On Wednesday, April 24, 2013, Sen. Lois Tochtrop introduced SB 13-285 – Concerning the Procedures in Workers’ Compensation Claims for the Resolution of Disputes. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.
The bill requires a claimant to be reimbursed by the employer or workers’ compensation carrier for medical treatment provided if the employer, after notice of the injury, fails to provide medical treatment.
After notice of termination of a fringe benefit or other advantage, the employer, carrier, or third-party administrator is required to recalculate the average weekly wage and begin payment of the wages based on the recalculated amount.
The bill requires temporary partial disability to be paid at least once every two weeks and requires an employer, carrier, or third-party administrator to provide a claimant a complete copy of the claim file within 15 days after the mailing of a written request.
In order to request attorney fees and costs when an opposing attorney requests a hearing for an unripe issue, the requesting party must prove that it attempted to have any unripe issues stricken by a prehearing administrative law judge. Fees and costs may only be awarded if they are directly caused by the listing of the unripe issue.
The bill extends the amount of time that must pass before an employer or insurer may request an independent medical examiner if the treating physician has not determined that an injured worker has reached maximum medical improvement from 18 to 24 months. If the independent medical examiner selected determines that the worker has reached maximum medical improvement, the independent medical examiner shall also determine the worker’s permanent medical impairment.
The bill was introduced on April 24 and has been assigned to the Business, Labor, & Technology Committee. The bill is on the Business, Labor & Technology Committee schedule for Monday, April 29 at 1:30 p.m.
Since this summary, the bill was referred, amended, to the Senate Committee of the Whole.