language to be deleted (2) new language
relating to labor and industry; adopting recommendations of the 2022 Workers' Compensation Advisory Council; extending the COVID-19 presumption for workers' compensation eligibility;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2020, sections 176.103, subdivision 3; 176.106, subdivision 7; 176.291; 176.295, subdivisions 1, 2; 176.305, subdivisions 1, 4; 176.321, subdivisions 2, 3; 176.331; 176.341, subdivision 1; 176.391; 176.421, subdivision 4; Minnesota Statutes 2021 Supplement, sections 176.231, subdivision 9a; 176.2612, subdivision 3; Laws 2020, chapter 72, section 1, as amended; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 176.305, subdivision 2.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
(a) There is created a Medical Services Review Board composed of the commissioner or the commissioner's designee as an ex officio memberdeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text beginnew text end two deleted text beginpersons representing chiropractic, one person representing hospitalsdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end, one physical therapist, one registered nurse, one occupational therapist, and six physicians representing different specialties which the commissioner determines are the most frequently utilized by injured employees. new text beginnew text endThe board shall also have new text beginnew text endone person representing employees, and one person representing employers or insurers. 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 representative, three physicians, one employee representative, one employer or insurer representative, and one occupational therapist.
(b) The board shall review clinical results for adequacy and recommend to the commissioner scales for disabilities and apportionment.
(c) 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.
(d) 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.
(e) The board shall advise the commissioner on the adoption of rules regarding all aspects of medical care and services provided to injured employees.
(f) 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.
(g) The board may adopt rules of procedure. The rules may be joint rules with the rehabilitation review panel.
(h) Except where the board is making a decision in a contested case matter under paragraph (b), the board may conduct a meeting of its members by telephone or other electronic means so long as the following conditions are met:
(1) all members of the board participating in the meeting, wherever their physical location, can hear one another and can hear all discussion and testimony;
(2) members of the public present at the regular meeting location of the board can hear clearly all discussion and testimony and all votes of members of the board and, if needed, receive those services required by sections 15.44 and 15.441;
(3) at least one member of the board is physically present at the regular meeting location; and
(4) all votes are conducted by roll call, so each member's vote on each issue can be identified and recorded.
(i) Each member of the board participating in a meeting by telephone or other electronic means is considered present at the meeting for purposes of determining a quorum and participating in all proceedings.
(j) If telephone or other electronic means are used to conduct a regular, special, or emergency meeting, the board, to the extent practical, shall allow a person to monitor the meeting electronically from a remote location. The board or the Department of Labor and Industry may require the person making such a connection to pay for documented costs that the board or the Department of Labor and Industry incurs as a result of the additional connection.
(k) If telephone or other electronic means are used to conduct a regular, special, or emergency meeting, the board shall provide notice of the regular meeting location, of the fact that some members may participate by telephone or other electronic means, and that a person may monitor the meeting electronically from a remote location. The timing and method of providing notice is governed by section 13D.04.
(a) Access to the division file established for a specific claimed date or dates of injury under this chapter is allowed without an authorization from the employee, employer, or insurer, as described in clauses (1) to (7):
(1) an employee, as described in subdivision 9, paragraph (c), has access to the division file established for the employee's claimed date or dates of injury;
(2) an employer and insurer have access to the division file for a workers' compensation claim to which the employer and insurer are parties;
(3) the Department of Administration under section 13.43, subdivision 18, the assigned risk plan under chapter 79, the special compensation fund established under section 176.129, the self-insurers security fund under chapter 79A, and the Minnesota insurance deleted text beginguaranteedeleted text endnew text beginnew text end association under chapter 60C have access to all of the documents in the division file for a claim to which they are a party or are otherwise providing, paying, or reimbursing workers' compensation benefits under this chapter;
(4) a person who has filed a motion to intervene in a pending dispute at an agency has access to the documents in the division file that are filed in connection with the dispute in which the person has filed a motion to intervene;
(5) a registered rehabilitation provider assigned to provide rehabilitation services to an employee has access to the documents in the division file that are filed in connection with the employee's vocational rehabilitation or a dispute about vocational rehabilitation under section 176.102;
(6) a third-party administrator licensed under section 60A.23, subdivision 8, has access to the division file for a claim it has contracted to administer on behalf of any of the entities listed in this subdivision; and
(7) the program administrator for a collective bargaining agreement approved by the commissioner under section 176.1812 has access to the division file for a claim that is covered by the agreement.
(b) An attorney who has filed with the commissioner in CAMPUS a notice of representation of a person or entity listed in paragraph (a) has the same access to documents in the division file that the represented person or entity has, unless the attorney specifies when filing the notice that access should be limited. If the attorney represents an employee as described in subdivision 9, paragraph (c), one of the following documents signed by the employee must be attached to the notice: a written authorization, a retainer agreement, or a document initiating or responding to a workers' compensation dispute filed under this chapter.
(c) If the attorney's access is not limited by an authorization, notice of representation, or the represented person or entity's access under paragraph (a), the attorney's access continues until one of the following occurs, whichever is later:
(1) one year after an authorization is filed;
(2) five years after the date a retainer agreement or notice of representation was filed where no dispute has been initiated;
(3) five years after the date the attorney filed a document initiating, responding to, or intervening in a workers' compensation dispute under this chapter;
(4) five years after the date an award on stipulation was served and filed if the award was related to a dispute in which the attorney represented a party in paragraph (a); or
(5) five years after the date a final order or final penalty assessment was issued as defined in subdivision 9c, paragraph (a), clause (3), if the final order or penalty assessment was related to a dispute in which the attorney represented a party listed in paragraph (a).
Notwithstanding the time frames in clauses (1) to (5), an attorney no longer has access to the division file as of the date the attorney files a notice of withdrawal from the case, or the date the department receives written notice that the authorization is withdrawn or that the attorney no longer represents the person. However, if a dispute over an attorney's fees is pending at the office, the attorney has continued access to the division file until a final order or award on stipulation resolving the attorney fee dispute is received by the commissioner.
(d) The division may provide the worker identification number assigned under section 176.275, subdivision 1, without a signed authorization required under paragraph (b) to an:
(1) attorney who represents one of the persons described in paragraph (b);
(2) attorney who represents an intervenor or potential intervenor under section 176.361;
(3) intervenor; or
(4) employee's assigned qualified rehabilitation consultant under section 176.102.
(e) If the department receives information that indicates that identifying or contact information for an employee, dependent, employer, insurer, or third-party administrator for an employer or insurer is erroneous or no longer accurate, the department may update the information in all relevant workers' compensation files to reflect:
(1) the current and accurate name, address, Social Security number or worker identification number, and contact information for an employee, unless the employee notifies the commissioner in writing that the information in a workers' compensation file for a specific date of injury may not be updated; and
(2) the current and accurate name, address, and contact information for an employer, insurer, or third-party administrator for an employer or insurer.
(a) For purposes of this subdivision, "employer," "insurer," and "third-party administrator" have the meanings given in section 176.253, subdivision 1.
(b) Electronic access to view or file documents in CAMPUS shall be granted according to the requirements established by the department and the Department of Information Technology Services to authenticate the identity of the person or entity creating the account and authorize access to the documents that the person or entity is entitled to under this chapter. To create an account in CAMPUS, a person must provide the commissioner of labor and industry with information needed to create the account and authenticate the person's identity. The person must also agree to terms and conditions that are needed to safeguard the security and privacy of data and comply with the requirements of this chapter related to CAMPUS.
(c) The persons or entities in clauses (1) to (12) must create and maintain an account in CAMPUS to electronically access or file documents:
(1) an employee with a workers' compensation claim or other person who has access to the division file under section 176.231, subdivision 9, paragraph (c);
(2) an employer with a workers' compensation claim;
(3) a licensed workers' compensation insurer acting on behalf of an employer with a Minnesota workers' compensation claim;
(4) an intervenor or potential intervenor in a workers' compensation dispute;
(5) a registered rehabilitation provider under section 176.102;
(6) the state or a political subdivision or school district that is not required to be self-insured by the commissioner of the Department of Commerce in order to pay its workers' compensation claims;
(7) the assigned risk plan under chapter 79A;
(8) the Workers' Compensation Reinsurance Association under chapter 79;
(9) the Minnesota insurance deleted text beginguaranteedeleted text endnew text beginnew text end association established under chapter 60C;
(10) the self-insurers' security fund under chapter 79A;
(11) a third-party administrator that has contracted to act on behalf of any of the entities listed in this subdivision; and
(12) an attorney representing a person or entity listed above.
(d) The commissioner may require that any person or entity listed in paragraph (c), clauses (2) to (12), create and maintain an account in CAMPUS if the person or entity is a party to a workers' compensation claim or associated with an enforcement action of the department.
(e) A designated medical contact under section 176.135 and a managed care organization certified by the department under section 176.1351 must create and maintain an account to file and view documents related to the certified managed care plan or designated medical contact. A program administrator for a collective bargaining agreement approved by the commissioner under section 176.1812 must create an account to view documents related to a claim that is covered by the agreement. A health care provider must create an account to file a request for an administrative conference if permitted under section 176.136, subdivision 2.
(f) If a person or entity is required to create and maintain an account under this subdivision and fails to do so:
(1) unless good cause is shown, the commissioner may assess a $500 penalty against the person or entity for each 30-day period that an account is not created or maintained following the commissioner's notice that one is required;
(2) failure to create or maintain an account shall not be a defense to untimely filing where electronic filing is required under this chapter; and
(3) failure to create or maintain an account results in the appointment of the commissioner and successors in office as the person's agent to receive service by the commissioner or the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals where service is required under this chapter, provided that the commissioner attempts service by United States mail on the party at the last known address.
(a) Any party aggrieved by the decision of the commissioner or compensation judge may request a formal new text beginnew text endhearing by filing the request with the deleted text begincommissionerdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end and serving the request on all parties no later than 30 days after the decision. deleted text beginRequests shall be referred to the Office of Administrative Hearings for a de novo hearing before a compensation judge.deleted text end When a compensation judge deleted text beginissueddeleted text endnew text beginnew text end the administrative decision under subdivision 5, the formal de novo hearing must be held before a compensation judge other than the compensation judge who presided over the administrative conference.
(b) Except where the only issues to be determined pursuant to this section involve liability for past treatment or services that will not affect entitlement to ongoing or future proposed treatment or services under section 176.102 or 176.135, deleted text beginthe commissioner shall refer a timely request to the Office of Administrative Hearings within five working days after filing of the request anddeleted text end the hearing at the office deleted text beginof Administrative Hearingsdeleted text end must be held on the first date that all parties are availablenew text beginnew text end but not later than 60 days after the deleted text beginOffice of Administrative Hearings receives the matterdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end. Following the hearing, the compensation judge must issue the decision within 30 days.
deleted text beginThedeleted text endnew text beginnew text end decision of the compensation judge new text beginnew text endis appealable pursuant to section 176.421.
(a) Where there is a dispute as to a question of law or fact in connection with a claim for compensation, a party may serve on all other parties and file a petition with the deleted text begincommissionerdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end stating the matter in dispute. The petition shall be on a form prescribed by the commissioner and shall be signed by the petitioner.
(b) The petition shall also state and include, where applicable:
(1) names and residence or business address of parties;
(2) facts relating to the employment at the time of injury, including amount of wages received;
(3) extent and character of injury;
(4) notice to or knowledge by employer of injury;
(5) copies of written medical reports or other information in support of the claim;
(6) names and addresses of all known witnesses intended to be called in support of the claim;
(7) the desired location of any hearing and estimated time needed to present evidence at the hearing;
(8) any requests for a prehearing or settlement conference;
(9) a list of all known third parties, including the Departments of Human Services and Employment and Economic Development, who may have paid any medical bills or other benefits to the employee for the injuries or disease alleged in the petition or for the time the employee was unable to work due to the injuries or disease, together with a listing of the amounts paid by each;
(10) the nature and extent of the claim; and
(11) a request for an expedited hearing which must include an attached affidavit of significant financial hardship which complies with the requirements of section 176.341, subdivision 6.
(c) Incomplete petitions may be stricken from the calendar as provided by section 176.305, subdivision 4. Within 30 days of a request by a party, an employee who has filed a claim petition pursuant to section 176.271 or this section shall furnish a list of physicians and health care providers from whom the employee has received treatment for the same or a similar condition as well as authorizations to release relevant information, data, and records to the requester. The petition may be stricken from the calendar upon motion of a party for failure to timely provide the required list of health care providers or authorizations.
Where deleted text beginandeleted text endnew text beginnew text end employeenew text beginnew text end or an employee's dependent deleted text beginhas filed a petition for compensation with the commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry, and is unable to make service of the petition and other notices on the employer because the latterdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end is a nonresident or a foreign corporation, the petitioner may file an affidavit with the deleted text begincommissioner of the Department of Labor and Industrydeleted text endnew text beginnew text end stating that the petitioner is deleted text beginsodeleted text end unable to deleted text beginmakedeleted text endnew text beginnew text end service.
When deleted text beginthedeleted text endnew text beginnew text end petitioner has filed deleted text beginthedeleted text endnew text beginnew text end affidavit new text beginnew text endwith the deleted text begincommissioner of the Department of Labor and Industrydeleted text endnew text beginnew text end, the petitioner may deleted text beginbring an actiondeleted text endnew text beginnew text end against the employer in deleted text beginthedeleted text end district court deleted text beginlocateddeleted text endnew text beginnew text end in the county in which the employee resided at the time of the injury or death. The deleted text beginactiondeleted text endnew text beginnew text end shall be deleted text beginbrought and conducteddeleted text endnew text beginnew text end in the same manner as deleted text beginaredeleted text end other civil actions in district court. The complaint shall state that a petition for compensation has been filed with the deleted text begincommissioner of the Department of Labor and Industrydeleted text endnew text beginnew text end, and shall be accompanied by a verified copy of the affidavitnew text beginnew text end. The complaint shall also state the facts upon which the right to compensation or other relief is based.
The petitioner shall serve a copy of the petition on each adverse party personally or by first class mail. A clear copy deleted text beginsuitable for imagingdeleted text end shall be filed with the deleted text begincommissionerdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end together with an appropriate affidavit of service. deleted text beginThe commissioner shall, within ten days, refer all petitions involving issues over which the commissioner lacks jurisdiction to the office.deleted text end
A compensation judge deleted text beginor the commissionerdeleted text end, after receiving a properly served motion, may strike a case from the active trial calendar after the employee has been given 30 days to correct the deficiency if it is shown that the information on the petition or included with the petition is incomplete. Once a case is stricken, it may not be reinstated until the missing information is provided to the adverse parties and filed with the deleted text begincommissioner ordeleted text end compensation judge. If a case has been stricken from the calendar for one year or more and no corrective action has been taken, the deleted text begincommissioner or adeleted text end compensation judge may, upon the deleted text begincommissioner's ordeleted text end judge's own motion or a motion of a party which is properly served on all parties, dismiss the case. The petitioner must be given at least 30 days' advance notice of the proposed dismissal before the dismissal is effective.
The answer shall admit, deny, or affirmatively defend against the substantial averments of the petition, and shall state the contention of the adverse party with reference to the matter in dispute.
Each fact alleged by the petition or answer and not specifically denied by the answer or reply is deemed admitted, but the failure to deny such a fact does not preclude the compensation judge from requiring proof of the fact.
The answer shall include the names and addresses of all known witnesses; whether or not the employer intends to schedule an adverse examination and, if known, the date, time, and place of all adverse examinations; the desired location for a hearing; any request for a prehearing or settlement conference; the estimated time needed to present evidence at a hearing; and, if an affidavit of significant financial hardship and request for an expedited hearing are included with the petition, any objection the employer may have to that request. If the date, time, and place of all adverse examinations is unknown at the time the answer is filed, the employer must notify the deleted text begincommissionerdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end in writing of the date, time, and place of all adverse examinations within 50 days of the filing of the claim petition.
Upon showing of cause, the deleted text begincommissionerdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end may extend the time in which to file an answer or reply for not more than 30 additional days. The time to file an answer or reply may also be extended upon agreement of the petitioner, and provided that the deleted text begincommissionerdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end must be notified in writing by the employer no later than five days beyond the time required for the filing of the answer of the fact that an agreement has been reached, including the length of the extension. Any case received by the office that does not include an answer, written extension order, or written notification of the extension agreement shall be immediately set for a hearing at the first available date under section 176.331.
Except in cases involving multiple employers or multiple insurers, if an adverse party fails to file and serve an answer or obtain an extension from the deleted text begincommissionerdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end or the petitioner as required by section 176.321, subdivision 3, the deleted text begincommissionerdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end shall deleted text beginreferdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end the matter deleted text beginto the chief administrative law judgedeleted text end for an immediate hearing and prompt award or other order. The adverse party that failed to file an answer may appear at the hearing, present evidence and question witnesses, but shall not be granted a continuance except upon a showing of good cause.
If an adverse party who fails to serve and file an answer is neither insured for workers' compensation liability nor a licensed self-insured as required by section 176.181 and the special compensation fund is a party to the proceeding, the deleted text begincommissioner ordeleted text end compensation judge may enter an order awarding benefits to the petitioning party without a hearing if so requested by the special compensation fund.
Upon deleted text beginreceipt of a matter from the commissionerdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end, the chief administrative law judge shall fix a time and place for hearing the petition. The hearing shall be held as soon as practicable and at a time and place determined by the chief administrative law judge to be the most convenient for the parties, keeping in mind the intent of chapter 176 and the requirements of section 176.306. Except where a shorter time period is required under this chapter, all hearings must be held within 26 months after a petition has been filed, unless the chief administrative law judge issues an order for a later date for the hearing explaining why the hearing could not be held within 26 months.
Before, during, or after any hearing, deleted text beginthe commissioner ordeleted text end a compensation judge may make an independent investigation of the facts alleged in the petition or answer.
The compensation judge assigned to a matterdeleted text begin, or the commissioner,deleted text end may appoint one or more neutral physicians or surgeons to examine the injury of the employee and report thereon except as provided otherwise pursuant to section 176.1361. Where necessary to determine the facts, the services of other experts may also be employed.
The report of a physician, surgeon, or other expert new text beginnew text endshall be filed with deleted text beginthe commissioner anddeleted text end the compensation judge assigned to the matter if any. The report shall be made a part of the record of the case and be open to inspection as such.
The deleted text begincommissioner ordeleted text end compensation judge shall fix the compensation of a physician, surgeon, or other expert whose services are employed under this deleted text beginchapterdeleted text endnew text beginnew text end. This compensation shall be paid initially out of the funds appropriated for the maintenance of the Workers' Compensation Division, but shall be taxed as costs to either party, or both, or otherwise, as the deleted text begincommissioner ordeleted text end compensation judge directs.
Where a sum which has been taxed to a party has not been paid, it may be collected in the same manner as are costs generally.
Within the 30-day period for taking an appeal, the appellant shall:
(1) serve a copy of the notice of appeal on each adverse party; and
(2) new text beginnew text endfile the original noticenew text beginnew text end, with proof of service by admission or affidavit, with the chief administrative law judge and file a copy with the commissioner. deleted text beginAlternatively, the original may be retained by the filing party and a copy of the original filed by facsimile with the chief administrative law judge and the commissioner. Facsimile filings must be 15 pages or less in length. A facsimile appeal received after 4:30 p.m. on a state business day is considered filed on the next state business day.deleted text end
In order to defray the cost of the preparation of the record of the proceedings appealed from, each appellant and cross-appellant shall pay to the commissioner of management and budget, Office of Administrative Hearings account the sum of $25. The filing fee must be received by the Office of Administrative Hearings within ten business days after the end of the appeal period. If the filing fee is not received within ten days after the appeal period, the appeal is not timely filed.
The first party to file an appeal is liable for the original cost of preparation of the transcript. Cross-appellants or any other persons requesting a copy of the transcript are liable for the cost of the copy. The chief administrative law judge may require payment for transcription costs to be made in advance of the transcript preparation. The cost of a transcript prepared by a nongovernmental source shall be paid directly to that source and shall not exceed the cost that the source would be able to charge the state for the same service.
Upon a showing of cause, the chief administrative law judge may direct that a transcript be prepared without expense to the party requesting its preparation, in which case the cost of the transcript shall be paid by the Office of Administrative Hearings.
All fees received by the Office of Administrative Hearings for the preparation of the record for submission to the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals or for the cost of transcripts prepared by the office shall be deposited in the Office of Administrative Hearings account in the state treasury and shall be used solely for the purpose of keeping the record of hearings conducted under this chapter and the preparation of transcripts of those hearings.
new text begin new text end new text begin new text end
This section is effective for employees who contract COVID-19 on or after the day following final enactment. Paragraph (f) sunsets at 11:59 p.m. on deleted text beginDecember 31, 2021deleted text endnew text beginnew text end. deleted text beginEmployees with dates of injury that occur on or after January 1, 2022, are not entitled to the presumption in section 176.011, subdivision 15, paragraph (f), but are not precluded from claiming an occupational disease as provided in other paragraphs of section 176.011, subdivision 15, or from claiming a personal injury under section 176.011, subdivision 16.deleted text end
new text begin new text end
Presented to the governor February 3, 2022
Signed by the governor February 3, 2022, 7:27 p.m.
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes