SB 10-163 was signed by Governor on March 31, 2010. It includes some important statutory changes.
C.R.S. § 8-43-204 was amended to mandate that settlements must be paid fifteen days after receipt of the executed settlement order. Specifically, “any lump sum payable as a full or partial settlement shall be paid to the claimant or the claimant’s attorney within fifteen calendar days after the date the executed settlement order is received by the carrier or the noninsured or self-insured.”
This means that now settlement checks must be received by claimant or attorney no more than fifteen days after receipt of the executed settlement order. It dramatically reduces the time insurers and employers have to request, receive and forward settlement checks.
A new section was added as C.R.S. § 8-43-317. This section requires that all documents exchanged under the Act must be served, or sent, in the same manner or means to all recipients.
Lastly, C.R.S. § 8-43-404 was amended to clarify that the rule regarding independent medical examination (IME) audio recordings of employer-sponsored IMEs applies to all workers’ compensation claims, regardless of the date the claim was filed.
This means that all Respondent-sponsored IMEs must be electronically recorded, regardless of the date of claim.
Of note, on May 6, 2010, the Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee defeated a bill that would have limited the use of surveillance in workers’ compensation claims. HB 10-1012 contained language that would have required an insurer or employer, prior to initiating surveillance, to have a reasonable basis to suspect fraud, or suspect Claimant exceeded medical limitations or made a material misstatement concerning the claim. It also would have required insurers or employers to destroy all materials collected during surveillance no later than five years of the end of the claim, unless the materials are reasonably necessary to resolve an ongoing claim of fraud
Several more bills have not yet passed the House.
Additional updates may be forthcoming depending upon the status of these bills.