R612-300-10 - Medical Records

R612-300-10. Medical Records

A. Relationship between HIPAA and Workers' Compensation Disclosure Requirements. Workers' compensation insurers, employers and the Utah Labor Commission need access to health information of individuals who are injured on the job or who have a work-related illness in order to process or adjudicate claims, or to coordinate care under Utah's workers' compensation system. Generally, this health information is obtained from health care providers who treat these individuals and who may be covered by federal "HIPAA" privacy rules.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule specifically recognizes the legitimate need of the workers' compensation system to have access to individuals' health information to the extent authorized by State law. See 45 CFR 164.512(1). The Privacy Rule also recognizes the importance of permitting disclosures required by other laws. See 45 CFR 164.512(a). Therefore, disclosures permitted by this rule for workers' compensation purposes or otherwise required by this rule do not conflict with and are not prohibited by the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

B. Disclosures Permitted Without Authorization. A medical provider, without authorization from the injured worker, shall:

1. For purposes of substantiating a bill submitted for payment or filing required Labor Commission forms, such as the "Physician's Initial Report of Injury/Illness" or the "Restorative Services Authorization," disclose medical records necessary to substantiate the billing, including drug and alcohol testing, to:

a. An employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier or third party administrator;

b. A self-insured employer who administers its own workers' claims.

c. The Uninsured Employers' Fund;

d. The Employers' Reinsurance Fund; or

e. The Labor Commission as required by Labor Commission rules.

2. Disclose medical records pertaining to treatment of an injured worker who makes a claim for workers' compensation benefits, to another physician for specialized treatment, to a new treating physician chosen by the claimant, or for a consultation regarding the claimed work related injury or illness.

C. Disclosures Requiring Authorization.

1. Except as limited in C(3), a medical provider, whose medical records are relevant to a worker's compensation claim, shall, upon receipt of a Labor Commission medical records release form, or an authorization form that conforms to HIPAA requirements, disclose his/her medical records to:

a. An employer's insurance carrier or third party administrator;

b. A self-insured employer who administers its own workers' compensation claims;

c. An agent of an entity listed in B(1)(a through e), which includes, but is not limited to a case manager or reviewing physician;

d. The Uninsured Employers Fund;

e. The Employers' Reinsurance Fund;

f. The Labor Commission;

g. The injured worker;

h. An injured workers' personal representative;

i. An attorney representing any of the entities listed above in an industrial injury or occupational disease claim.

2. Medical records are relevant to a workers' compensation claim if:

a. The records were created after the reported date of the accident or onset of the illness for which workers' compensation benefits have been claimed; or

b. the records were created in the past ten years (15 years if permanent total disability is claimed) and:

i. There is a specific reason to suspect that the medical condition existed prior to the reported date of the claimed work related injury or illness or;

ii. The claim is being adjudicated by the Labor Commission.

3. Medical records related to care provided by a psychiatrist, psychologist, obstetrician, or care related to the reproductive organs may not be disclosed by a medical provider unless a claim has been made for a mental condition, a condition related to the reproductive organs, or the claimant has signed a separate, specific release for these records.

D. Disclosure Regarding Return to Work. A medical provider, who has treated an injured worker for a work related injury or illness, shall disclose information to an injured workers' employer as to when and what restrictions an injured worker may return to work.

E. Additional Disclosures Requiring Specific Approval. Requests for medical records beyond what subsections B, C, and D permit require a signed approval by the director, the medical director, a designated person(s) within the Industrial Accidents Division or an administrative law judge if the claim is being adjudicated.

F. Appeals. A party affected by the decision made by a person in subsection E may appeal that decision to the Adjudication Division of the Labor Commission.

G. Injured Worker's Duty to Disclose Medical Treatment and Providers. Upon receipt and within the scope of this rule, an injured worker shall provide those entities or persons listed in C(1) the names, address, and dates of medical treatment (if known) of the medical providers who have provided medical care within the past 10 years (15 years for permanent total disability claim) except for those medical providers names in C(3). Labor Commission form number 307 "Medical Treatment Provider List" must be used for this purpose. Parties listed in C(1) of this rule must provide each medical provider identified on form 307 with a signed authorization for access to medical records. A copy of the signed authorization may be sent to the medical providers listed on form 307.

H. Injured Worker's Right to Contest Requests for Pre-Injury Medical Records. An injured worker may contest, for good reason, a request for medical records created prior to the reported date of the accident or illness for which the injured worker has made a claim for benefits by filing a complaint with the Labor Commission. Good reason is defined as the request has gone beyond the scope of this rule or sensitive medical information is contained in a particular medical record.

I. Limitations on Use and Re-disclosure of Medical Information.

1. Any party obtaining medical records under authority of this rule may not disclose those medical records, without a valid authorization, except as required by law.

2. An employer may only use medical records obtained under the authority of this rule to:

a. Pay or adjudicate workers' compensation claims if the employer is self-insured;

b. To assess and facilitate an injured workers' return to work;

c. As otherwise authorized by the injured worker.

3. An employer obtaining medical records under authority of this rule must maintain the medical records separately from the employee's personnel file.

4. Any medical records obtained under the authority of this rule to make a determination regarding the acceptance of liability or for treatment of a condition related to a workers' compensation claim shall only be used for workers' compensation purposes and shall not be released, without a signed release by the injured worker or his/her personal representative, to any other party. An employer shall make decisions related only to the workers' compensation claim based on any medical information received under this rule.

K. Permissible Fees for Providing Medical Records. When any medical provider provides copies of medical records, other than the records required when submitting a bill for payment or as required by the Labor Commission rules, the following charges are presumed reasonable:

1. A search fee of $15 payable in advance of the search;

2. Copies at $.50 per page, including copies of microfilm, payable after the records have been prepared and

3. Actual costs of postage payable after the records have been prepared and sent. Actual cost of postage is deemed to be the cost of regular mail unless the requesting party has requested the delivery of the records by special mail or method.

4. The Labor Commission will release its records per the above charges to parties/entities with a signed and notarized release from the injured worker unless the information is classified and controlled under the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA).

5. No fee shall be charged when the RBRVS or the Commission's Medical Fee Guidelines require specific documentation for a procedure or when medical providers are required to report by statute or rule.

6. An injured worker or his/her personal representative may obtain one copy of each of the following records related to the industrial injury or occupational disease claim, at no cost, when the injured worker or his/her personal representative have signed a form by the Industrial Accidents Division to substantiate his/her industrial injury/illness claim;

a. History and physical;

b. Operative reports of surgery;

c. Hospital discharge summary;

d. Emergency room records;

e. Radiological reports;

f. Specialized test results; and

g. Physician SOAP notes, progress notes, or specialized reports.

h. Alternatively, a summary of the patients records may be made available to the injured worker or his/her personal representative at the discretion of the physician.

(Amended by Utah State Bulletin Number 2014-22, effective 10/22/2014 Amended by Utah State Bulletin Number 2019-2, effective 1/1/2019 Amended by Utah State Bulletin Number 2020-02, effective 12/23/2019)

The following state regulations pages link to this page.