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Workers' Compensation

Concerning workers' compensation, and, in connection therewith, increasing the duration of benefits based on mental impairment, removing the authority to petition over artificial devices, allowing an employee to request a hearing on the loss of total temporary disability benefits under certain circumstances, updating provisions related to independent medical examinations, increasing the amount of attorney fees that are presumed unreasonable, and making an appropriation.
2023 Regular Session
Labor & Employment
Bill Summary

Section 1 of the bill increases the limit on medical impairment benefits based on mental impairment from 12 weeks to 36 weeks.Section 2 removes language authorizing an employee to petition the division of workers' compensation in the department of labor and employment (division) prior to receiving a replacement of any artificial member, glasses, hearing aid, brace, or other external prosthetic device, including dentures.Section 3 allows an employee to request a hearing when the employee's temporary total disability benefits end based on an attending physician's written release to return to regular employment.Section 4 specifies that when a physician recommends medical benefits after maximum medical improvement, the benefits admitted by the insurer or self-insured employer are not limited to any specific medical treatment.

Current law requires an insurance carrier to provide an independent medical examiner and all other parties a complete copy of all medical records in its possession pertaining to an injury. Section 5 limits the medical records required to be provided to records relevant to the injury. Section 5 also specifies how the division is required to determine the amount and allocation of costs to be paid by the parties for an independent medical examination.Section 6 allows a prehearing administrative law judge to issue interlocutory orders resolving disputes regarding the content and format of the independent medical examiner's medical record packet, indigency status, and the allocation of independent medical examiner costs.

Current law states that a contingent attorney fee exceeding 20% of the amount of contested benefits is presumed to be unreasonable. Section 7 increases the amount to 25%.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)




Bill Text

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