House File 2293 - Introduced HOUSE FILE 2293 BY KAJTAZOVIC A BILL FOR An Act relating to the choice of doctor to treat injuries. 1 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 2 TLSB 5702YH (6) 85 rj/rj
H.F. 2293 Section 1. Section 85.27, subsection 4, Code 2014, is 1 amended to read as follows: 2 4. For purposes of this section , the employer is obliged to 3 furnish reasonable services and supplies to treat an injured 4 employee, and the employee has the right to choose the care. 5 If the employer chooses the care, the The employer shall hold 6 the employee harmless for the cost of the care until the 7 employer notifies the employee that the employer is no longer 8 authorizing all or any part of the care and the reason for 9 the change in authorization. An employer is not liable for 10 the cost of care that the employer arranges in response to a 11 sudden emergency if the employee’s condition, for which care 12 was arranged, is not related to the employment chosen . The 13 treatment must shall be offered promptly provided in a timely 14 manner and be reasonably suited to treat the injury without 15 undue inconvenience to the employee. If the employer or 16 employee has reason to be dissatisfied with the care offered 17 or provided , the employer or employee should shall communicate 18 the basis of such dissatisfaction to the employee or employer, 19 in writing if requested , following which the employer and the 20 employee may agree to alternate care reasonably suited to 21 treat the injury. If the employer and employee cannot agree 22 on such alternate care, the commissioner may, upon application 23 and reasonable proofs of the necessity therefor, allow and 24 order other care. In an emergency, the employee may choose 25 the employee’s care at the employer’s expense, provided the 26 employer or the employer’s agent cannot be reached immediately. 27 An application made under this subsection shall be considered 28 an original proceeding for purposes of commencement and 29 contested case proceedings under section 85.26 . The hearing 30 shall be conducted pursuant to chapter 17A . Before a hearing 31 is scheduled, the parties may choose a telephone hearing or 32 an in-person hearing. A request for an in-person hearing 33 shall be approved unless the in-person hearing would be 34 impractical because of the distance between the parties to the 35 -1- LSB 5702YH (6) 85 rj/rj 1/ 4
H.F. 2293 hearing. The workers’ compensation commissioner shall issue a 1 decision within ten working days of receipt of an application 2 for alternate care made pursuant to a telephone hearing or 3 within fourteen working days of receipt of an application 4 for alternate care made pursuant to an in-person hearing . 5 The After receiving notice of an injury, the employer shall 6 promptly notify an injured employee of the employee’s ability 7 to contest the employer’s choice of right to choose care 8 pursuant to this subsection and the employer and the employer’s 9 insurer shall not make suggestions or otherwise attempt 10 to influence the injured employee’s choice of a treating 11 physician . 12 When it is medically indicated that no significant 13 improvement from an injury is anticipated, the employer shall 14 obtain a medical opinion regarding the extent of the employee’s 15 permanent disability and may arrange for a medical examination 16 of the injured employee in order to do so. The employee shall 17 be paid wages, at the employee’s regular rate, plus whatever 18 reasonable transportation expenses are incurred while attending 19 the examination. The physician chosen by the employer to 20 conduct the examination has the right to confer with and obtain 21 from any physician retained by the injured employee sufficient 22 history of the injury to make a proper examination. The 23 refusal of the employee to submit to the examination shall 24 suspend the employee’s right to any compensation during the 25 period of the refusal. Compensation shall not be payable for 26 the period of the suspension. 27 Sec. 2. Section 85.39, unnumbered paragraph 1, Code 2014, 28 is amended to read as follows: 29 After an injury, the employee, if requested by the employer, 30 shall submit for examination at some reasonable time and 31 place and as often as reasonably requested, to a physician or 32 physicians authorized to practice under the laws of this state 33 or another state, without cost to the employee; but if the 34 employee requests, the employee, at the employee’s own cost, is 35 -2- LSB 5702YH (6) 85 rj/rj 2/ 4
H.F. 2293 entitled to have a physician or physicians of the employee’s 1 own selection present to participate in the examination. After 2 the employer obtains a medical opinion regarding the extent of 3 an injured employee’s permanent disability pursuant to section 4 85.27, subsection 4, and if the injured employee believes 5 that the evaluation of the permanent disability contained in 6 the opinion is too low, the employee has the right to obtain 7 another medical opinion from a physician of the employee’s 8 choice, at the employer’s expense. If an employee is required 9 to leave work for which the employee is being paid wages to 10 attend the requested an examination to obtain another medical 11 opinion , the employee shall be compensated at the employee’s 12 regular rate for the time the employee is required to leave 13 work, and the employee shall be furnished transportation to 14 and from the place of examination, or the employer may elect 15 to pay the employee the reasonable cost of the transportation. 16 The refusal of the employee to submit to the examination shall 17 suspend the employee’s right to any compensation for the period 18 of the refusal. Compensation shall not be payable for the 19 period of suspension. 20 Sec. 3. Section 85.39, unnumbered paragraph 2, Code 2014, is 21 amended by striking the unnumbered paragraph. 22 EXPLANATION 23 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 24 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 25 This bill relates to the provision of medical services and 26 evaluation of permanent disabilities of injured employees under 27 the workers’ compensation law. 28 Code section 85.27, subsection 4, is amended to give an 29 injured employee, instead of the employer, the right to choose 30 the provider of medical services, at the employer’s expense. 31 If either the employee or the employer is dissatisfied with 32 the care offered or provided, written notice must be given to 33 the other party, and upon application and hearing the workers’ 34 compensation commissioner may allow and order other care. A 35 -3- LSB 5702YH (6) 85 rj/rj 3/ 4
H.F. 2293 decision for alternate care must be issued by the commissioner 1 within 10 working days after receipt of the application for 2 alternate care. 3 Upon receiving notice of an injury, an employer is also 4 required to promptly notify an injured employee of the 5 employee’s right to choose medical care and the employer and 6 the employer’s insurer are prohibited from making suggestions 7 or otherwise attempting to influence the injured employee’s 8 choice of a treating physician. 9 When it is medically indicated that no significant 10 improvement from an injury is anticipated, the employer is 11 required to obtain a medical opinion regarding the extent 12 of the employee’s permanent disability and may arrange 13 for a medical examination of the injured employee in order 14 to do so. The employee must be paid regular wages and 15 reasonable transportation expenses incurred while attending 16 the examination. The physician chosen by the employer is 17 entitled to confer with and obtain from any physician retained 18 by the injured employee sufficient history to conduct a proper 19 examination. The refusal of an employee to submit to the 20 examination suspends the employee’s right to any compensation 21 during the period of the refusal. Compensation is not payable 22 for the period of the refusal. 23 Code section 85.39 is amended to provide that after the 24 employer obtains a medical opinion regarding the extent of 25 an injured employee’s permanent disability pursuant to Code 26 section 85.27, subsection 4, and if the employee believes the 27 extent of permanent disability identified in the opinion is 28 too low, the employee has the right to obtain another medical 29 opinion from a physician of the employee’s choice, at the 30 employer’s expense. 31 -4- LSB 5702YH (6) 85 rj/rj 4/ 4