CommunicationsThe bill increases the transparency of medical providers’ communications with injured workers.
Specifically, the bill provides that any employer, insurance carrier, or third-party administrator, who hires, contacts, designates, or manages medical treatment, must provide the time, date, and substance of any communications with the treating physician to the patient or their legal representative as soon as is practicable thereafter.
Any written nor electronic communication shall be provided contemporaneously to the employee or their designated representatives upon notice from the employee or the employee’s authorized representatives.
Under this bill, no medical provider shall withhold any communication from an employer or its insurance carrier, or third-party administrator to a treating physician, from an injured worker or legal representative of an injured worker upon request, without a documented therapeutic medical reason for withholding that record.
Non-Interference with Medical TreatmentThe bill also mandates non-interference with medical treatment. Once treatment or medical services have been authorized by the employer or its carrier or its third-party administrator or determined by the Division of Workers’ Compensation to be the responsibility of the employer, no employer, carrier, or third-party administrator shall delay or deny authorization for any treatment, diagnostic studies, procedures, therapies or medications recommended by any authorized medical care providers.
No employer, carrier, or third-party administrator shall de-authorize any medical care provider authorized to treat or provide services to a petitioner without first securing an order from a judge of compensation.
Expert Fees and Virtual HearingsThe bill also amends existing law to compensate expert witnesses in workers’ compensation hearings and allow these hearings to utilize telephone or video conferencing.
Click here to view S3375. Introduced January 21, 2021
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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne, NJ, is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters). For over 4 decades, the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman 1.973.696.7900 firstname.lastname@example.org has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.
Blog: Workers ' Compensation
LinkedIn Group: Injured Workers Law & Advocacy Group
Author: "Workers' Compensation Law" West-Thomson-Reuters