Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, Workers' Compensation Division

Rule Rule 436-030-0034
Administrative Claim Closure


(1) The insurer must close a claim when the worker is not medically stationary and the worker fails to seek treatment for more than 30 days without the instruction or approval of the attending physician or authorized nurse practitioner and for reasons within the worker’s control. In order to close a claim under this section, the insurer must:
(a) Wait for the 30-day lack of treatment period to expire or any additional time period recommended by the attending physician or authorized nurse practitioner before sending the worker written notification by certified and regular mail, with a copy sent to the worker’s attorney if the worker is represented, informing the worker of the following:
(A) The worker’s responsibility to seek medical treatment in a timely manner;
(B) The consequences for failing to seek treatment in a timely manner which include, but are not limited to, claim closure and possible loss or reduction of a disability award; and
(C) The claim will be closed unless the worker establishes within 14 days from the date the letter was sent certified mail that:
(i) Treatment has resumed by attending an existing appointment or scheduling a new appointment; or
(ii) The reasons for not treating were outside the worker’s control.
(b) Wait the 14-day period given in the notification letter to allow the worker to provide evidence that the lack of treatment was either authorized by the attending physician or authorized nurse practitioner or beyond the worker’s control.
(c) Determine whether claim closure is appropriate based on the information received.
(d) Rate all permanent disability apparent in the record at the time of claim closure. This includes, but is not limited to, any irreversible findings.
(e) Use 30 days from the last treatment provided or any additional time period authorized by the attending physician or authorized nurse practitioner as the date the claim qualifies for closure on the Notice of Closure.
(2) Regardless of whether the worker is medically stationary, the insurer must close a claim when a worker has not sought treatment for more than 30 days with a health care provider authorized under ORS 656.005 (Definitions) and ORS 656.245 (Medical services to be provided) (e.g., a worker enrolled in a managed care organization (MCO) who treats with a physician outside the MCO is not treating with an authorized health care provider). To close a claim under this section, the insurer must follow the requirements in section (1) of this rule and inform the worker that the reason for the impending closure is because the worker failed to treat with an authorized health care provider.
(3) A claim must be closed, regardless of whether the worker is medically stationary, when the worker fails to attend a mandatory closing examination for reasons within the worker’s control. To close a claim under this section, the insurer must:
(a) Inform the worker in writing sent by certified and regular mail, with a copy sent to the worker’s attorney if the worker is represented, at least 10 days prior to the mandatory closing examination of:
(A) The date, time, and place of the examination;
(B) The worker’s responsibility to attend the examination;
(C) The consequences for failing to attend, which include, but are not limited to, claim closure and the possible loss or reduction of a disability award; and
(D) The worker’s responsibility to provide, within seven days from the date of the scheduled examination, information to the insurer regarding why the examination was not attended, if the reason was beyond the worker’s control.
(b) Wait seven days from the date of the missed examination to allow the worker to demonstrate good cause for failing to attend before closing the claim.
(c) Rate all permanent disability apparent in the record at the time of claim closure. This includes, but is not limited, to any irreversible findings.
(d) Use the date of the failed mandatory closing examination as the date the claim qualifies for closure on the Notice of Closure.
(4) The insurer may close the claim under section (1) of this rule, regardless of whether the worker is medically stationary, when a closing examination has been scheduled between a worker and attending physician directly and the worker fails to attend the examination.
(5) A claim may be closed when the worker’s otherwise compensable injury is not medically stationary and a major contributing cause denial has been issued on an accepted combined condition.
(a) The major contributing cause denial must inform the worker that claim closure may result from the issuance of the denial and provide all other information required by these rules.
(b) When a major contributing cause denial has been issued following the acceptance of a combined condition, the date the claim qualifies for closure is the date the insurer receives sufficient information to determine the extent of any permanent disability under OAR 436-030-0020 (Requirements for Claim Closure)(2) or the date of the denial, whichever is later.
(6) When two or more of the above events occur concurrently, the earliest date the claim qualifies for closure is used to close the claim.
(7) The attending physician or authorized nurse practitioner, if the worker has one, must be copied on all notification and denial letters applicable to this rule.
(8) When the director has issued a suspension order under OAR 436-060-0095 (Medical Examinations; Suspension of Compensation; and Independent Medical Examination Notice) or OAR 436-060-0105 (Suspension of Compensation for Insanitary or Injurious Practices, Refusal of Treatment or Failure to Participate in Rehabilitation; Reduction of Benefits), the date the claim qualifies for closure is the date of the suspension order.
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Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021