28 CFR 79.46 - Proof of nonmalignant respiratory disease.
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(a) In determining whether a claimant developed a nonmalignant respiratory disease following pertinent employment as a miner, the Assistant Director shall resolve all reasonable doubt in favor of the claimant. A conclusion that a claimant developed a nonmalignant respiratory disease must be supported by medical documentation. In cases where the claimant is deceased, the claimant's beneficiary may submit any form of medical documentation specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, and for proof of cor pulmonale must also submit one or more forms of documentation specified in paragraph (d)(2). A living claimant must at a minimum submit the medical documentation required in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, and for proof of cor pulmonale must also submit one or more forms of documentation specified in paragraph (d)(2). In all cases, the Program will review submitted medical documentation, and will, in addition and where appropriate, review any pertinent records discovered within the sources referred to in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. With respect to a deceased claimant, the Program will treat as equivalent to a diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis any diagnosis of “restrictive lung disease” made by a physician employed by the Indian Health Service.
(b) Where appropriate, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program will search the records of the PHS (including NIOSH), created or gathered during the course of any health study of uranium workers conducted or being conducted by these agencies, to determine whether those records contain proof of the claimant's medical condition. In cases where the claimant is deceased, the Program will accept as proof of medical condition the verification of the PHS or NIOSH that it possesses medical records or abstracts of medical records of the claimant that contain a verified diagnosis of a nonmalignant respiratory disease.
(c) If medical records regarding the claimant were gathered during the course of any federally supported, health-related study of uranium workers and the claimant or eligible surviving beneficiary submits with the claim an Authorization To Release Medical or Other Information that authorizes the Program to contact the custodian of the records of the study to determine if proof of the claimant's medical condition is contained in the records of the study, the Program will, where appropriate, request such records from that custodian and will review records that it obtains from the custodian. In cases where the claimant is deceased, the Program will accept as proof of the claimant's medical condition such medical records or abstracts of medical records containing a verified diagnosis of a nonmalignant respiratory disease.
(1) A claimant or beneficiary may submit any of the following forms of medical documentation in support of a claim that the claimant contracted a nonmalignant respiratory disease, including pulmonary fibrosis, fibrosis of the lung, cor pulmonale related to fibrosis of the lung, silicosis, and pneumoconiosis:
(iii) If an x-ray exists, the x-ray and interpretive reports of the x-ray by a maximum of two NIOSH certified “B” readers classifying the existence of disease of category 1/0 or higher according to a 1989 report of the International Labor Office (known as the “ILO”), or subsequent revisions;
(2) In order to demonstrate that the claimant developed cor pulmonale related to fibrosis of the lung, the claimant or beneficiary must, at a minimum, submit one or more of the following medical records:
(3) Notwithstanding any other documentation provided, a living claimant must at a minimum provide the following medical documentation:
(A) An arterial blood gas study administered at rest in a sitting position, or an exercise arterial blood gas test, reflecting values equal to or less than the values set forth in the tables in appendix B to this part; or
(B) A written diagnosis by a physician in accordance with § 79.41(p); and
(A) A chest x-ray administered in accordance with standard techniques accompanied by interpretive reports of the x-ray by a maximum of two NIOSH certified “B” readers, classifying the existence of disease of category 1/0 or higher according to a 1989 report of the International Labor Office (known as the “ILO”), or subsequent revisions;
(B) High-resolution computed tomography scans (commonly known as “HRCT scans”), including computer-assisted tomography scans (commonly known as “CAT scans”), magnetic resonance imaging scans (commonly known as “MRI scans”), and positron emission tomography scans (commonly known as “PET scans”), and interpretive reports of such scans;
(D) Pulmonary function tests indicating restrictive lung function and consisting of three reproducible time/volume tracings recording the results of the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and the forced vital capacity (FVC) administered and reported in accordance with the Standardization of Spirometry—1994 Update by the American Thoracic Society, and reflecting values for FEV1 or FVC that are less than or equal to the lower limit of normal for an individual of the claimant's age, sex, height, and ethnicity as set forth in the tables in appendix A to this part.
(e) The Assistant Director shall treat any documentation described in paragraph (d)(3)(i)(B) or paragraph (d)(3)(ii)(A) of this section as conclusive evidence of the claimant's nonmalignant respiratory disease; provided, however, that the Program may subject such documentation to a fair and random audit to guarantee its authenticity and reliability for purposes of treating it as conclusive evidence; and provided further that, in order to be treated as conclusive evidence, a written diagnosis described in paragraph (d)(3)(i)(B) must be by a physician who is employed by the Indian Health Service or the Department of Veterans Affairs or who is board certified (as described in § 79.41(p)), and who must have a documented, ongoing physician-patient relationship with the claimant. Notwithstanding the conclusive effect given to certain evidence, nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as relieving a living claimant of the obligation to provide the Program with the forms of documentation required under paragraph (d)(3).
Title 28 published on 2014-07-01.
No entries appear in the Federal Register after this date, for 28 CFR Part 79.