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Searching 2019-2020 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 21 : Labor

Chapter 009 : EMPLOYER'S LIABILITY AND WORKERS' COMPENSATION

(Cite as: 21 V.S.A. § 640b)
  • § 640b. Request for preauthorization to determine if proposed treatment is necessary

    (a) Within 14 days of receiving a request for preauthorization for a proposed medical treatment and medical evidence supporting the requested treatment, a workers' compensation insurer shall:

    (1) authorize the treatment and notify the health care provider, the injured worker, and the Department; or

    (2)(A) deny the treatment because the entire claim is disputed and the Commissioner has not issued an interim order to pay benefits; or

    (B) deny the treatment if, based on a preponderance of credible medical evidence specifically addressing the proposed treatment, it is unreasonable or unnecessary. The insurer shall notify the health care provider, the injured worker, and the Department of the decision to deny treatment; or

    (3) notify the health care provider, the injured worker, and the Department that the insurer has scheduled an examination of the employee or ordered a medical record review pursuant to section 655 of this title. Based on the examination or review, the insurer shall authorize or deny the treatment and notify the Department and the injured worker of the decision within 45 days of a request for preauthorization. The Commissioner may in his or her sole discretion grant a 10-day extension to the insurer to authorize or deny treatment, and such an extension shall not be subject to appeal.

    (b) If the insurer fails to authorize or deny the treatment pursuant to subsection (a) of this section within 14 days of receiving a request, the claimant or health care provider may request that the Department issue an order authorizing treatment. After receipt of the request, the Department shall issue an interim order within five days after notice to the insurer, and five days in which to respond, absent evidence that the entire claim is disputed. Upon request of a party, the Commissioner shall notify the parties that the treatment has been authorized by operation of law.

    (c) If the insurer denies the preauthorization of the treatment pursuant to subdivision (a)(2) or (3) of this section, the Commissioner may on his or her own initiative or upon a request by the claimant issue an order authorizing the treatment if he or she finds that the evidence shows that the treatment is reasonable, necessary, and related to the work injury. (Added 2011, No. 50, § 3.)