MONTANA SELF INSURERS’ ASSOCIATION - MSIA
Requirement for Medical Documentation, When Both Parties Agree Benefits Should Continue
MSIA supports revision of the law relative to the formality of producing the medical record. Current law terminates medical benefits five years after the date of injury, except for permanent total disability benefits, fatalities and those partial or temporary disability injuries where either an independent medical panel agrees benefits should continue supporting either a return or remaining at work, or if both the employer and the injured worker agree benefits need to continue.
Where both the employer and the injured worker agree, there is a rubber-stamp medical panel approval process. However, the law is written to support a contested case, not agreement. The law is written to require the full medical record be produced for the panel – even when both sides agree to continue benefits.
There is no true need for the full medical record when both the employer and the injured worker agree. Everyone involved, labor, business, attorneys and regulators agree – this is a quirk in the law that should go away.
MSIA supports amending our workers’ compensation law to allow, when injured workers and employers agree to continue benefits, let that written agreement stand on its’ own, and end the requirement to produce the full medical record.