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Workers’ Compensation: Critical Legislation and Case Law Update – Indiana

Under New Bill, Physicians Would No Longer Control Amount of Pills Prescribed

Senate Bill 369:

  • Requires use of a Prescription Formulary and is based upon the system used in Texas.
    • Physicians would no longer have control over the amount of pills prescribed
    • Amount of pills allowed would be based upon state law
    • This would not apply to Third Party Administrators or Self-Insured Employers
    • Rule would only apply to insurance companies

The Hearing on this Bill is not yet set. This bill has very little support and a great deal of opposition. It is still in its “working stages” and would not be expected to pass as written.

Senate Bill 290:

  • Imposes 30 day deadline for payment of settlement following approval of documents by Board or penalty will be imposed
  • Provides authority to enforce provisions/penalties
  • Changes penalty for noncompliance with insurance requirement to $100.00/day
  • Changes requirement of reapplication deadline for Second Injury Fund from 150 days to 3 years
  • Requires State Form 1043 Agreement to Compensation to be filed electronically within 15 days from the first date for which compensation is due
  • Requires that all injuries be reported to Board regardless of whether they result in lost time
  • Requires employers to provide notice of WC coverage electronically to mobile or remote employees

The Hearing on this Bill took place on January 17, 2018 and was expected to pass. These proposals were submitted by the Chairwoman of the WC Board, Linda Hamilton and have significant support from the WC Institute of Indiana.

There are no currently pending bills before the House of Representatives.

Recent Case Law

Morris v. Custom Kitchen & Baths, 64 N.E.3d 912 (Ind. Ct. App. 2016):

  • Employee/Carpenter injured while performing volunteer work for Boy Scouts
  • Single Hearing Member/Full Board found no compensable work injury
  • IN Ct of Appeals reversed stating community service provided direct benefit to employer

Gordon v. Toyota Motor Mfg., 53 N.E.3d 477 (2016 Ind. App. LEXIS 115) Unpublished:

  • IN Ct of Appeals reversed Board finding employee entitled to full amount of Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits because employer did not give notice setting forth the consequences of his refusal of suitable employment
  • Must use State Form 38911 to provide notice of consequences

Masterbrand Cabinets v. Douglas Waid, 72 N.E.3d 986

  • IN Ct of Appeals affirmed Board finding employee entitled to TTD following an on-the-job injury and subsequent termination from his job for misconduct
  • Only question is plaintiff’s ability to return to work of the same kind or character during the treatment period for the injury

Best Chairs, Inc. v. Sheena Matheis, 93A02-1611-EX-2480 Unpublished

  • IN Ct of Appeals affirmed Board finding employee entitled to partial payment of medical bills, TTD and value of scheduled injury despite her lying about her injuries being work-related and seeking treatment at a facility not designated by the employer in order to avoid a mandatory drug test

For more information or questions on how this pertains to cases you are handling please e-mail the author here.