2005 Legislation
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SENATE BILL NO. 1092 – Workers comp claim, limitations


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Bill Status

S1092.......................................by COMMERCE AND HUMAN RESOURCES
WORKER'S COMPENSATION - Amends existing law relating to worker's
compensation to specify limitations; and to revise provisions applicable to
a claimant's right to medical benefits.
02/04    Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/07    Rpt prt - to Com/HuRes
02/11    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
02/14    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
02/18    3rd rdg - PASSED - 33-0-2
      AYES -- Andreason, Broadsword, Bunderson, Burkett, Burtenshaw,
      Cameron, Coiner, Compton, Corder, Darrington, Davis, Gannon, Geddes,
      Goedde, Hill, Jorgenson, Kelly, Keough, Langhorst, Little, Lodge,
      Malepeai, Marley, McGee, McKenzie, Noble, Pearce, Richardson,
      Schroeder, Stegner, Stennett, Werk, Williams
      NAYS -- None
      Absent and excused -- Brandt, Sweet
    Floor Sponsor - Goedde
    Title apvd - to House
02/21    House intro - 1st rdg - to Com/HuRes
03/16    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
03/17    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
03/18    3rd rdg - PASSED - 69-0-1
      AYES -- Anderson, Andrus, Barraclough, Barrett, Bastian, Bayer,
      Bedke, Bell, Bilbao, Black, Block, Boe, Bolz, Bradford, Cannon,
      Chadderdon, Clark, Collins, Crow, Deal, Denney, Edmunson, Ellsworth,
      Eskridge, Field(18), Field(23), Garrett, Hart, Harwood, Henbest,
      Henderson, Jaquet, Jones, Kemp, Lake, LeFavour, Loertscher, Martinez,
      Mathews, McGeachin, McKague, Miller, Mitchell, Moyle, Nielsen,
      Nonini, Pasley-Stuart, Pence, Raybould, Ring, Ringo, Roberts, Rusche,
      Rydalch, Sali, Sayler, Schaefer, Shepherd(2), Shepherd(8), Shirley,
      Skippen, Smith(30), Smith(24), Smylie, Snodgrass, Stevenson, Trail,
      Wills, Wood
      NAYS -- None
      Absent and excused -- Mr. Speaker
    Floor Sponsor - Trail
    Title apvd - to Senate
03/21    To enrol
03/22    Rpt enrol - Pres signed
03/23    Sp signed
03/24    To Governor
03/28    Governor signed
         Session Law Chapter 161
         Effective: 07/01/05

Bill Text

  ]]]]              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ]]]]
 Fifty-eighth Legislature                   First Regular Session - 2005
                                       IN THE SENATE
                                    SENATE BILL NO. 1092
  1                                        AN ACT
  6    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
  7        SECTION  1.  That  Section  72-432, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
  8    amended to read as follows:
 10    to the provisions of section 72-706, Idaho Code, tThe employer  shall  provide
 11    for  an injured employee such reasonable medical, surgical or other attendance
 12    or treatment, nurse and hospital services, medicines, crutches and  apparatus,
 13    as  may  be  reasonably required by the employee's physician or needed immedi-
 14    ately after an injury or manifestation of an occupational disease, and  for  a
 15    reasonable  time  thereafter.  If  the employer fails to provide the same, the
 16    injured employee may do so at the expense of the employer.
 17        (2)  The employer shall also furnish necessary replacements or repairs  of
 18    appliances  and  prostheses, unless the need therefor is due to lack of proper
 19    care by the employee. If the appliance or prosthesis is damaged  or  destroyed
 20    in  an industrial accident, the employer, for whom the employee was working at
 21    the time of accident, will be liable for replacement or repair,  but  not  for
 22    any subsequent replacement or repair not directly resulting from the accident.
 23        (3)  In  addition  to  the income benefits otherwise payable, the employee
 24    who is entitled to income benefits shall be  paid  an  additional  sum  in  an
 25    amount  as may be determined by the commission as by it deemed necessary, as a
 26    medical service, when the constant service of an  attendant  is  necessary  by
 27    reason  of  total  blindness of the employee or the loss of both hands or both
 28    feet or the loss of use thereof, or by reason of being paralyzed and unable to
 29    walk, or by reason of other disability resulting from the  injury  or  disease
 30    actually rendering him so helpless as to require constant attendance. The com-
 31    mission  shall have authority to determine the necessity, character and suffi-
 32    ciency of any medical services furnished or to be  furnished  and  shall  have
 33    authority  to order a change of physician, hospital or rehabilitation facility
 34    when in its judgment such change is desirable or necessary.
 35        (4)  (a) The employee upon reasonable grounds, may petition the commission
 36        for a change of physician to be provided by  the  employer;  however,  the
 37        employee  must  give  written  notice  to  the  employer  or surety of the
 38        employee's request for a change of physicians to afford the  employer  the
 39        opportunity  to  fulfill  its  obligations  under  this section. If proper
 40        notice is not given, the employer shall not be obligated to  pay  for  the
 41        services  obtained. Nothing in this section shall limit the attending phy-
 42        sician from arranging for consultation, referral or specialized care with-
 43        out permission of the employer. Upon receiving such  written  notice,  the
  1        employer  shall  render  its  written  decision  on the claimant's request
  2        within fourteen (14) days. If any dispute  arises  over  the  issue  of  a
  3        request  for  change of physician, the industrial commission shall conduct
  4        an expedited hearing to determine whether or not the request for change of
  5        physician should be granted, and shall render a decision  within  fourteen
  6        (14) days after the filing of the response by the employer.
  7        (b)  The  industrial  commission  shall,  no later than December 31, 1997,
  8        promulgate a rule for the expeditious handling of a petition for change of
  9        physician pursuant to this section. Nothing herein shall prevent the  com-
 10        mission  from  making periodic amendments, as may become necessary, to any
 11        rule for a petition for change of physician.
 12        (5)  Any employee who seeks medical care in a manner not provided  for  in
 13    this section, or as ordered by the industrial commission pursuant to this sec-
 14    tion, shall not be entitled to reimbursement for costs of such care.
 15        (6)  An  employee shall not be responsible for charges of physicians, hos-
 16    pitals or other providers of medical services to whom he has been referred for
 17    treatment of his injury or occupational disease by an employer designated phy-
 18    sician or by the commission, except for charges for personal items or extended
 19    services which the employee has requested for his convenience  and  which  are
 20    not required for treatment of his injury or occupational disease.
 21        (7)  The  employer or surety shall not be subject to tort liability to any
 22    health care provider for complying with the provisions of this law.
 23        (8)  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require a  workman  who
 24    in  good  faith  relies  on  Christian  Science treatment by a duly accredited
 25    Christian Science practitioner to undergo any medical or  surgical  treatment,
 26    providing that neither he nor his dependents shall be entitled to income bene-
 27    fits  of  any  kind  beyond those reasonably expected to have been paid had he
 28    undergone medical or surgical treatment, and the employer or insurance carrier
 29    may pay for such spiritual treatment.
 30        (9)  The commission shall promulgate rules requiring physicians and  other
 31    practitioners  providing  treatment  to make regular reports to the commission
 32    containing such information as may be required by the commission. The  commis-
 33    sion  shall  promulgate  such  rules with the counsel, advice, cooperation and
 34    expertise of representatives of industry, labor, sureties and  the  legal  and
 35    medical  professions  as  well  as  institutions, hospitals and clinics having
 36    physical rehabilitation facilities.
 37        (10) All medical information relevant to  or  bearing  upon  a  particular
 38    injury or occupational disease shall be provided to the employer, surety, man-
 39    ager  of  the  industrial special indemnity fund, or their attorneys or autho-
 40    rized representatives, the claimant, the claimant's  attorneys  or  authorized
 41    representatives, or the commission without liability on the part of the physi-
 42    cian, hospital or other provider of medical services and information developed
 43    in connection with treatment or examination for an injury or disease for which
 44    compensation is sought shall not be privileged communication. When a physician
 45    or  hospital  willfully  fails  to  make a report required under this section,
 46    after written  notice by the commission that such report is due,  the  commis-
 47    sion may order forfeiture of all or part of payments due for services rendered
 48    in connection with the particular case. An attorney representing the employer,
 49    surety,  claimant or industrial special indemnity fund shall have the right to
 50    confer with any health care provider without  the  presence  of  the  opposing
 51    attorney,  representative  or  party, except for a health care provider who is
 52    retained only as an expert witness.
 53        (11) Physicians or others providing  services  under  this  section  shall
 54    assist  in the rehabilitation program provided in section 72-501A, Idaho Code.
 55    They shall cooperate with specialists  from  the  commission's  rehabilitation
  1    staff and with employer rehabilitation personnel in furthering the physical or
  2    vocational  rehabilitation  of  the employee. The extension of total temporary
  3    disability benefits during retraining as authorized by section 72-450,   Idaho
  4    Code,  shall  be  the responsibility of the commission, however, the physician
  5    shall inform the commission as soon as  it  is  medically  apparent  that  the
  6    employee  may  be  unable to return to the job in which he sustained injury or
  7    occupational disease following treatment and maximum recovery.
  8        (12) An injured employee shall be reimbursed for his expenses of necessary
  9    travel in obtaining medical care under this section.  Reimbursement for trans-
 10    portation expenses, if the employee utilizes a private vehicle,  shall  be  at
 11    the  mileage rate allowed by the state board of examiners for state employees;
 12    provided however, that the employee shall not be reimbursed for the first fif-
 13    teen (15) miles of any round trip, nor for traveling any round trip of fifteen
 14    (15) miles or less.  Such distance shall be calculated by the shortest practi-
 15    cal route of travel.
 16        (13) An employee who leaves the locality where employed at the time of the
 17    industrial accident, or manifestation  of  an  occupational  disease,  or  the
 18    locality  in  which  the employee is currently receiving medical treatment for
 19    the injury, shall give timely  notice  to  the  employer  and  surety  of  the
 20    employee's  leaving  the  locality.   The  employer  or surety may require the
 21    claimant to report to the treating physician for examination prior to  leaving
 22    the locality, if practical. If an examination by the treating physician is not
 23    practical  prior to leaving the locality, the employer or surety may assist in
 24    arranging an examination by an appropriate  physician  in  the  new  locality.
 25    After  receiving  notice  of relocation, the employer or surety shall have the
 26    same responsibility to furnish care as set forth in  subsection  (1)  of  this
 27    section.
 28        SECTION  2.  That  Section  72-706, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
 29    amended to read as follows:
 30        72-706.  LIMITATION ON TIME ON APPLICATION FOR HEARING. (1) When  no  com-
 31    pensation  paid.  When a claim for compensation has been made and no compensa-
 32    tion has been paid thereon, the claimant, unless misled to  his  prejudice  by
 33    the  employer or surety, shall have one (1) year from the date of making claim
 34    within which to make and file with the commission an application requesting  a
 35    hearing and an award under such claim.
 36        (2)  When  compensation  discontinued.  When payments of compensation have
 37    been made and thereafter discontinued, the claimant shall have five (5)  years
 38    from  the  date of the accident causing the injury or date of first manifesta-
 39    tion of an occupational disease within which to make and file with the commis-
 40    sion an application requesting a hearing for further compensation and award.
 41        (3)  When income benefits discontinued. If income benefits have been  paid
 42    and  discontinued more than four (4) years from the date of the accident caus-
 43    ing the injury or the date of first manifestation of an occupational  disease,
 44    the  claimant  shall  have  one  (1) year from the date of the last payment of
 45    income benefits within which to make and file with the commission an  applica-
 46    tion requesting a hearing for additional income benefits.
 47        (4)  Medical  benefits.  The  payment  of medical benefits beyond five (5)
 48    years from the date of the accident causing the injury or the  date  of  first
 49    manifestation  of an occupational disease shall not extend the time for filing
 50    a claim or an application requesting a hearing for additional income  benefits
 51    as provided in this section.
 52        (5)  Right  to  medical benefits not affected. The provisions of this sec-
 53    tion shall not affect a Except under circumstances provided in subsection  (1)
  1    of this section, the claimant's right to medical benefits under the provisions
  2    of  section  72-432(1), Idaho Code, shall not be otherwise barred by this sec-
  3    tion.
  4        (6)  Relief barred. In the event an application is not made and  filed  as
  5    in this section provided, relief on any such claim shall be forever barred.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

                       STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

                           RS 14497c1

The amendment clarifies issues relating to the impact and meaning
of Idaho Code section 72-706 (5) as it was amended in 1991, and
has been subsequently interpreted by the Idaho Industrial
Commission.  The amendment removes concerns over the absence of a
statute of limitations on medical benefits in denied worker's
compensation claims.

                          FISCAL IMPACT


Name:  Sen. John Goedde 
Phone: 332-1331

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE                    S 1092