Currently in Montana, an injured worker may choose the initial treating physician for his or her workers’ compensation care. However, potential changes to the current legislation, proposed in varying forms by Rep. Scott Reichner (R – Bigfork), and Sen. Ryan Zinke (R-Whitefish), will be addressed in a teleconference call scheduled to take place at noon on March 22, 2011.
Reichner’s bill (HB 334) includes the following:
· permits the insurer to designate the treating physician.
· permits Medical providers to be the “treating physician” with requirements to coordinate treatment and provide timely determination/information.
· variable reimbursement based on status - treating physicians designated by the insurer would be reimbursed at 110% of the current MT fee schedule; a health care provider to whom the injured worker is referred by the treating physician would be reimbursed at 90% of the MT fee schedule; and a health care provider providing health care on a compensable claim prior to the designation of the treating physician by the insurer would be reimbursed at 100% of the MT fee schedule.
Zinke is proposing to keep the physician network but allow the injured worker to choose a doctor - his amendment would allow an insurer to designate another treating physician if it objects to the worker’s choice. For a comparison of the Reichner Bill and Zinke amendments, click on the link below:
The Meeting Agenda including the access code to dial into the teleconference, can be accessed via the link below:
HB 334 can be accessed via the link below: