Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, Workers' Compensation Division
Medical Care After Medically Stationary
(1) A worker is found medically stationary when no further material improvement would reasonably be expected from medical treatment or the passage of time. Medical services after a worker’s condition is medically stationary are compensable only when services are:(a) Palliative care under section (2) of this rule;(b) Curative care under sections (3) and (4) of this rule;(c) Provided to a worker who has been determined permanently and totally disabled;(d) Prescription medications;(e) Necessary to administer or monitor administration of prescription medications;(f) Prosthetic devices, braces, or supports;(g) To monitor the status of, to replace, or to repair prosthetic devices, braces, and supports;(h) Provided under an accepted claim for aggravation;(i) Provided under Board’s Own Motion;(j) Necessary to diagnose the worker’s condition; or(k) Life-preserving modalities similar to insulin therapy, dialysis, and transfusions.(2) Palliative Care.(a) Palliative care means that medical services are provided to temporarily reduce or moderate the intensity of an otherwise stable medical condition. It does not include those medical services provided to diagnose, heal, or permanently alleviate or eliminate a medical condition. Palliative care is compensable when the attending physician prescribes it and it is necessary to enable the worker to continue current employment or a vocational training program. Before palliative care can begin, the attending physician must submit a written palliative care request to the insurer for approval. The request must:(A) Describe any objective findings;(B) Identify the medical condition for which palliative care is requested by the appropriate ICD diagnosis;(C) Detail a treatment plan which includes the name of the provider who will provide the care, specific treatment modalities, and frequency and duration of the care, not to exceed 180 days;(D) Explain how the requested care is related to the compensable condition; and(E) Describe how the requested care will enable the worker to continue current employment, or a current vocational training program, and the possible adverse effect if the care is not approved.(b) Palliative care may begin after the attending physician submits the request to the insurer. If the insurer approves the request, palliative care services are payable from the date service begins. However, if the request is ultimately disapproved, the insurer is not liable for payment of the palliative care services.(c) Insurers must date stamp all palliative care requests upon receipt. Within 30 days of receiving the request, the insurer must send written notice approving or disapproving the request to the attending physician, the provider who will provide the care, the worker, and the worker’s attorney. If the request is disapproved, the notice must include the following paragraph, in bold text:(d) If the insurer disapproves the request, the insurer must explain the reason why in writing. Reasons to disapprove a palliative care request may include:(A) The palliative care services are not related to the compensable conditions;(B) The palliative care services are excessive, inappropriate, or ineffectual; or(C) The palliative care services will not enable the worker to continue current employment or a current vocational training program.(e) When the insurer disapproves the palliative care request, the attending physician or the worker may request administrative review before the director under OAR 436-010-0008 (Request for Review before the Director). The request for review must be within 90 days from the date of the insurer’s disapproval notice. In addition to information required by OAR 436-010-0008 (Request for Review before the Director), if the request is from the attending physician, it must include:(A) A copy of the original request to the insurer; and(B) A copy of the insurer’s response.(f) If the insurer fails to respond to the request in writing within 30 days, the attending physician or worker may request approval from the director within 120 days from the date the request was first submitted to the insurer. When the attending physician requests approval from the director, the physician must include a copy of the original request and may include any other supporting information.(g) Subsequent requests for palliative care are subject to the same process as the initial request; however, the insurer may waive the requirement that the attending physician submit a supplemental palliative care request.(3) Curative Care. Curative medical care is compensable when the care is provided to stabilize a temporary and acute waxing and waning of symptoms of the worker’s condition.(4) Advances in Medical Science. The director must approve curative care arising from a generally recognized, nonexperimental advance in medical science since the worker’s claim was closed that is highly likely to improve the worker’s condition and that is otherwise justified by the circumstances of the claim. When the attending physician believes that curative care is appropriate, the physician must submit a written request for approval to the director. The request must:(a) Describe any objective findings;(b) Identify the appropriate ICD diagnosis (the medical condition for which the care is requested);(c) Describe in detail the advance in medical science that has occurred since the worker’s claim was closed that is highly likely to improve the worker’s condition;(d) Provide an explanation, based on sound medical principles, as to how and why the care will improve the worker’s condition; and(e) Describe why the care is otherwise justified by the circumstances of the claim.