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176.155 EXAMINATIONS.
    Subdivision 1. Employer's physician. The injured employee must submit to examination
by the employer's physician, if requested by the employer, and at reasonable times thereafter
upon the employer's request. The examination must be scheduled at a location within 150 miles
of the employee's residence unless the employer can show cause to the department to order an
examination at a location further from the employee's residence. The employee is entitled upon
request to have a personal physician present at any such examination. Each party shall defray the
cost of that party's physician. Any report or written statement made by the employer's physician
as a result of an examination of the employee, regardless of whether the examination preceded
the injury or was made subsequent to the injury, shall be made available, upon request and
without charge, to the injured employee or representative of the employee. The employer shall
pay reasonable travel expenses incurred by the employee in attending the examination including
mileage, parking, and, if necessary, lodging and meals. The employer shall also pay the employee
for any lost wages resulting from attendance at the examination. A self-insured employer or
insurer who is served with a claim petition pursuant to section 176.271, subdivision 1, or 176.291,
shall schedule any necessary examinations of the employee, if an examination by the employer's
physician or health care provider is necessary to evaluate benefits claimed. The examination shall
be completed and the report of the examination shall be served on the employee and filed with the
commissioner within 120 days of service of the claim petition.
No evidence relating to the examination or report shall be received or considered by the
commissioner, a compensation judge, or the court of appeals in determining any issues unless
the report has been served and filed as required by this section, unless a written extension has
been granted by the commissioner or compensation judge. The commissioner or a compensation
judge shall extend the time for completing the adverse examination and filing the report upon
good cause shown. The extension must not be for the purpose of delay and the insurer must make
a good faith effort to comply with this subdivision. Good cause shall include but is not limited to:
(1) that the extension is necessary because of the limited number of physicians or health
care providers available with expertise in the particular injury or disease, or that the extension is
necessary due to the complexity of the medical issues, or
(2) that the extension is necessary to gather additional information which was not included
on the petition as required by section 176.291.
    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 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.
    Subd. 3. Refusal to be examined. If the injured employee refuses to comply with any
reasonable request for examination, the right to compensation may be suspended by order of the
commissioner or a compensation judge, and no compensation shall be paid while the employee
continues in the refusal.
    Subd. 4. Autopsies. In all death claims where the cause of death is obscure or disputed any
interested party may request an autopsy and, if denied, the compensation judge, or Workers'
Compensation Court of Appeals upon appeal, upon petition and proper showing, shall order an
autopsy. If any dependent claiming compensation or benefits does not consent to such autopsy
within the time fixed by the order, all dependents shall forfeit all rights to compensation. The
party demanding an autopsy shall bear the cost thereof.
    Subd. 5. Testimony of health care provider. Any physician or other health care provider
designated by the commissioner or compensation judge, or whose services are furnished or paid
for by the employer, or who treats, examines, or is present at any examination, of an injured
employee, may be required to testify as to any knowledge acquired by the physician or health
care provider in the course of the treatment or examination relative to the injury or disability
resulting from the injury only in cases involving occupational disease, cardiopulmonary injuries
or diseases, injuries resulting from cumulative trauma, issues of apportionment of liability, and
mental disorders, or upon an order of a compensation judge. In all other cases all evidence related
to health care must be submitted by written report as prescribed by the chief administrative
law judge. A party may cross-examine by deposition a physician or health care provider who
has examined or treated the employee. If a physician or health care provider is not available for
cross-examination prior to the hearing and the physician's or health care provider's written report is
submitted at the hearing, the compensation judge shall, upon request of the adverse party, require
the physician or health care provider to testify at the hearing or to be present at a posthearing
deposition for the purpose of being cross-examined by the adverse party. All written evidence
relating to health care must be submitted prior to or at the time of the hearing and no evidence
shall be considered which was submitted after the hearing unless the compensation judge orders
otherwise, and, in no case later than 30 days following the final hearing date unless an extension
is granted by the chief administrative law judge. Existing medical reports must be submitted
with a claim petition or answer as provided in sections 176.291 and 176.321. All reports shall
substantially conform to rules prescribed by the chief administrative law judge. When a written
report is used to present the testimony, it shall be admitted into evidence without the necessity for
foundational testimony and shall be considered as prima facie evidence of the opinions it contains.
History: 1953 c 755 s 17; 1969 c 276 s 2; 1973 c 388 s 40-43; 1975 c 271 s 6; 1975 c 359 s
23; 1976 c 134 s 78; 1977 c 342 s 20; Ex1979 c 3 s 48; 1983 c 290 s 110,111; 1984 c 640 s 32;
1986 c 444; 1987 c 332 s 42-44; 1992 c 510 art 4 s 20; 2002 c 262 s 15