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S.F. No. 3420 - Workers Compensation Advisory Council Recommendations (1st Engrossment as Amended by the SCS3420A-2 Amendment)
Author: Senator Paul J. Utke
Prepared By: Carlon D. Fontaine, Senate Counsel (651/296-4395)
Date: May 14, 2018


Article 1 – Workers’ Compensation General

Section 1.  Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals and compensation judges.  Increases the salaries of the judges and the chief judge in the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals. This is from S.F. 3630 (Dibble).

Section 2.  Retired judges.  Allows judges retired from the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals or the Office of Administrative Hearings to hear cases when there are not enough judges available for a quorum to hear a case before the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals.  Sections 2 to 4 are recommendations from the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council and contained in S.F. 3630 (Utke). 

Section 3.  Uses that may be made of reports.  Specifies who has access, with and without an authorization, to workers’ compensation reports of injury filed with the commissioner of labor and industry.

Section 4.  Coordination of the Office of Administrative Hearings’ case management system and the workers’ compensation imaging system. Governs coordination of the case management system and the workers’ compensation imaging system pending completion of the modernization program.  Provides that documents related to a workers’ compensation dispute that require action by the Office of Administrative Hearings must be filed with the office as provided by the chief administrative law judge.  Specifies the documents that must be filed with the commissioner of labor and industry.  Provides that documents filed with the Department of Labor and Industry under Chapter 176 (workers’ compensation) are private data on individuals and nonpublic data except that documents are available to: the office and the department, the parties to the workers’ compensation claim, intervenors in a dispute, attorneys to a party in a dispute, a person who has written authorization from a party to the workers’ compensation claim, and as otherwise allowed by law.   

Section 5.  Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals.  Amends Laws 2017 to increase the appropriation from the workers’ compensation fund by $33,000 in fiscal year 2019 necessary to pay for the increase in judges’ salaries in section 1.

Article 2: Hospital Outpatient Fee Schedule

Section 1.  Workers’ compensation hospital outpatient fee schedule.  Establishes a workers’ compensation hospital outpatient fee schedule (HOFS) for payment of workers’ compensation hospital outpatient surgical, emergency room and clinic services, using Medicare’s Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) system as a framework.  Requires the commissioner of labor and industry to conduct a study of the HOFS, and report to the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council by January 15, 2021.  Authorizes the commissioner to adopt or amend rules to implement this section.

Article 3: Outpatient Billing, Payment, and Dispute Resolution

Sections 1 and 2.  Billing, Payment, and Dispute Resolution.  Establish billing, payment, and dispute resolution standards for the hospital outpatient fee schedule (in Article 2) and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) payment amendments (in Article 4).

Article 4: Ambulatory Surgical Centers

Section 1.  Ambulatory surgical center payment.  Establishes payment provisions for workers’ compensation treatment provided by Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs).

Article 5: Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Section 1.  Occupational disease.  Creates a presumption for a defined class of occupations.  Allows if an employee who was on active duty in one of the listed occupations is diagnosed with “post-traumatic stress disorder” (PTSD), and has not been diagnosed with PTSD previously, then the PTSD is presumptively an occupational disease that is presumed to have been due to the nature of employment.  Allows the presumption to be rebutted by substantial factors brought by the employer and insurer. 

Section 2.  Temporary partial disability.  Provides that the maximum number of weeks that an employee is entitled to temporary partial workers’ compensation benefits is increased from 225 to 275 weeks.

Section 3.  Permanent partial disability.  Increases the amounts used in calculating permanent partial disability benefits.

Section 4.  Permanent total disability.  Deletes the retirement presumption at age 67 and instead provides that permanent total disability benefits cease at age 72.  Permanent total disability benefits currently cease at 67 because the employee is presumed retired from the labor market.  Provides an exception for employees who are injured after age 67, which permanent total disability benefits will cease after 5 years.

Section 5.  Retraining; compensation.  Provides a conforming change to reflect the change in section 2 from 225 weeks of temporary partial disability benefits being changed 275 weeks.  

Section 6.  Treatment standards for medical services.  Directs the commissioner of labor and industry to promulgate rules governing the treatment of PTSD using expedited rulemaking authority. Requires the treatment parameters to be developed in consultation with the Medical Services Review Board (MSRB).  Directs the commissioner and the MSRB to consider the guidance found in the American Psychological Association’s (APA) most recently adopted Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of PTSD in Adults.  Directs the commissioner to review and update the rules governing treatment of PTSD, using the expedited rulemaking process, each time the APA adopts a significant change to their clinical practice guideline.


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