Besides the dawning of spring, March to May is generally the time state legislatures convene to pass budgets and consider other issues.
This year in Colorado, tweaks in workers’ compensation legislation is being considered by lawmakers in Denver.
Introduced by Sen. Lois Tochtrop, Senate Bill 11-199 makes slight changes to Colorado workers’ compensation statutes. A companion bill was filed in the Colorado House on April 25th.
S.B. 11-199 makes a few slight changes to current statute and includes the following 4 sections:
Section I – Requires employers to pay all reasonable and necessary medical costs if further treatment is recommended by the authorized physician after Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)…provided of course there is no contrary opinion in the record.
Section II – Repeals the condition where represented parties must all AGREE to engage in discovery and instead assumes that if all parties have legal representation, then discovery is available.
Section III – If an employer requests the worker attend an examination, section III requires them to pay the claimant’s cost(s) in advance.
Section IV – Prohibits the payment of lump-sums be conditioned on the claimant (worker) waiving the right to pursue permanent total disability payments. This rule applies to all requests regardless of the date of injury.
For the most part, these changes are pretty simple and straight forward. Both the House and Senate versions are under consideration at this time. They’ve each progressed in their respective chambers.
We’ll have an update if and when Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper signs a workers’ comp bill.