Introduced Version






HOUSE BILL No. 1490

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DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL



Citations Affected: IC 22-3.

Synopsis: Worker's compensation and choice of physician. Provides that an employee entitled to compensation for: (1) personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment; or (2) disablement by occupational disease arising out of and in the course of employment; may select a physician or surgeon of the employee's choice or may choose to be treated by the physician or surgeon furnished by the employer.

Effective: July 1, 2007.





Cheney




    January 23, 2007, read first time and referred to Committee on Labor and Employment.







Introduced

First Regular Session 115th General Assembly (2007)


PRINTING CODE. Amendments: Whenever an existing statute (or a section of the Indiana Constitution) is being amended, the text of the existing provision will appear in this style type, additions will appear in this style type, and deletions will appear in this style type.
Additions: Whenever a new statutory provision is being enacted (or a new constitutional provision adopted), the text of the new provision will appear in this style type. Also, the word NEW will appear in that style type in the introductory clause of each SECTION that adds a new provision to the Indiana Code or the Indiana Constitution.
Conflict reconciliation: Text in a statute in this style type or this style type reconciles conflicts between statutes enacted by the 2006 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

HOUSE BILL No. 1490



    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning labor and safety.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

SOURCE: IC 22-3-3-4; (07)IN1490.1.1. -->     SECTION 1. IC 22-3-3-4 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2007]: Sec. 4. (a) After an injury and prior to an adjudication of permanent impairment, the employer shall furnish or cause to be furnished, free of charge to the employee, an attending physician for the treatment of his the employee's injuries, and in addition thereto such surgical, hospital, and nursing services and supplies as the attending physician or the worker's compensation board may deem necessary. The employee may select an attending physician of the employee's choice for the treatment or may choose to be treated by the attending physician furnished by the employer. If the employee is requested or required by the employer to submit to treatment outside the county of employment, the employer shall also pay the reasonable expense of travel, food, and lodging necessary during the travel, but not to exceed the amount paid at the time of the travel by the state to its employees under the state travel policies and procedures established by the department of administration and approved by the state budget agency. If the treatment or travel to or

from the place of treatment causes a loss of working time to the employee, the employer shall reimburse the employee for the loss of wages using the basis of the employee's average daily wage.
    (b) During the period of temporary total disability resulting from the injury, the employer shall furnish the physician services and supplies, and the worker's compensation board may, on proper application of either party, require that treatment by the physician and services and supplies be furnished by or on behalf of the employer as the worker's compensation board may deem reasonably necessary. The employee may select a physician of the employee's choice for the treatment or may choose to be treated by the physician furnished by the employer.
    (c) After an employee's injury has been adjudicated by agreement or award on the basis of permanent partial impairment and within the statutory period for review in such case as provided in section 27 of this chapter, the employer may continue to furnish a physician or surgeon and other medical services and supplies, and the worker's compensation board may within the statutory period for review as provided in section 27 of this chapter, on a proper application of either party, require that treatment by that physician and other medical services and supplies be furnished by and on behalf of the employer as the worker's compensation board may deem necessary to limit or reduce the amount and extent of the employee's impairment. If the employer continues to furnish a physician or surgeon, the employee may select a physician or surgeon of the employee's choice or may choose to be treated by the physician or surgeon furnished by the employer. The refusal of the employee to accept such services and supplies, when provided by or on behalf of the employer, shall bar the employee from all compensation otherwise payable during the period of the refusal, and his the employee's right to prosecute any proceeding under IC 22-3-2 through IC 22-3-6 shall be suspended and abated until the employee's refusal ceases. The employee must be served with a notice setting forth the consequences of the refusal under this section. The notice must be in a form prescribed by the worker's compensation board. No compensation for permanent total impairment, permanent partial impairment, permanent disfigurement, or death shall be paid or payable for that part or portion of the impairment, disfigurement, or death which is the result of the failure of the employee to accept the treatment, services, and supplies required under this section. However, an employer may at any time permit an employee to have treatment for his the employee's injuries by spiritual means or prayer in lieu of the physician or surgeon and other medical

services and supplies required under this section.
    (d) If, because of an emergency, or because of the employer's failure to provide an attending physician or surgical, hospital, or nursing services and supplies, or treatment by spiritual means or prayer, as required by this section, or because of any other good reason, including the selection of a physician by the employee under subsection (a), (b), or (c), a physician other than that provided by the employer treats the injured employee during the period of the employee's temporary total disability, or necessary and proper surgical, hospital, or nursing services and supplies are procured within the period, the reasonable cost of those services and supplies shall, subject to the approval of the worker's compensation board, be paid by the employer.
    (e) Regardless of when it occurs, where a compensable injury results in the amputation of a body part, the enucleation of an eye, or the loss of natural teeth, the employer shall furnish an appropriate artificial member, braces, and prosthodontics. The cost of repairs to or replacements for the artificial members, braces, or prosthodontics that result from a compensable injury pursuant to a prior award and are required due to either medical necessity or normal wear and tear, determined according to the employee's individual use, but not abuse, of the artificial member, braces, or prosthodontics, shall be paid from the second injury fund upon order or award of the worker's compensation board. The employee is not required to meet any other requirement for admission to the second injury fund.
    (f) If an accident arising out of and in the course of employment after June 30, 1997, results in the loss of or damage to an artificial member, a brace, an implant, eyeglasses, prosthodontics, or other medically prescribed device, the employer shall repair the artificial member, brace, implant, eyeglasses, prosthodontics, or other medically prescribed device or furnish an identical or a reasonably equivalent replacement.
    (g) This section may not be construed to prohibit an agreement between an employer and the employer's employees that has the approval of the board and that binds the parties to:
        (1) medical care furnished by health care providers selected by agreement before or after injury; or
        (2) the findings of a health care provider who was chosen by agreement.

SOURCE: IC 22-3-7-17; (07)IN1490.1.2. -->     SECTION 2. IC 22-3-7-17 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2007]: Sec. 17. (a) During the period of disablement, the employer shall furnish or cause to be furnished, free of charge to the employee, an attending physician for

the treatment of his the employee's occupational disease, and in addition thereto such surgical, hospital, and nursing services and supplies as the attending physician or the worker's compensation board may deem necessary. The employee may select an attending physician of the employee's choice for the treatment or may choose to be treated by the attending physician furnished by the employer. If the employee is requested or required by the employer to submit to treatment outside the county of employment, the employer shall also pay the reasonable expense of travel, food, and lodging necessary during the travel, but not to exceed the amount paid at the time of the travel by the state of Indiana to its employees. If the treatment or travel to or from the place of treatment causes a loss of working time to the employee, the employer shall reimburse the employee for the loss of wages using the basis of the employee's average daily wage.
    (b) During the period of disablement resulting from the occupational disease, the employer shall furnish such physician, services, and supplies, and the worker's compensation board may, on proper application of either party, require that treatment by such physician and such services and supplies be furnished by or on behalf of the employer as the board may deem reasonably necessary. The employee may select a physician of the employee's choice for the treatment or may choose to be treated by the physician furnished by the employer. After an employee's occupational disease has been adjudicated by agreement or award on the basis of permanent partial impairment and within the statutory period for review in such case as provided in section 27(i) of this chapter, the employer may continue to furnish a physician or a surgeon and other medical services and supplies, and the board may, within such statutory period for review as provided in section 27(i) of this chapter, on a proper application of either party, require that treatment by such physician or surgeon and such services and supplies be furnished by and on behalf of the employer as the board may deem necessary to limit or reduce the amount and extent of such impairment. If the employer continues to furnish a physician or surgeon, the employee may select a physician or surgeon of the employee's choice or may choose to be treated by the physician or surgeon furnished by the employer. The refusal of the employee to accept such services and supplies when so provided by or on behalf of the employer shall bar the employee from all compensation otherwise payable during the period of such refusal, and his the employee's right to prosecute any proceeding under this chapter shall be suspended and abated until such refusal ceases. The employee must be served with a notice setting forth the consequences

of the refusal under this section. The notice must be in a form prescribed by the worker's compensation board. No compensation for permanent total impairment, permanent partial impairment, permanent disfigurement, or death shall be paid or payable for that part or portion of such impairment, disfigurement, or death which is the result of the failure of such employee to accept such treatment, services, and supplies, provided that an employer may at any time permit an employee to have treatment for his the employee's disease or injury by spiritual means or prayer in lieu of such physician, services, and supplies.
    (c) Regardless of when it occurs, where a compensable occupational disease results in the amputation of a body part, the enucleation of an eye, or the loss of natural teeth, the employer shall furnish an appropriate artificial member, braces, and prosthodontics. The cost of repairs to or replacements for the artificial members, braces, or prosthodontics that result from a compensable occupational disease pursuant to a prior award and are required due to either medical necessity or normal wear and tear, determined according to the employee's individual use, but not abuse, of the artificial member, braces, or prosthodontics, shall be paid from the second injury fund upon order or award of the worker's compensation board. The employee is not required to meet any other requirement for admission to the second injury fund.
    (d) If an emergency or because of the employer's failure to provide such attending physician or such surgical, hospital, or nurse's services and supplies or such treatment by spiritual means or prayer as specified in this section, or for other good reason, including the selection of a physician by the employee under subsection (a) or (b), a physician other than that provided by the employer treats the diseased employee within the period of disability, or necessary and proper surgical, hospital, or nurse's services and supplies are procured within the period, the reasonable cost of such services and supplies shall, subject to approval of the worker's compensation board, be paid by the employer.
    (e) This section may not be construed to prohibit an agreement between an employer and employees that has the approval of the board and that:
        (1) binds the parties to medical care furnished by providers selected by agreement before or after disablement; or
        (2) makes the findings of a provider chosen in this manner binding upon the parties.
    (f) The employee and the employee's estate do not have liability to

a health care provider for payment for services obtained under this section. The right to order payment for all services provided under this chapter is solely with the board. All claims by a health care provider for payment for services are against the employer and the employer's insurance carrier, if any, and must be made with the board under this chapter.