Montana Title 39. Labor § 39-71-604. Application for compensation--disclosure and communication without prior notice of health care information

(1) If a worker is entitled to benefits under this chapter, the worker shall file with the insurer all reasonable information needed by the insurer to determine compensability. It is the duty of the worker's attending physician to lend all necessary assistance in making application for compensation and proof of other matters that may be required by the rules of the department without charge to the worker. The filing of forms or other documentation by the attending physician does not constitute a claim for compensation.

(2) A signed claim for workers' compensation or occupational disease benefits authorizes disclosure to the workers' compensation insurer, as defined in 39-71-116 , or to the agent of a workers' compensation insurer by the health care provider. The disclosure authorized by this subsection authorizes the physician or other health care provider to disclose or release only information relevant to the claimant's condition. Health care information relevant to the claimant's condition may include past history of the complaints of or the treatment of a condition that is similar to that presented in the claim, conditions for which benefits are subsequently claimed, other conditions related to the same body part, or conditions that may affect recovery. A release of information related to workers' compensation must be consistent with the provisions of this subsection. Authorization under this section is effective only as long as the claimant is claiming benefits. This subsection may not be construed to restrict the scope of discovery or disclosure of health care information, as allowed under the Montana Rules of Civil Procedure, by the workers' compensation court or as otherwise provided by law.

(3) A signed claim for workers' compensation or occupational disease benefits or a signed release authorizes a workers' compensation insurer, as defined in 39-71-116 , or the agent of the workers' compensation insurer to communicate with a physician or other health care provider about relevant health care information, as authorized in subsection (2), by telephone, letter, electronic communication, in person, or by other means, about a claim and to receive from the physician or health care provider the information authorized in subsection (2) without prior notice to the injured employee, to the employee's authorized representative or agent, or in the case of death, to the employee's personal representative or any person with a right or claim to compensation for the injury or death.

(4) If death results from an injury, the parties entitled to compensation or someone in their behalf shall file a claim with the insurer. The claim must be accompanied with proof of death and proof of relationship, showing the parties entitled to compensation, certificate of the attending physician, if any, and such other proof as may be required by the department.


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