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Indiana Worker's Compensation Law Alert: Legislature Enacts Changes to Law

by Carla R. Hounshel

September 12, 2018


 

Indiana Legislature Enacts Changes to Existing Worker’s Compensation Laws.

The Indiana Legislature has enacted changes to the existing Worker’s Compensation Act (“Act”). The following new provisions of the Act take effect immediately:

  • Permanent Partial Impairment (“PPI”) Ratings: Within 15 days after a report addressing an injured worker’s PPI, an Agreement to Compensation (Form 1043) and Employee Waiver of Examination by Personal Physician (Form 53913) must be sent to the injured worker, along with a copy of the PPI report, as well as any hand or foot chart (needed for amputations), if applicable. If the injured worker returns the signed Forms, payment for the PPI rating must be made within 30 days after the approval of the Agreement to Compensation. Failure to follow this provision of the Act will subject you to civil penalties under Ind. Code § 22-3-4-15 (discussed below).
  • Payment of Awards: Payments on Awards, either after the Single Hearing Member has issued a decision or a Compromise Stipulation for Award has been approved, must be made within 30 days of the Award if no appeal to the Full Board is pending. Failure to follow this provision of the Act will subject you to civil penalties under Ind. Code § 22-3-4-15 (discussed below).
  • First Reports of Injury: A First Report of Injury must be filed with the Board in all cases in which any actual, alleged or reported injury that requires medical treatment goes beyond first aid. Failure to follow this provision of the Act will subject you to civil penalties under Ind. Code § 22-3-4-15 (discussed below).
  • Civil Penalties: Civil penalties will be assessed for failure to follow the requirements above. The penalties are assessed on a graduated scale of $50 for the first offence, $150 for the second unrelated violation of the same offence, and $300 for the third unrelated violation of the same offense.
  • Employer Definition: The Act was changed to expand the definition of “employer” to include all types of corporate entities.
  • Drug Formulary Act: Ind. Code § 22-3-3-4.7 was also added to address the Nation’s opioid crisis to enable an employer to deny prescription medications where the medication is flagged as improperly prescribed in the Official Disability Guidelines database. An authorized treating doctor can request approval by the employer for any flagged drug if the doctors explains the reason the flagged drug is needed by the injured worker. If an employer does not approve the prescribing physician’s request for approval, the employer must send a request to a third party that is certified by the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission to make a determination concerning the request, and notify both the physician and the injured worker of the third party’s determination within 5 business days after receiving the determination. Failure to send notice of the third party’s determination within 5 days will lead to approval of the physician’s request. If a request is denied after third party review, the injured worker may apply to the Board for a final determination concerning the third party’s determination.

 

 

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Scopelitis Indiana Worker’s Compensation Alerts are intended as a report to our clients and friends on legal developments affecting the worker’s compensation industry. The published material does not constitute an exhaustive legal study and should not be regarded or relied upon as individual legal advice or opinion.

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