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Significant Developments With Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Law

I.  Newly Created Safe Harbor Statute (the New 1002 Process) and Other Significant Changes

  • Effective August 1, 2013, the Louisiana Legislature amended and reenacted several Louisiana Workers' Compensation laws. Most significantly, the legislature amended La. R.S. 23:1314 to now restrict the employer's right to file suit by only permitting employers to file suit in three (3) limited circumstances. This will have significant effects on employers’ abilities to conduct discovery to controvert a claimant’s claims as no formal discovery is permitted when a claim is not in litigation.
  • The Legislature also amended and reenacted La. R.S. 23:1201.1, also known as the "Safe Harbor Statute" or the "New 1002 Process," which, when opted into by the employer, protects the employer from an adverse award of extensive penalties and attorneys' fees for the suspension/controversion/termination of the claimant's benefits.
  • However, when NOT opted into by the employer, the employer opens itself up to adverse rulings of extensive penalties and attorneys’ fees for clerical errors, minor miscalculations, suspension of benefits, denial of benefits and etc.
  • In order to opt into these protections, employers are now required to comply with stringent rules and forms in a time sensitive manner, or risk being hit with extensive penalties and attorneys’ fees.
  • In summary, there are pros and cons with opting in or out of the Safe Harbor Statute, and this decision should be made on a case by case basis from the inception of the claim.

II.  New Developments with the Medical Treatment Guidelines

  • The most significant new amendment regarding medical treatment under Louisiana Workers’ Compensation law (essentially in years) was the enactment of La. R.S. 23:1203.1 and the associated rules, regulations and required forms under the Louisiana Medical Treatment Guidelines (“MTG”) and medical utilization rules and regulations.
  • Essentially, the MTG provide a procedural process for the evaluation and adjudication of medical treatment and the approval of such treatment by employers in Louisiana.
  • Any request for, and dispute over, non-emergency medical treatment exceeding $750.00 must now comply with the strict procedural requirements set forth in the MTG.
  • This revision requires employers to approve/deny/request more information regarding a claimant’s request for medical treatment within quick time frames (5 business days after receipt of the Form 1010), and also requires employers to submit all of the pertinent documents relied upon in denying a claimant’s request for medical treatment if the claimant appeals the employer’s denial of such treatment.
  • Employers must now have significant knowledge of the extensive MTG process to ensure that they are appropriately approving/denying requests for medical treatment at the risk of wrongfully approving unnecessary and expensive treatment.
  • While the MTG went into effect on June 13, 2011, Louisiana courts have issued conflicting rulings on whether they apply to accidents occurring before or after that date. To date, this issue is still undecided by the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Significant Developments With Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Law

I.  Newly Created Safe Harbor Statute (the New 1002 Process) and Other Significant Changes

  • Effective August 1, 2013, the Louisiana Legislature amended and reenacted several Louisiana Workers' Compensation laws. Most significantly, the legislature amended La. R.S. 23:1314 to now restrict the employer's right to file suit by only permitting employers to file suit in three (3) limited circumstances. This will have significant effects on employers’ abilities to conduct discovery to controvert a claimant’s claims as no formal discovery is permitted when a claim is not in litigation.
  • The Legislature also amended and reenacted La. R.S. 23:1201.1, also known as the "Safe Harbor Statute" or the "New 1002 Process," which, when opted into by the employer, protects the employer from an adverse award of extensive penalties and attorneys' fees for the suspension/controversion/termination of the claimant's benefits.
  • However, when NOT opted into by the employer, the employer opens itself up to adverse rulings of extensive penalties and attorneys’ fees for clerical errors, minor miscalculations, suspension of benefits, denial of benefits and etc.
  • In order to opt into these protections, employers are now required to comply with stringent rules and forms in a time sensitive manner, or risk being hit with extensive penalties and attorneys’ fees.
  • In summary, there are pros and cons with opting in or out of the Safe Harbor Statute, and this decision should be made on a case by case basis from the inception of the claim.

II.  New Developments with the Medical Treatment Guidelines

  • The most significant new amendment regarding medical treatment under Louisiana Workers’ Compensation law (essentially in years) was the enactment of La. R.S. 23:1203.1 and the associated rules, regulations and required forms under the Louisiana Medical Treatment Guidelines (“MTG”) and medical utilization rules and regulations.
  • Essentially, the MTG provide a procedural process for the evaluation and adjudication of medical treatment and the approval of such treatment by employers in Louisiana.
  • Any request for, and dispute over, non-emergency medical treatment exceeding $750.00 must now comply with the strict procedural requirements set forth in the MTG.
  • This revision requires employers to approve/deny/request more information regarding a claimant’s request for medical treatment within quick time frames (5 business days after receipt of the Form 1010), and also requires employers to submit all of the pertinent documents relied upon in denying a claimant’s request for medical treatment if the claimant appeals the employer’s denial of such treatment.
  • Employers must now have significant knowledge of the extensive MTG process to ensure that they are appropriately approving/denying requests for medical treatment at the risk of wrongfully approving unnecessary and expensive treatment.
  • While the MTG went into effect on June 13, 2011, Louisiana courts have issued conflicting rulings on whether they apply to accidents occurring before or after that date. To date, this issue is still undecided by the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Significant Developments With Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Law

I.  Newly Created Safe Harbor Statute (the New 1002 Process) and Other Significant Changes

  • Effective August 1, 2013, the Louisiana Legislature amended and reenacted several Louisiana Workers' Compensation laws. Most significantly, the legislature amended La. R.S. 23:1314 to now restrict the employer's right to file suit by only permitting employers to file suit in three (3) limited circumstances. This will have significant effects on employers’ abilities to conduct discovery to controvert a claimant’s claims as no formal discovery is permitted when a claim is not in litigation.
  • The Legislature also amended and reenacted La. R.S. 23:1201.1, also known as the "Safe Harbor Statute" or the "New 1002 Process," which, when opted into by the employer, protects the employer from an adverse award of extensive penalties and attorneys' fees for the suspension/controversion/termination of the claimant's benefits.
  • However, when NOT opted into by the employer, the employer opens itself up to adverse rulings of extensive penalties and attorneys’ fees for clerical errors, minor miscalculations, suspension of benefits, denial of benefits and etc.
  • In order to opt into these protections, employers are now required to comply with stringent rules and forms in a time sensitive manner, or risk being hit with extensive penalties and attorneys’ fees.
  • In summary, there are pros and cons with opting in or out of the Safe Harbor Statute, and this decision should be made on a case by case basis from the inception of the claim.

II.  New Developments with the Medical Treatment Guidelines

  • The most significant new amendment regarding medical treatment under Louisiana Workers’ Compensation law (essentially in years) was the enactment of La. R.S. 23:1203.1 and the associated rules, regulations and required forms under the Louisiana Medical Treatment Guidelines (“MTG”) and medical utilization rules and regulations.
  • Essentially, the MTG provide a procedural process for the evaluation and adjudication of medical treatment and the approval of such treatment by employers in Louisiana.
  • Any request for, and dispute over, non-emergency medical treatment exceeding $750.00 must now comply with the strict procedural requirements set forth in the MTG.
  • This revision requires employers to approve/deny/request more information regarding a claimant’s request for medical treatment within quick time frames (5 business days after receipt of the Form 1010), and also requires employers to submit all of the pertinent documents relied upon in denying a claimant’s request for medical treatment if the claimant appeals the employer’s denial of such treatment.
  • Employers must now have significant knowledge of the extensive MTG process to ensure that they are appropriately approving/denying requests for medical treatment at the risk of wrongfully approving unnecessary and expensive treatment.
  • While the MTG went into effect on June 13, 2011, Louisiana courts have issued conflicting rulings on whether they apply to accidents occurring before or after that date. To date, this issue is still undecided by the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Significant Developments With Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Law

I.  Newly Created Safe Harbor Statute (the New 1002 Process) and Other Significant Changes

  • Effective August 1, 2013, the Louisiana Legislature amended and reenacted several Louisiana Workers' Compensation laws. Most significantly, the legislature amended La. R.S. 23:1314 to now restrict the employer's right to file suit by only permitting employers to file suit in three (3) limited circumstances. This will have significant effects on employers’ abilities to conduct discovery to controvert a claimant’s claims as no formal discovery is permitted when a claim is not in litigation.
  • The Legislature also amended and reenacted La. R.S. 23:1201.1, also known as the "Safe Harbor Statute" or the "New 1002 Process," which, when opted into by the employer, protects the employer from an adverse award of extensive penalties and attorneys' fees for the suspension/controversion/termination of the claimant's benefits.
  • However, when NOT opted into by the employer, the employer opens itself up to adverse rulings of extensive penalties and attorneys’ fees for clerical errors, minor miscalculations, suspension of benefits, denial of benefits and etc.
  • In order to opt into these protections, employers are now required to comply with stringent rules and forms in a time sensitive manner, or risk being hit with extensive penalties and attorneys’ fees.
  • In summary, there are pros and cons with opting in or out of the Safe Harbor Statute, and this decision should be made on a case by case basis from the inception of the claim.

II.  New Developments with the Medical Treatment Guidelines

  • The most significant new amendment regarding medical treatment under Louisiana Workers’ Compensation law (essentially in years) was the enactment of La. R.S. 23:1203.1 and the associated rules, regulations and required forms under the Louisiana Medical Treatment Guidelines (“MTG”) and medical utilization rules and regulations.
  • Essentially, the MTG provide a procedural process for the evaluation and adjudication of medical treatment and the approval of such treatment by employers in Louisiana.
  • Any request for, and dispute over, non-emergency medical treatment exceeding $750.00 must now comply with the strict procedural requirements set forth in the MTG.
  • This revision requires employers to approve/deny/request more information regarding a claimant’s request for medical treatment within quick time frames (5 business days after receipt of the Form 1010), and also requires employers to submit all of the pertinent documents relied upon in denying a claimant’s request for medical treatment if the claimant appeals the employer’s denial of such treatment.
  • Employers must now have significant knowledge of the extensive MTG process to ensure that they are appropriately approving/denying requests for medical treatment at the risk of wrongfully approving unnecessary and expensive treatment.
  • While the MTG went into effect on June 13, 2011, Louisiana courts have issued conflicting rulings on whether they apply to accidents occurring before or after that date. To date, this issue is still undecided by the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Significant Developments With Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Law

I.  Newly Created Safe Harbor Statute (the New 1002 Process) and Other Significant Changes

  • Effective August 1, 2013, the Louisiana Legislature amended and reenacted several Louisiana Workers' Compensation laws. Most significantly, the legislature amended La. R.S. 23:1314 to now restrict the employer's right to file suit by only permitting employers to file suit in three (3) limited circumstances. This will have significant effects on employers’ abilities to conduct discovery to controvert a claimant’s claims as no formal discovery is permitted when a claim is not in litigation.
  • The Legislature also amended and reenacted La. R.S. 23:1201.1, also known as the "Safe Harbor Statute" or the "New 1002 Process," which, when opted into by the employer, protects the employer from an adverse award of extensive penalties and attorneys' fees for the suspension/controversion/termination of the claimant's benefits.
  • However, when NOT opted into by the employer, the employer opens itself up to adverse rulings of extensive penalties and attorneys’ fees for clerical errors, minor miscalculations, suspension of benefits, denial of benefits and etc.
  • In order to opt into these protections, employers are now required to comply with stringent rules and forms in a time sensitive manner, or risk being hit with extensive penalties and attorneys’ fees.
  • In summary, there are pros and cons with opting in or out of the Safe Harbor Statute, and this decision should be made on a case by case basis from the inception of the claim.

II.  New Developments with the Medical Treatment Guidelines

  • The most significant new amendment regarding medical treatment under Louisiana Workers’ Compensation law (essentially in years) was the enactment of La. R.S. 23:1203.1 and the associated rules, regulations and required forms under the Louisiana Medical Treatment Guidelines (“MTG”) and medical utilization rules and regulations.
  • Essentially, the MTG provide a procedural process for the evaluation and adjudication of medical treatment and the approval of such treatment by employers in Louisiana.
  • Any request for, and dispute over, non-emergency medical treatment exceeding $750.00 must now comply with the strict procedural requirements set forth in the MTG.
  • This revision requires employers to approve/deny/request more information regarding a claimant’s request for medical treatment within quick time frames (5 business days after receipt of the Form 1010), and also requires employers to submit all of the pertinent documents relied upon in denying a claimant’s request for medical treatment if the claimant appeals the employer’s denial of such treatment.
  • Employers must now have significant knowledge of the extensive MTG process to ensure that they are appropriately approving/denying requests for medical treatment at the risk of wrongfully approving unnecessary and expensive treatment.
  • While the MTG went into effect on June 13, 2011, Louisiana courts have issued conflicting rulings on whether they apply to accidents occurring before or after that date. To date, this issue is still undecided by the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Significant Developments With Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Law

I.  Newly Created Safe Harbor Statute (the New 1002 Process) and Other Significant Changes

  • Effective August 1, 2013, the Louisiana Legislature amended and reenacted several Louisiana Workers' Compensation laws. Most significantly, the legislature amended La. R.S. 23:1314 to now restrict the employer's right to file suit by only permitting employers to file suit in three (3) limited circumstances. This will have significant effects on employers’ abilities to conduct discovery to controvert a claimant’s claims as no formal discovery is permitted when a claim is not in litigation.
  • The Legislature also amended and reenacted La. R.S. 23:1201.1, also known as the "Safe Harbor Statute" or the "New 1002 Process," which, when opted into by the employer, protects the employer from an adverse award of extensive penalties and attorneys' fees for the suspension/controversion/termination of the claimant's benefits.
  • However, when NOT opted into by the employer, the employer opens itself up to adverse rulings of extensive penalties and attorneys’ fees for clerical errors, minor miscalculations, suspension of benefits, denial of benefits and etc.
  • In order to opt into these protections, employers are now required to comply with stringent rules and forms in a time sensitive manner, or risk being hit with extensive penalties and attorneys’ fees.
  • In summary, there are pros and cons with opting in or out of the Safe Harbor Statute, and this decision should be made on a case by case basis from the inception of the claim.

II.  New Developments with the Medical Treatment Guidelines

  • The most significant new amendment regarding medical treatment under Louisiana Workers’ Compensation law (essentially in years) was the enactment of La. R.S. 23:1203.1 and the associated rules, regulations and required forms under the Louisiana Medical Treatment Guidelines (“MTG”) and medical utilization rules and regulations.
  • Essentially, the MTG provide a procedural process for the evaluation and adjudication of medical treatment and the approval of such treatment by employers in Louisiana.
  • Any request for, and dispute over, non-emergency medical treatment exceeding $750.00 must now comply with the strict procedural requirements set forth in the MTG.
  • This revision requires employers to approve/deny/request more information regarding a claimant’s request for medical treatment within quick time frames (5 business days after receipt of the Form 1010), and also requires employers to submit all of the pertinent documents relied upon in denying a claimant’s request for medical treatment if the claimant appeals the employer’s denial of such treatment.
  • Employers must now have significant knowledge of the extensive MTG process to ensure that they are appropriately approving/denying requests for medical treatment at the risk of wrongfully approving unnecessary and expensive treatment.
  • While the MTG went into effect on June 13, 2011, Louisiana courts have issued conflicting rulings on whether they apply to accidents occurring before or after that date. To date, this issue is still undecided by the Louisiana Supreme Court.
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