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Workers comp rates, rules modified (new law)

Published (5/29/2009)
By Kris Berggren
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Modifications are made to the workers compensation statutes in a new law sponsored by Rep. Mike Nelson (DFL-Brooklyn Park) and Sen. Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook).

They include:

• adjustments to partial disability compensation rates to account for previous gaps in the rating scale;

• changes to the Rehabilitation Review Panel membership to replace the requirement for two members from the medical field, which was determined to be too loosely defined, with two licensed or registered health care providers, and removing one member who represents chiropractors, but adding an actual chiropractor;

• changes to the Medical Services Review Board membership, replacing one member who represents hospital administrators with one who represents hospitals, adding an occupational therapist and removing a member representing the general public;

• modifications to these groups’ alternate membership;

• allowance for certain of the groups’ meetings to be held by telephone or electronically;

• prohibiting medical examinations by an employer’s physician from being held in hotel or motel facilities;

• sharing data, including Social Security numbers, is allowed between certain state departments; and

• application by the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to Ramsey County or the county where the nearest office of the Department of Labor and Industry is located for an order compelling production of an employer’s payroll and business record documents is permitted.

The law is effective May 13, 2009, except for the partial disability compensation rate changes that apply retroactively to dates of injury on or after Oct. 1, 2000.


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