Virginia - The Virginia Insurance Commission posted new rules that will help implement HB 46 beginning July 1. Under the new law, employers are required to notify workers within 30 days if they intend to accept the claim, deny the claim, or if they will be seeking further information. Additionally, under the law, when the employer denies a claim, they must provide details for the denial. Failure to meet these requirements will result in a $5,000 fine per claim.
Florida - The Florida Court of Appeals asked the state's Supreme Court to weigh in on what exactly an employer's responsibilities are for providing a treating physician under the state's workers' compensation system. In Bartow v. Flores, an injured worker requested a change of treating physician, while the employer provided the new name of a physician they delayed sending along appointment information for over 56 days, leaving him without medical care. The court split on whether the statute's use of the words “authorize” and “provide” created a two-fold responsibility on the employer or simply a single responsibility to authorize a physician.
Colorado - Facing a flurry of COVID-19 claims, the Colorado Senate is taking up a COVID-19 presumption bill for essential workers. SB 216, introduced last week, would establish a rebuttable presumption for essential workers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 prior to June 21, 2020 that they contracted the illness at work. The bill has an extensive list of essential workers, including first responders, corrections officers, health care workers, food processors, airline employees, and grocery store workers.
Kansas - Last week the Kansas legislature adjourned for the year, ultimately killing hundreds of bills that failed to pass. Among the failed bills is SB 234 which would mandate the use of electronic prescribing for controlled substances in the state.
Texas - Last week, the Texas Department of Workers' Compensation called on insurers and employers throughout the state to report COVID-19 data to the state's Department of Workers' Compensation (DWC) in the coming weeks. The data will be turned over to the Workers' Compensation Research and Evaluation Group to study the true impact of COVID-19 on the state's workers' compensation system.
New Hampshire - The New Hampshire House is finally taking up SB 522 now that they resumed session following the COVID-19 hiatus. SB 522 would require prescribers providing an initial opioid prescription to receive and document a verbal acknowledgement from their patients that they understand the risks of addiction and overdose associated with opioids. If passed, the bill will become effective within 60 days.
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