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Committee Substitute House Bill 3098 History

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HB3098 SUB
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

H. B. 3098

(By Delegate Guthrie)


(Originating in the House Committee on the Judiciary)


[March 27, 2009]


A BILL to amend and reenact §23-4-8 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to the payment of travel expenses of workers' compensation claimants.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §23-4-8 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4. DISABILITY AND DEATH BENEFITS.
§23-4-8. Physical examination of claimant.

The commission, successor to the commission, other private carrier or self-insured employer, whichever is applicable, may, after due notice to the employer and claimant, whenever in its opinion it is necessary, order a claimant of compensation for a personal injury other than occupational pneumoconiosis to appear for examination before a medical examiner or examiners selected by the commission, successor to the commission, other private carrier or self-insured employer, whichever is applicable; and the claimant and employer, respectively, each have the right to select a physician of the claimant's or the employer's own choosing and at the claimant's or the employer's own expense to participate in the examination. All examinations shall be performed in accordance with the protocols and procedures established by the health care advisory panel pursuant to section three-b of this article: Provided, That the physician may exceed these protocols when additional evaluation is medically necessary. The claimant and employer shall, respectively, be furnished with a copy of the report of examination made by the medical examiner or examiners selected by the commission, successor to the commission, other private carrier or self-insured employer, whichever is applicable. The respective physicians selected by the claimant and employer have the right to concur in any report made by the medical examiner or examiners selected by the commission, or each may file with the commission, successor to the commission, other private carrier or self-insured employer, whichever is applicable, a separate report, which separate report shall be considered by the commission in passing upon the claim. If the compensation claimed is for occupational pneumoconiosis, the commission, successor to the commission, other private carrier or self-insured employer, whichever is applicable, may, after due notice to the employer, and whenever in the commission's opinion it is necessary, order a claimant to appear for examination before the Occupational Pneumoconiosis Board provided for in section eight-a of this article. In any case the claimant is entitled to reimbursement for loss of wages, and to reasonable traveling and other expenses necessarily incurred by him or her in obeying the order.
Where the claimant is ordered to appear for an examination by the Occupational Pneumoconiosis Board, or is required to undergo a medical examination or examinations by a physician or physicians selected by the employer insurance commissioner, self-insured employer, or private carrier, as aforesaid or in connection with any claim which is in litigation, or undergoes any medical treatment related to the injury, including treatment by the claimant's authorized treating physician, the employer shall reimburse the claimant shall be reimbursed for loss of wages, and reasonable traveling and other expenses in connection with the examination, or examinations, or treatment. not to exceed the expenses paid when a claimant is examined by a physician or physicians selected by the commission, successor to the commission, other private carrier or self-insured employer, whichever is applicable. Such traveling expenses include, at a minimum, reimbursement for each mile traveled in a personal motor vehicle at a rate authorized by the travel management rule of the Department of Administration.
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