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Indiana Code Title 22. Labor and Safety § 22-3-7-17

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Sec. 17. (a) During the period of disablement, the employer shall furnish or cause to be furnished, free of charge to the employee, an attending physician for the treatment of the employee's occupational disease, and in addition thereto such services and products as the attending physician or the worker's compensation board may deem necessary.  If the employee is requested or required by the employer to submit to treatment outside the county of employment, the employer shall also pay the reasonable expense of travel, food, and lodging necessary during the travel, but not to exceed the amount paid at the time of the travel by the state of Indiana to its employees.  If the treatment or travel to or from the place of treatment causes a loss of working time to the employee, the employer shall reimburse the employee for the loss of wages using the basis of the employee's average daily wage.

(b) During the period of disablement resulting from the occupational disease, the employer shall furnish such physician, services and products, and the worker's compensation board may, on proper application of either party, require that treatment by such physician and such services and products be furnished by or on behalf of the employer as the board may deem reasonably necessary.  After an employee's occupational disease has been adjudicated by agreement or award on the basis of permanent partial impairment and within the statutory period for review in such case as provided in section 27(i) of this chapter, the employer may continue to furnish a physician or a surgeon and other services and products, and the board may, within such statutory period for review as provided in section 27(i) of this chapter, on a proper application of either party, require that treatment by such physician or surgeon and such services and products be furnished by and on behalf of the employer as the board may deem necessary to limit or reduce the amount and extent of such impairment.  The refusal of the employee to accept such services and products when so provided by or on behalf of the employer, shall bar the employee from all compensation otherwise payable during the period of such refusal and the employee's right to prosecute any proceeding under this chapter shall be suspended and abated until such refusal ceases.  The employee must be served with a notice setting forth the consequences of the refusal under this section.  The notice must be in a form prescribed by the worker's compensation board.  No compensation for permanent total impairment, permanent partial impairment, permanent disfigurement, or death shall be paid or payable for that part or portion of such impairment, disfigurement, or death which is the result of the failure of such employee to accept such services and products, provided that an employer may at any time permit an employee to have treatment for the employee's disease or injury by spiritual means or prayer in lieu of such physician, services and products.

(c) Regardless of when it occurs, where a compensable occupational disease results in the amputation of a body part, the enucleation of an eye, or the loss of natural teeth, the employer shall furnish an appropriate artificial member, braces, and prosthodontics.  The cost of repairs to or replacements for the artificial members, braces, or prosthodontics that result from a compensable occupational disease pursuant to a prior award and are required due to either medical necessity or normal wear and tear, determined according to the employee's individual use, but not abuse, of the artificial member, braces, or prosthodontics, shall be paid from the second injury fund upon order or award of the worker's compensation board.  The employee is not required to meet any other requirement for admission to the second injury fund.

(d) If an emergency or because of the employer's failure to provide such attending physician or such services and products or such treatment by spiritual means or prayer as specified in this section, or for other good reason, a physician other than that provided by the employer treats the diseased employee within the period of disability, or necessary and proper services and products are procured within the period, the reasonable cost of such services and products shall, subject to approval of the worker's compensation board, be paid by the employer.

(e) An employer or employer's insurance carrier may not delay the provision of emergency medical care whenever emergency medical care is considered necessary in the professional judgment of the attending health care facility physician.

(f) This section may not be construed to prohibit an agreement between an employer and employees that has the approval of the board and that:

(1) binds the parties to medical care furnished by medical service providers selected by agreement before or after disablement;  or

(2) makes the findings of a medical service provider chosen in this manner binding upon the parties.

(g) The employee and the employee's estate do not have liability to a medical service provider for payment for services obtained under this section.  The right to order payment for all services provided under this chapter is solely with the board.  All claims by a medical service provider for payment for services are against the employer and the employer's insurance carrier, if any, and must be made with the board under this chapter.  After June 30, 2011, a medical service provider must file an application for adjustment of a claim for a medical service provider's fee with the board not later than two (2) years after the receipt of an initial written communication from the employer, the employer's insurance carrier, if any, or an agent acting on behalf of the employer after the medical service provider submits a bill for services.  To offset a part of the board's expenses related to the administration of medical service provider reimbursement disputes, a medical service facility shall pay a filing fee of sixty dollars ($60) in a balance billing case.  The filing fee must accompany each application filed with the board.  If an employer, employer's insurance carrier, or an agent acting on behalf of the employer denies or fails to pay any amount on a claim submitted by a medical service facility, a filing fee is not required to accompany an application that is filed for the denied or unpaid claim.  A medical service provider may combine up to ten (10) individual claims into one (1) application whenever:

(1) all individual claims involve the same employer, insurance carrier, or billing review service;  and

(2) the amount of each individual claim does not exceed two hundred dollars ($200).

Cite this article: - Indiana Code Title 22. Labor and Safety § 22-3-7-17 - last updated June 08, 2021 |

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