Subdivision 1. Medical, psychological, chiropractic, podiatric, surgical, hospital.
(a) The employer shall furnish any medical, psychological, chiropractic, podiatric, surgical and hospital treatment, including nursing, medicines, medical, chiropractic, podiatric, and surgical supplies, crutches and apparatus, including artificial members, or, at the option of the employee, if the employer has not filed notice as hereinafter provided, Christian Science treatment in lieu of medical treatment, chiropractic medicine and medical supplies, as may reasonably be required at the time of the injury and any time thereafter to cure and relieve from the effects of the injury. This treatment shall include treatments necessary to physical rehabilitation.
(b) The employer shall pay for the reasonable value of nursing services provided by a member of the employee's family in cases of permanent total disability.
(c) Exposure to rabies is an injury and an employer shall furnish preventative treatment to employees exposed to rabies.
(d) The employer shall furnish replacement or repair for artificial members, glasses or spectacles, artificial eyes, podiatric orthotics, dental bridge work, dentures or artificial teeth, hearing aids, canes, crutches, or wheel chairs damaged by reason of an injury arising out of and in the course of the employment. For the purpose of this paragraph, "injury" includes damage wholly or in part to an artificial member. In case of the employer's inability or refusal seasonably to provide the items required to be provided under this paragraph, the employer is liable for the reasonable expense incurred by or on behalf of the employee in providing the same, including costs of copies of any medical records or medical reports that are in existence, obtained from health care providers, and that directly relate to the items for which payment is sought under this chapter, limited to the charges allowed by subdivision 7, and attorney fees incurred by the employee.
(e) Both the commissioner and the compensation judges have authority to make determinations under this section in accordance with sections 176.106 and 176.305.
(f) An employer may require that the treatment and supplies required to be provided by an employer by this section be received in whole or in part from a managed care plan certified under section 176.1351 except as otherwise provided by that section.
(g) An employer may designate a pharmacy or network of pharmacies that employees must use to obtain outpatient prescription and nonprescription medications. An employee is not required to obtain outpatient medications at a designated pharmacy unless the pharmacy is located within 15 miles of the employee's place of residence.
(h) Notwithstanding any fees established by rule adopted under section 176.136, an employer may contract for the cost of medication provided to employees.
Subd. 1a. Nonemergency surgery; second surgical opinion. The employer is required to furnish surgical treatment pursuant to subdivision 1 when the surgery is reasonably required to cure and relieve the effects of the personal injury or occupational disease. An employee may not be compelled to undergo surgery. If an employee desires a second opinion on the necessity of the surgery, the employer shall pay the costs of obtaining the second opinion. Except in cases of emergency surgery, the employer or insurer may require the employee to obtain a second opinion on the necessity of the surgery, at the expense of the employer, before the employee undergoes surgery. Failure to obtain a second surgical opinion shall not be reason for nonpayment of the charges for the surgery. The employer is required to pay the reasonable value of the surgery unless the commissioner or compensation judge determines that the surgery is not reasonably required.
Subd. 1b. Complementary and alternative health care providers. Any service, article, or supply provided by an unlicensed complementary and alternative health care practitioner as defined in section 146A.01, subdivision 6, is not compensable under this chapter.
Subd. 2. Change of physicians, podiatrists, or chiropractors. The commissioner shall adopt rules establishing standards and criteria to be used when a dispute arises over a change of physicians, podiatrists, or chiropractors in the case that either the employee or the employer desire a change. If a change is agreed upon or ordered, the medical expenses shall be borne by the employer upon the same terms and conditions as provided in subdivision 1.
Subd. 2a. Definitions. For the purposes of this section, the word "physicians" shall include persons holding the degree M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) and persons holding the degree D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy); and the terms "medical, surgical and hospital treatment" shall include professional services rendered by licensed persons who have earned the degree M.D. or the degree D.O.
Subd. 4. Christian Science treatment. Any employee electing to receive Christian Science treatment as provided in subdivision 1 shall notify the employer in writing of the election within 30 days after July 1, 1953, and any person hereafter accepting employment shall give such notice at the time of accepting employment. Any employer may elect not to be subject to the provisions for Christian Science treatment provided for in this section by filing a written notice of such election with the commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry, in which event the election of the employee shall have no force or effect whatsoever.
Subd. 5. Occupational disease medical eligibility. Notwithstanding section 176.66, an employee who has contracted an occupational disease is eligible to receive compensation under this section even if the employee is not disabled from earning full wages at the work at which the employee was last employed.
Payment of compensation under this section shall be made by the employer and insurer on the date of the employee's last exposure to the hazard of the occupational disease. Reimbursement for medical benefits paid under this subdivision or subdivision 1a is allowed from the employer and insurer liable under section 176.66, subdivision 10, only in the case of disablement.
Subd. 6. Commencement of payment. As soon as reasonably possible, and no later than 30 calendar days after receiving the bill, the employer or insurer shall pay the charge or any portion of the charge which is not denied, or deny all or a part of the charge with written notification to the employee and the provider explaining the basis for denial, except that the employer or insurer is not required to notify the employee of payment of charges that have been reduced in accordance with section 176.136, subdivision 1, 1a, or 1b. All or part of a charge must be denied if any of the following conditions exists:
(1) the injury or condition is not compensable under this chapter;
(2) the charge or service is excessive under this section or section 176.136;
(3) the charges are not submitted on the prescribed billing form; or
(4) additional medical records or reports are required under subdivision 7 to substantiate the nature of the charge and its relationship to the work injury.
If payment is denied under clause (3) or (4), the employer or insurer shall reconsider the charges in accordance with this subdivision within 30 calendar days after receiving additional medical data, a prescribed billing form, or documentation of enrollment or certification as a provider.
Subd. 7. Medical bills and records. Health care providers shall submit to the insurer an itemized statement of charges in the standard electronic transaction format when required by section 62J.536 or, if there is no prescribed standard electronic transaction format, on a billing form prescribed by the commissioner. Health care providers shall also submit copies of medical records or reports that substantiate the nature of the charge and its relationship to the work injury. Health care providers may charge for copies of any records or reports that are in existence and directly relate to the items for which payment is sought under this chapter. The commissioner shall adopt a schedule of reasonable charges by rule.
A health care provider shall not collect, attempt to collect, refer a bill for collection, or commence an action for collection against the employee, employer, or any other party until the information required by this section has been furnished.
A United States government facility rendering health care services to veterans is not subject to the uniform billing form requirements of this subdivision.
Subd. 8. Data. Each self-insured employer and insurer shall retain or arrange for the retention of (1) all billing data electronically transmitted by health care providers for payment for the treatment of workers' compensation; and (2) the employer or insurer's electronically transmitted payment remittance advice. The self-insured employer or insurer shall ensure that the data in clauses (1) and (2) shall be retained for seven years in the standard electronic transaction format that is required by rules adopted by the commissioner of the Department of Health under section 62J.536. The data shall be provided in the standard electronic transaction format to the commissioner of labor and industry within 120 days of the commissioner of labor and industry's request, and shall be used to analyze the costs and outcomes of treatment in the workers' compensation system. The data collected by the commissioner of labor and industry under this section is confidential data on individuals and protected nonpublic data, except that the commissioner may publish aggregate statistics and other summary data on the costs and outcomes of treatment in the workers' compensation system.
History: 1953 c 439 s 1; 1953 c 755 s 13; 1971 c 863 s 1,2; 1973 c 258 s 1; 1973 c 388 s 35-38; 1975 c 271 s 6; 1975 c 359 s 23; 1976 c 134 s 78; 1979 c 107 s 1,2; Ex1979 c 3 s 44; 1983 c 290 s 106,107; 1984 c 432 art 2 s 23,24; 1986 c 444; 1986 c 461 s 20,21; 1987 c 332 s 33-38; 1989 c 335 art 1 s 180; 1990 c 522 s 3; 1992 c 510 art 4 s 9-12; 1995 c 231 art 2 s 61; 2005 c 90 s 10,11; 2008 c 250 s 6; 2009 c 75 s 6-8; 2010 c 382 s 42