Emergency Adoption of Laws, Rules and Regulations
Regulatory Impact Statement for 12 NYCRR 300.2(d)(11)
- Statutory Authority:
The Workers' Compensation Board (hereinafter referred to as Board) is clearly authorized to amend 12
NYCRR 300.2(d)(11). Workers' Compensation Law (WCL) Section 117(1) authorizes the Chair to make
reasonable regulations consistent with the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Law and the Labor Law.
Section 141 of the Workers' Compensation Law authorizes the Chair to make administrative regulations and
orders providing, in part, for the receipt, indexing and examining of all notices, claims and reports, and further
authorizes the Chair to issue and revoke certificates of authorization of physicians, chiropractors and podiatrists
as provided in sections 13-a, 13-k, and 13-l of the Workers' Compensation Law. Section 137 of the Workers'
Compensation Law mandates requirements for the notice, conduct and reporting of independent medical
examinations. Specifically, paragraph (a) of subdivision (1) requires a copy of each report of an independent
medical examination to be submitted by the practitioner on the same day and in the same manner to the Board,
the carrier or self-insured employer, the claimant's treating provider, the claimant's representative and the
claimant. Sections 13-a, 13-k, 13-l and 13-m of the Workers' Compensation Law authorize the Chair to
prescribe by regulation such information as may be required of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors and
psychologists submitting reports of independent medical examinations.
- Legislative objectives:
Chapter 473 of the Laws of 2000 amended Sections 13-a, 13-b, 13-k, 13-l and 13-m of the Workers'
Compensation Law and added Sections 13-n and 137 to the Workers' Compensation Law to require
authorization by the Chair of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors and psychologists who conduct independent
medical examinations, guidelines for independent medical examinations and reports, and mandatory registration
with the Chair of entities that derive income from independent medical examinations. This rule would amend
one provision of the regulations adopted in 2001 to implement Chapter 473 regarding the time period within
which to file written reports from independent medical examinations.
- Needs and benefits:
Prior to the adoption of Chapter 473 of the Laws of 2000, there were limited statutory or regulatory
provisions applicable to independent medical examiners or examinations. Under this statute, the Legislature
provided a statutory basis for authorization of independent medical examiners, conduct of independent medical
examinations, provision of reports of such examinations, and registration of entities that derive income from
such examinations. Regulations were required to clarify definitions, procedures and standards that were not
expressly addressed by the Legislature. Such regulations were adopted by the Board in 2001.
Among the provisions of the regulations adopted in 2001 was the requirement that written reports from
independent medical examinations be filed with the Board and furnished to all parties as required by the WCL
within 10 days of the examination. Guidance was provided in 2002 to some to participants in the process from
executives of the Board that filing was accomplished when the report was deposited in a U.S. mailbox and that
"10 days" meant 10 calendar days. In 2003 claimants began raising the issue of timely filing with the Board of
the written report and requesting that the report be excluded if not timely filed. In response some
representatives for the carriers/self-insured employers presented the 2002 guidance as proof they were in
compliance. In some cases the Workers' Compensation Law Judges (WCLJs) found the report to be timely,
while others found it to be untimely. Appeals were then filed to the Board and assigned to Panels of Board
Commissioners. Due to the differing WCLJ decisions and the appeals to the Board, Board executives reviewed
the matter and additional guidance was issued in October 2003. The guidance clarified that filing is
accomplished when the report is received by the Board, not when it is placed in a U.S. mailbox. In November
2003, the Board Panels began to issue decisions relating to this issue. The Panels held that the report is filed
when received by the Board, not when placed in a U.S. mailbox, the CPLR provision providing a 5-day grace
period for mailing is not applicable to the Board (WCL Section 118), and therefore the report must be filed
within 10 days or it will be precluded.
Since the issuance of the October 2003 guidance and the Board Panel decisions, the Board has been
contacted by numerous participants in the system indicating that ten calendar days from the date of the
examination is not sufficient time within which to file the report of the exam with the Board. This is especially
true if holidays fall within the ten day period as the Board and U.S. Postal Service do not operate on those days.
Further the Board is not open to receive reports on Saturdays and Sundays. If a report is precluded because it is
not filed timely, it is not considered by the WCLJ in rendering a decision.
By amending the regulation to require the report to be filed within ten business days rather than calendar
days, there will be sufficient time to file the report as required. In addition by stating what is meant by filing
there can be no further arguments that the term "filed" is vague.
This proposal will not impose any new costs on the regulated parties, the Board, the State or local
governments for its implementation and continuation. The requirement that a report be prepared and filed with
the Board currently exists and is mandated by statute. This rule merely modifies the manner in which the time
period to file the report is calculated and clarifies the meaning of the word "filed".
- Local government mandates:
Approximately 2511 political subdivisions currently participate as municipal employers in self-insured
programs for workers' compensation coverage in New York State. These self-insured municipal employers will
be affected by the proposed rule in the same manner as all other employers who are self-insured for workers'
compensation coverage. As with all other participants, this proposal merely modifies the manner in which the
time to file a report is calculated, and clarifies the meaning of the word "filed".
This proposed rule does not add any reporting requirements. The requirement that a report be provided to
the Board, carrier, claimant, claimant's treating provider and claimant's representative in the same manner and
at the same time is mandated by WCL Section 137(1). Current regulations require the filing of the report with
the Board and service on all others within ten days of the examination. This rule merely modifies the manner in
which the time period to file the report is calculated and clarifies the meaning of the word "filed".
The proposed rule does not duplicate or conflict with any state or federal requirements.
One alternative discussed was to take no action. However, due to the concerns and problems raised by many
participants, the Board felt it was more prudent to take action. In addition to amending the rule to require the
filing within ten business days, the Board discussed extending the period within which to file the report to
fifteen days. In reviewing the law and regulations the Board felt the proposed change was best. Subdivision 7
of WCL Section 137 requires the notice of the exam be sent to the claimant within seven business days, so the
change to business days is consistent with this provision. Further, paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision 1 of
WCL Section 137 require independent medical examiners to submit copies of all request for information
regarding a claimant and all responses to such requests within ten days of receipt or response. Further, in
discussing this issue with participants to the system, it was indicated that the change to business days would be
The Medical Legal Consultants Association, Inc., suggested that the Board provide for electronic acceptance
of IME reports directly from IME providers. However, at this time the Board cannot comply with this
suggestion as WCL Section 137(1)(a) requires reports to be submitted by the practitioners on the same day and
in the same manner to the Board, the insurance carrier, the claimant's attending provider and the claimant.
Until such time as the report can be sent electronically to all of the parties, the Board cannot accept it in this
- Federal Standards:
There are no federal standards applicable to this proposed rule.
- Compliance Schedule:
It is expected that the affected parties will be able to comply with this change immediately.
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