assess a penalty of $500 against the employer payable to the 
        commissioner for deposit in the assigned risk safety account if, 
        after notice from the commissioner, the employer violates the 
        posting requirement of this section.  
           Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.155, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [NEUTRAL PHYSICIAN.] In each case of dispute as 
        to the injury the commissioner of labor and industry, or in case 
        of a hearing the compensation judge conducting the hearing, or 
        the workers' compensation court of appeals if the matter is 
        before it, may with or without the request of any interested 
        party, designate a neutral physician from the list of neutral 
        physicians developed by the commissioner of labor and industry 
        to make an examination of the injured worker and report the 
        findings to the commissioner of labor and industry, compensation 
        judge, or the workers' compensation court of appeals, as the 
        case may be; provided that the request of the interested party 
        must comply with the rules of the commissioner of labor and 
        industry and the workers' compensation court of appeals 
        regulating the proper time and forms for the request, and 
        further provided that when an interested party requests, not 
        later than 30 days prior to a scheduled prehearing conference, 
        that a neutral physician be designated, the compensation judge 
        shall make such a designation.  When a party has requested the 
        designation of a neutral physician prior to a prehearing 
        conference, that party may withdraw the request at any time 
        prior to the hearing.  The commissioner of labor and industry, 
        compensation judge, or the workers' compensation court of 
        appeals, as the case may be, may request the neutral physician 
        to answer any particular question with reference to the medical 
        phases of the case, including questions calling for an opinion 
        as to the cause and occurrence of the injury insofar as medical 
        knowledge is relevant in the answer.  A copy of the signed 
        certificate of the neutral physician shall be mailed to the 
        parties in interest and either party, within five days from date 
        of mailing, may demand that the physician be produced for 
        purposes of cross-examination.  The signed certificate of a 
        neutral physician is competent evidence of the facts stated 
        therein.  The expense of the examination shall be paid as 
        ordered by the commissioner of labor and industry, compensation 
        judge, or the workers' compensation court of appeals. 
           The commissioner of labor and industry shall develop and 
        maintain a list of neutral physicians available for designation 
        pursuant to this subdivision or section 176.391, subdivision 2.  
           Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.181, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [FAILURE TO INSURE, PENALTY.] (a) The 
        commissioner, having reason to believe that an employer is in 
        violation of subdivision 2, may issue an order directing the 
        employer to comply with subdivision 2, to refrain from employing 
        any person at any time without complying with subdivision 2, and 
        to pay a penalty of up to $1,000 per employee per week during 
        which the employer was not in compliance. 
           (b) An employer shall have ten working days to contest such 
        an order by filing a written objection with the commissioner, 
        stating in detail its reasons for objecting.  If the 
        commissioner does not receive an objection within ten working 
        days, the commissioner's order shall constitute a final order 
        not subject to further review, and violation of that order shall 
        be enforceable by way of civil contempt proceedings in district 
        court.  If the commissioner does receive a timely objection, the 
        commissioner shall refer the matter to the office of 
        administrative hearings for an expedited hearing before a 
        compensation judge.  The compensation judge shall issue a 
        decision either affirming, reversing, or modifying the 
        commissioner's order within ten days of the close of the 
        hearing.  If the compensation judge affirms the commissioner's 
        order, the compensation judge may order the employer to pay an 
        additional penalty if the employer continued to employ persons 
        without complying with subdivision 2 while the proceedings were 
        pending. 
           (c) All penalties assessed under this subdivision shall be 
        paid into the state treasury and credited to payable to the 
        commissioner for deposit in the assigned risk safety account.  
        Penalties assessed under this section shall constitute a lien 
        for government services pursuant to section 514.67, on all the 
        employer's property and shall be subject to the Revenue 
        Recapture Act in chapter 270A. 
           (d) For purposes of this subdivision, the term "employer" 
        includes any owners or officers of a corporation who direct and 
        control the activities of employees. 
           Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.182, is 
        amended to read: 
           176.182 [BUSINESS LICENSES OR PERMITS; COVERAGE REQUIRED.] 
           Every state or local licensing agency shall withhold the 
        issuance or renewal of a license or permit to operate a business 
        in Minnesota until the applicant presents acceptable evidence of 
        compliance with the workers' compensation insurance coverage 
        requirement of section 176.181, subdivision 2, by providing the 
        name of the insurance company, the policy number, and dates of 
        coverage or the permit to self-insure.  The commissioner shall 
        assess a penalty to the employer of $2,000 payable to the 
        commissioner for deposit in the assigned risk safety account, if 
        the information is not reported or is falsely reported.  
           Neither the state nor any governmental subdivision of the 
        state shall enter into any contract for the doing of any public 
        work before receiving from all other contracting parties 
        acceptable evidence of compliance with the workers' compensation 
        insurance coverage requirement of section 176.181, subdivision 2.
           This section shall not be construed to create any liability 
        on the part of the state or any governmental subdivision to pay 
        workers' compensation benefits or to indemnify the special 
        compensation fund, an employer, or insurer who pays workers' 
        compensation benefits.  
           Sec. 18.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.185, 
        subdivision 5a, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5a.  [PENALTY FOR IMPROPER WITHHOLDING.] An employer 
        who violates subdivision 5 after notice from the commissioner is 
        subject to a penalty of 400 percent of the amount withheld from 
        or charged the employee.  The penalty shall be imposed by the 
        commissioner.  Forty percent of this penalty is payable to the 
        commissioner for deposit in the assigned risk safety account and 
        60 percent is payable to the employee. 
           Sec. 19.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.194, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [PROHIBITED CONDUCT.] The following conduct is 
        prohibited: 
           (1) failing to reply, within 30 calendar days after 
        receipt, to all written communication about a claim from a 
        claimant that requests a response; 
           (2) failing, within 45 calendar days after receipt of a 
        written request, to commence benefits or to advise the claimant 
        of the acceptance or denial of the claim by the insurer; 
           (3) failing to pay or deny medical bills within 45 days 
        after the receipt of all information requested from medical 
        providers; 
           (4) filing a denial of liability for workers' compensation 
        benefits without conducting an investigation; 
           (5) failing to regularly pay weekly benefits in a timely 
        manner as prescribed by rules adopted by the commissioner once 
        weekly benefits have begun.  Failure to regularly pay weekly 
        benefits means failure to pay an employee on more than three 
        occasions in any 12-month period within three business days of 
        when payment was due; 
           (6) failing to respond to the department within 30 calendar 
        days after receipt of a written inquiry from the department 
        about a claim; 
           (7) failing to pay pursuant to an order of the department, 
        compensation judge, court of appeals, or the supreme court, 
        within 45 days from the filing of the order unless the order is 
        under appeal; or 
           (8) advising a claimant not to obtain the services of an 
        attorney or representing that payment will be delayed if an 
        attorney is retained by the claimant.; or 
           (9) altering information on a document to be filed with the 
        department without the notice and consent of any person who 
        previously signed the document and who would be adversely 
        affected by the alteration. 
           Sec. 20.  Minnesota Statutes 2001 Supplement, section 
        176.194, subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [PENALTIES.] The penalties for violations of 
        subdivision 3, clauses (1) through (6) and (9), 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. 21.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.361, is 
        amended to read: 
           176.361 [INTERVENTION.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [RIGHT TO INTERVENE.] A person who has an 
        interest in any matter before the workers' compensation court of 
        appeals, or commissioner, or compensation judge such that the 
        person may either gain or lose by an order or decision may 
        intervene in the proceeding by filing an application or motion 
        in writing stating the facts which show the interest.  The 
        commissioner is considered to have an interest and shall be 
        permitted to intervene at the appellate level when a party 
        relies in its claim or defense upon any statute or rule 
        administered by the commissioner, or upon any rule, order, 
        requirement, or agreement issued or made under the statute or 
        rule.  
           The commissioner may adopt rules, not inconsistent with 
        this section to govern intervention.  The workers' compensation 
        court of appeals shall adopt rules to govern the procedure for 
        intervention in matters before it.  
           If the department of human services or the department of 
        economic security seeks to intervene in any matter before the 
        division, a compensation judge or the workers' compensation 
        court of appeals, a nonattorney employee of the department, 
        acting at the direction of the staff of the attorney general, 
        may prepare, sign, serve and file motions for intervention and 
        related documents, appear at prehearing conferences, and 
        participate in matters before a compensation judge or the 
        workers' compensation court of appeals.  Any other interested 
        party may intervene using a nonattorney and may participate in 
        any proceeding to the same extent an attorney could.  This 
        activity shall not be considered to be the unauthorized practice 
        of law.  An intervenor represented by a nonattorney shall be 
        deemed to be represented by an attorney for the purposes of the 
        conclusive presumption of section 176.521, subdivision 2. 
           Subdivisions 3 to 6 do not apply to matters pending in the 
        mediation or rehabilitation and medical services sections. 
           Subd. 2.  [WRITTEN APPLICATION OR MOTION.] A person 
        desiring to intervene in a workers' compensation case as a 
        party, including but not limited to a health care provider who 
        has rendered services to an employee or an insurer who has paid 
        benefits under section 176.191, shall submit a timely written 
        application or motion to intervene to the commissioner, the 
        office, or to the court of appeals, whichever is applicable.  
           (a) The application or motion must be served on all parties 
        either personally, by first class mail, or registered mail, 
        return receipt requested.  An application or motion to intervene 
        must be served and filed within 30 60 days after a person 
        potential intervenor has received been served with notice that a 
        claim has been filed or a request for mediation made.  An 
        untimely application is subject to denial under subdivision 7 of 
        a right to intervene or within 30 days of notice of an 
        administrative conference.  Upon the filing of a timely 
        application or motion to intervene, the potential intervenor 
        shall be granted intervenor status without the need for an 
        order.  Objections to the intervention may be subsequently 
        addressed by a compensation judge.  Where a motion to intervene 
        is not timely filed under this section, the potential intervenor 
        interest shall be extinguished and the potential intervenor may 
        not collect, or attempt to collect, the extinguished interest 
        from the employee, employer, insurer, or any government program. 
           (b) In any other situation, timeliness will be determined 
        by the commissioner, compensation judge, or awarding authority 
        in each case based on circumstances at the time of filing.  The 
        application or motion must show how the applicant's legal 
        rights, duties, or privileges may be determined or affected by 
        the case; state the grounds and purposes for which intervention 
        is sought; and indicate the statutory right to intervene.  The 
        application or motion must be accompanied by the following, if 
        applicable, except that if the action is pending in the 
        mediation or rehabilitation and medical services section, clause 
        (6) is not required and the information listed in clauses (1) to 
        (5) may be brought to the conference rather than attached to the 
        application:  
           (1) an itemization of disability payments showing the 
        period during which the payments were or are being made; the 
        weekly or monthly rate of the payments; and the amount of 
        reimbursement claimed; 
           (2) a summary of the medical or treatment payments, or 
        rehabilitation services provided by the vocational 
        rehabilitation unit, broken down by creditor, showing the total 
        bill submitted, the period of treatment or rehabilitation 
        covered by that bill, the amount of payment on that bill, and to 
        whom the payment was made; 
           (3) copies of all medical or treatment bills on which some 
        payment was made; 
           (4) copies of the work sheets or other information stating 
        how the payments on medical or treatment bills were calculated; 
           (5) a copy of the relevant policy or contract provisions 
        upon which the claim for reimbursement is based; 
           (6) a proposed order allowing intervention with sufficient 
        copies to serve on all parties; 
           (7) the name and telephone number of the person 
        representing the intervenor who has authority to reach a 
        settlement of the issues in dispute; 
           (8) (7) proof of service or copy of the registered mail 
        receipt; 
           (9) (8) at the option of the intervenor, a proposed 
        stipulation which states that all of the payments for which 
        reimbursement is claimed are related to the injury or condition 
        in dispute in the case and that, if the petitioner is successful 
        in proving the compensability of the claim, it is agreed that 
        the sum be reimbursed to the intervenor; and 
           (10) (9) if represented by an attorney, the name, address, 
        telephone number, and Minnesota Supreme Court license number of 
        the attorney. 
           Subd. 3.  [STIPULATION.] If the person submitting the 
        application or motion for intervention has included a proposed 
        stipulation, all parties shall either execute and return the 
        signed stipulation to the intervenor who must file it with the 
        division or judge or serve upon the intervenor and all other 
        parties and file with the division specific and detailed 
        objections to any payments made by the intervenor which are not 
        conceded to be correct and related to the injury or condition 
        the petitioner has asserted is compensable.  If a party has not 
        returned the signed stipulation or filed objections within 30 
        days of service of the application or motion, the intervenor's 
        right to reimbursement for the amount sought is deemed 
        established provided that the petitioner's claim is determined 
        to be compensable.  
           Subd. 4.  [ATTENDANCE BY INTERVENOR.] Unless a stipulation 
        has been signed and filed or the intervenor's right to 
        reimbursement has otherwise been established, the intervenor 
        shall attend all settlement or pretrial conferences, 
        administrative conferences, and shall attend the regular hearing 
        if ordered to do so by the compensation judge.  Failure to 
        appear shall result in the denial of the claim for reimbursement.
           Subd. 5.  [ORDER.] If an objection to intervention remains 
        following settlement or pretrial conferences, the commissioner 
        or compensation judge shall rule on the intervention and the 
        order is binding on the compensation judge to whom the case is 
        assigned for issue shall be addressed at the hearing.  
           Subd. 6.  [PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE BY INTERVENOR.] Unless 
        a stipulation has been signed and filed or the intervenor's 
        right to reimbursement has otherwise been established, the 
        intervenor shall present evidence in support of the claim at the 
        hearing unless otherwise ordered by the compensation judge.  
           Subd. 7.  [EFFECTS OF NONCOMPLIANCE.] Except as provided in 
        subdivisions 2 and 4, failure to comply with this section shall 
        not result in a denial of the claim for reimbursement unless the 
        compensation judge, or commissioner, determines that the 
        noncompliance has materially prejudiced the interests of the 
        other parties.  
           Sec. 22.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.84, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [PENALTY.] The commissioner or compensation judge 
        may impose a penalty of $500 for each violation of subdivision 
        1.  This penalty is payable to the commissioner for deposit in 
        the assigned risk safety account. 
           Sec. 23.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 176.129, subdivisions 3, 
        4, and 4a, are repealed. 
           Sec. 24.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 6 to 11 and 23 are effective with assessments due 
        after July 1, 2003. 
           Presented to the governor March 20, 2002 
           Signed by the governor March 22, 2002, 2:12 p.m.