House Bill No. 175 (Effective 6/27/13)
March 17, 2014
House Bill 175
Effective 6/27/13, Governor Markel signed House Bill 175 into legislation. This bill and the Department of Labor Regulations expected to be passed in conjunction with HB 175 are intended to positively impact workers’ compensation rates in the state of Delaware. Many of the changes are reductions or freezes to charges permitted under Delaware’s Fee Schedule, including Anesthesia, Pathology, Lab/ Drug Screening, Prescription medication and the like. Your bill processor vendor should be made aware of same.
This bill resulted in important changes to the carrier’s obligation to produce a completed Employer’s Modified Duty Availability Report under Section 2322E(d). Effective 6/27/13, the carrier is now “independently responsible” for obtaining from the employer a completed EMDAR form and distributing same to the claimant’s health care provider. The carrier now must produce this form “within 14 days of the issuance of an agreement as to compensation to the claimant for any period of total disability benefits.” This is a change from the prior requirement that carriers/employers submit the report within 14 days of receiving the Physician’s Report of Workers’ Compensation Injury form from the treating physician.The Department of Labor has created a new Agreement form due to this change (this is available on the forms section of our Resources Page) and is expected to create a new Employer’s Modified Duty Availability Report form in conjunction with the Regulations.
UR Appeal Deadline:
The bill also amended §2361 to include a 45-day time limit for a party to appeal a Utilization Review decision. Accordingly, all parties will have 45 days from the date they receive a UR decision to appeal same. By way of reminder, UR decisions are mailed to the carrier and are not mailed to defense counsel, so if you would like us to assist in a UR appeal petition, please make certain to advise us in advance of this time limit.