language to be deleted (2) new language
relating to workers' compensation; adopting recommendations of the Workers' Compensation Advisory Council; modifying workers' compensation provisions; modifying hospital outpatient fee schedules; modifying billing, payment, and dispute resolution; defining ambulatory surgical center payments; modifying covered benefits;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 175A.05; 176.011, subdivision 15; 176.101, subdivisions 2, 2a, 4; 176.102, subdivision 11; 176.136, subdivision 1b; 176.231, subdivision 9; 176.83, subdivision 5; Minnesota Statutes 2017 Supplement, section 15A.083, subdivision 7; Laws 2017, chapter 94, article 1, section 6; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 176.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
Salaries of judges of the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals are 98.52 percent of the salary for district court judges. The salary of the chief judge of the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals is 98.52 percent of the salary for a chief district court judge. Salaries of compensation judges are 98.52 percent of the salary of district court judges.
A majority of the judges of the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals shall constitute a quorum for the exercise of the powers conferred and the duties imposed on the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals except that all appeals shall be heard by no more than a panel of three of the five judges unless the case appealed is determined to be of exceptional importance by the chief judge prior to assignment of the case to a panel, or by a three-fifths vote of the judges prior to assignment of the case to a panel or after the case has been considered by the panel but prior to the service and filing of the decision.
A vacancy shall not impair the ability of the remaining judges of the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals to exercise all the powers and perform all of the duties of the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals.
Reports filed with the commissioner under this section may be used in hearings held under this chapter, and for the purpose of state investigations and for statistics. These reports are available to the Department of Revenue for use in enforcing Minnesota income tax and property tax refund laws, and the information shall be protected as provided in chapter 270B.
The division or Office of Administrative Hearings or Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals may permit the examination of its file by the employer, insurer, employee, or dependent of a deceased employee or any person who furnishes written authorization to do so from the employer, insurer, employee, or dependent of a deceased employee. Reports filed under this section and other information the commissioner has regarding injuries or deaths shall be made available to the Workers' Compensation Reinsurance Association for use by the association in carrying out its responsibilities under chapter 79.
WORKERS' COMPENSATION COURT OF APPEALS
This appropriation is from the workers' compensation fund.
(a) The liability of the employer for treatment, articles, and supplies provided to an employee while an inpatient or outpatient at a Critical Access Hospital certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or while an outpatient at a hospital with 100 or fewer licensed beds, shall be the hospital's usual and customary charge, unless the charge is determined by the commissioner or a compensation judge to be unreasonably excessive.
(b) The liability of the employer for the treatment, articles, and supplies that are not limited by paragraph (a), subdivision 1a, 1c, or section 176.1362 shall be limited to 85 percent of the provider's usual and customary charge, or 85 percent of the prevailing charges for similar treatment, articles, and supplies furnished to an injured person when paid for by the injured person, whichever is lower. On this basis, the commissioner or compensation judge may determine the reasonable value of all treatment, services, and supplies, and the liability of the employer is limited to that amount. The commissioner may by rule establish the reasonable value of a service, article, or supply in lieu of the 85 percent limitation in this paragraph. A prevailing charge established under Minnesota Rules, part 5221.0500, subpart 2, must be based on no more than two years of billing data immediately preceding the date of the service.
(c) The limitation of liability for charges provided by paragraph (b) does not apply to a nursing home that participates in the medical assistance program and whose rates are established by the commissioner of human services.
(d) An employer's liability for treatment, articles, and supplies provided under this chapter by a health care provider located outside of Minnesota is limited to the payment that the health care provider would receive if the treatment, article, or supply were paid under the workers' compensation law of the jurisdiction in which the treatment was provided.
(a) "Occupational disease" means a mental impairment as defined in paragraph (d) or physical disease arising out of and in the course of employment peculiar to the occupation in which the employee is engaged and due to causes in excess of the hazards ordinary of employment and shall include undulant fever. Physical stimulus resulting in mental injury and mental stimulus resulting in physical injury shall remain compensable. Mental impairment is not considered a disease if it results from a disciplinary action, work evaluation, job transfer, layoff, demotion, promotion, termination, retirement, or similar action taken in good faith by the employer. Ordinary diseases of life to which the general public is equally exposed outside of employment are not compensable, except where the diseases follow as an incident of an occupational disease, or where the exposure peculiar to the occupation makes the disease an occupational disease hazard. A disease arises out of the employment only if there be a direct causal connection between the conditions under which the work is performed and if the occupational disease follows as a natural incident of the work as a result of the exposure occasioned by the nature of the employment. An employer is not liable for compensation for any occupational disease which cannot be traced to the employment as a direct and proximate cause and is not recognized as a hazard characteristic of and peculiar to the trade, occupation, process, or employment or which results from a hazard to which the worker would have been equally exposed outside of the employment.
(b) If immediately preceding the date of disablement or death, an employee was employed on active duty with an organized fire or police department of any municipality, as a member of the Minnesota State Patrol, conservation officer service, state crime bureau, as a forest officer by the Department of Natural Resources, state correctional officer, or sheriff or full-time deputy sheriff of any county, and the disease is that of myocarditis, coronary sclerosis, pneumonia or its sequel, and at the time of employment such employee was given a thorough physical examination by a licensed doctor of medicine, and a written report thereof has been made and filed with such organized fire or police department, with the Minnesota State Patrol, conservation officer service, state crime bureau, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Corrections, or sheriff's department of any county, which examination and report negatived any evidence of myocarditis, coronary sclerosis, pneumonia or its sequel, the disease is presumptively an occupational disease and shall be presumed to have been due to the nature of employment. If immediately preceding the date of disablement or death, any individual who by nature of their position provides emergency medical care, or an employee who was employed as a licensed police officer under section 626.84, subdivision 1; firefighter; paramedic; state correctional officer; emergency medical technician; or licensed nurse providing emergency medical care; and who contracts an infectious or communicable disease to which the employee was exposed in the course of employment outside of a hospital, then the disease is presumptively an occupational disease and shall be presumed to have been due to the nature of employment and the presumption may be rebutted by substantial factors brought by the employer or insurer. Any substantial factors which shall be used to rebut this presumption and which are known to the employer or insurer at the time of the denial of liability shall be communicated to the employee on the denial of liability.
(c) A firefighter on active duty with an organized fire department who is unable to perform duties in the department by reason of a disabling cancer of a type caused by exposure to heat, radiation, or a known or suspected carcinogen, as defined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the carcinogen is reasonably linked to the disabling cancer, is presumed to have an occupational disease under paragraph (a). If a firefighter who enters the service after August 1, 1988, is examined by a physician prior to being hired and the examination discloses the existence of a cancer of a type described in this paragraph, the firefighter is not entitled to the presumption unless a subsequent medical determination is made that the firefighter no longer has the cancer.
(d) For the purposes of this chapter, "mental impairment" means a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist. For the purposes of this chapter, "post-traumatic stress disorder" means the condition as described in the most recently published edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association. For purposes of section 79.34, subdivision 2, one or more compensable mental impairment claims arising out of a single event or occurrence shall constitute a single loss occurrence.
(a) In all cases of temporary partial disability the compensation shall be 66-2/3 percent of the difference between the weekly wage of the employee at the time of injury and the wage the employee is able to earn in the employee's partially disabled condition. This compensation shall be paid during the period of disability except as provided in this section, payment to be made at the intervals when the wage was payable, as nearly as may be, and subject to the maximum rate for temporary total compensation.
(b) Temporary partial compensation may be paid only while the employee is employed, earning less than the employee's weekly wage at the time of the injury, and the reduced wage the employee is able to earn in the employee's partially disabled condition is due to the injury. Except as provided in section 176.102, subdivision 11, paragraphs (b) and (c), temporary partial compensation may not be paid for more than 225 weeks, or after 450 weeks after the date of injury, whichever occurs first.
(c) Temporary partial compensation must be reduced to the extent that the wage the employee is able to earn in the employee's partially disabled condition plus the temporary partial disability payment otherwise payable under this subdivision exceeds 500 percent of the statewide average weekly wage.
(a) Compensation for permanent partial disability is as provided in this subdivision. Permanent partial disability must be rated as a percentage of the whole body in accordance with rules adopted by the commissioner under section 176.105. The percentage determined pursuant to the rules must be multiplied by the corresponding amount in the following table:
|less than 5.5||$||
|5.5 to less than 10.5||
|10.5 to less than 15.5||
|15.5 to less than 20.5||
|20.5 to less than 25.5||
|25.5 to less than 30.5||
|30.5 to less than 35.5||
|35.5 to less than 40.5||
|40.5 to less than 45.5||
|45.5 to less than 50.5||
|50.5 to less than 55.5||
|55.5 to less than 60.5||
|60.5 to less than 65.5||
|65.5 to less than 70.5||
|70.5 to less than 75.5||
|75.5 to less than 80.5||
|80.5 to less than 85.5||
|85.5 to less than 90.5||
|90.5 to less than 95.5||
|95.5 up to and including 100||
An employee may not receive compensation for more than a 100 percent disability of the whole body, even if the employee sustains disability to two or more body parts.
(b) Permanent partial disability is payable upon cessation of temporary total disability under subdivision 1. If the employee requests payment in a lump sum, then the compensation must be paid within 30 days. This lump-sum payment may be discounted to the present value calculated up to a maximum five percent basis. If the employee does not choose to receive the compensation in a lump sum, then the compensation is payable in installments at the same intervals and in the same amount as the employee's temporary total disability rate on the date of injury. Permanent partial disability is not payable while temporary total compensation is being paid.
For permanent total disability, as defined in subdivision 5, the compensation shall be 66-2/3 percent of the daily wage at the time of the injury, subject to a maximum weekly compensation equal to the maximum weekly compensation for a temporary total disability and a minimum weekly compensation equal to 65 percent of the statewide average weekly wage. This compensation shall be paid during the permanent total disability of the injured employee but after a total of $25,000 of weekly compensation has been paid, the amount of the weekly compensation benefits being paid by the employer shall be reduced by the amount of any disability benefits being paid by any government disability benefit program if the disability benefits are occasioned by the same injury or injuries which give rise to payments under this subdivision. This reduction shall also apply to any old age and survivor insurance benefits. Payments shall be made at the intervals when the wage was payable, as nearly as may be. In case an employee who is permanently and totally disabled becomes an inmate of a public institution, no compensation shall be payable during the period of confinement in the institution, unless there is wholly dependent on the employee for support some person named in section 176.111, subdivision 1, 2 or 3, in which case the compensation provided for in section 176.111, during the period of confinement, shall be paid for the benefit of the dependent person during dependency. The dependency of this person shall be determined as though the employee were deceased. Permanent total disability shall cease at age 67 because the employee is presumed retired from the labor market. This presumption is rebuttable by the employee. The subjective statement the employee is not retired is not sufficient in itself to rebut the presumptive evidence of retirement but may be considered along with other evidence.
(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 208 weeks of any combination of temporary total or temporary partial compensation have been paid. Retraining shall not be available after 208 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 208 weeks of compensation have been paid.
(d) The employer or insurer must notify the employee in writing of the 208-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.
(a) In consultation with the Medical Services Review Board or the rehabilitation review panel, the commissioner shall adopt rules establishing standards and procedures for health care provider treatment. The rules shall apply uniformly to all providers including those providing managed care under section 176.1351. The rules shall be used to determine whether a provider of health care services and rehabilitation services, including a provider of medical, chiropractic, podiatric, surgical, hospital, or other services, is performing procedures or providing services at a level or with a frequency that is excessive, unnecessary, or inappropriate under section 176.135, subdivision 1, based upon accepted medical standards for quality health care and accepted rehabilitation standards.
(b) The rules shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) criteria for diagnosis and treatment of the most common work-related injuries including, but not limited to, low back injuries and upper extremity repetitive trauma injuries;
(2) criteria for surgical procedures including, but not limited to, diagnosis, prior conservative treatment, supporting diagnostic imaging and testing, and anticipated outcome criteria;
(3) criteria for use of appliances, adaptive equipment, and use of health clubs or other exercise facilities;
(4) criteria for diagnostic imaging procedures;
(5) criteria for inpatient hospitalization;
(6) criteria for treatment of chronic pain; and
(7) criteria for the long-term use of opioids or other scheduled medications to alleviate intractable pain and improve function, including the use of written contracts between the injured worker and the health care provider who prescribes the medication.
(c) If it is determined by the payer that the level, frequency, or cost of a procedure or service of a provider is excessive, unnecessary, or inappropriate according to the standards established by the rules, the provider shall not be paid for the procedure, service, or cost by an insurer, self-insurer, or group self-insurer, and the provider shall not be reimbursed or attempt to collect reimbursement for the procedure, service, or cost from any other source, including the employee, another insurer, the special compensation fund, or any government program unless the commissioner or compensation judge determines at a hearing or administrative conference that the level, frequency, or cost was not excessive under the rules in which case the insurer, self-insurer, or group self-insurer shall make the payment deemed reasonable.
(d) A rehabilitation provider who is determined by the rehabilitation review panel board, after hearing, to be consistently performing procedures or providing services at an excessive level or cost may be prohibited from receiving any further reimbursement for procedures or services provided under this chapter. A prohibition imposed on a provider under this subdivision may be grounds for revocation or suspension of the provider's license or certificate of registration to provide health care or rehabilitation service in Minnesota by the appropriate licensing or certifying body. The commissioner and Medical Services Review Board shall review excessive, inappropriate, or unnecessary health care provider treatment under section 176.103.
Presented to the governor May 18, 2018
Signed by the governor May 20, 2018, 3:32 p.m.
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