1. The Laws of New York
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  4. Article 2: Compensation


Section 13-B Authorization of physicians, medical bureaus and laboratories by the chair

Workers' Compensation (WKC)

Authorization of physicians, medical bureaus and laboratories by the chair. 1. Upon the recommendation of the medical society of the county in which the physician's office is located or of a board designated by such county society or of a board representing duly licensed physicians of any other school of medical practice in such county, the chair may authorize physicians licensed to practice medicine in the state of New York to render medical care under this chapter and to perform independent medical examinations in accordance with subdivision four of section thirteen-a of this article. If, within sixty days after the chair requests such recommendations the medical society of such county or board fails to act, or if there is no such society in such county, the chair shall designate a board of three outstanding physicians, who shall make the requisite recommendations.

  No such authorization shall be made in the absence of a recommendation of the appropriate society or board or of a review and recommendation by the medical appeals unit. No person shall render medical care or conduct independent medical examinations under this chapter without such authorization by the chair, provided, that:

  (a) Any physician licensed to practice medicine in the state of New York may render emergency medical care under this chapter without authorization by the chair under this section; and

  (b) A licensed physician who is a member of a constituted medical staff of any hospital may render medical care under this chapter while an injured employee remains a patient in such hospital; and

  (c) Under the active and personal supervision of an authorized physician medical care may be rendered by a registered nurse or other person trained in laboratory or diagnostic techniques within the scope of such person's specialized training and qualifications. This supervision shall be evidenced by signed records of instructions for treatment and signed records of the patient's condition and progress. Reports of such treatment and supervision shall be made by such physician to the chair on such forms and at such times as the chair may require.

  (d) Upon the referral which may be directive as to treatment of an authorized physician physical therapy care may be rendered by a duly licensed physical therapist. Where physical therapy care is rendered records of the patient's condition and progress, together with records of instruction for treatment, if any, shall be maintained by the physical therapist and physician. Said records shall be submitted to the chair on such forms and at such times as the chair may require.

  (e) Upon the prescription or referral of an authorized physician occupational therapy care may be rendered by a duly licensed occupational therapist. Where occupational therapy care is rendered records of the patient's condition and progress, together with records of instruction for treatment, if any shall be maintained by the occupational therapist and physician. Said records shall be submitted to the chair on forms and at such times as the chair may require.

  (f) Where it would place an unreasonable burden upon the employer or carrier to arrange for, or for the claimant to attend, an independent medical examination by an authorized physician, the employer or carrier shall arrange for such examination to be performed by a qualified physician in a medical facility convenient to the claimant.

  2. A physician licensed to practice medicine in the state of New York who is desirous of being authorized to render medical care under this chapter and/or to conduct independent medical examinations in accordance with paragraph (b) of subdivision four of section thirteen-a and section one hundred thirty-seven of this chapter shall file an application for authorization under this chapter with the medical society in the county in which his or her office is located, or with a board designated by such society, or with a board designated by the chair as provided in this section. In such application the applicant shall state his or her training and qualifications, and shall agree to limit his or her professional activities under this chapter to such medical care and independent medical examinations, as his or her experience and training qualify him or her to render. The applicant shall further agree to refrain from subsequently treating for remuneration, as a private patient, any person seeking medical treatment, or submitting to an independent medical examination, in connection with, or as a result of, any injury compensable under this chapter, if he or she has been removed from the list of physicians authorized to render medical care or to conduct independent medical examinations under this chapter, or if the person seeking such treatment, or submitting to an independent medical examination, has been transferred from his or her care in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. This agreement shall run to the benefit of the injured person so treated or examined, and shall be available to him or her as a defense in any action by such physician for payment for treatment rendered by a physician after he or she has been removed from the list of physicians authorized to render medical care or to conduct independent medical examinations under this chapter, or after the injured person was transferred from his or her care in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The medical society or the board designated by it, or the board as otherwise provided under this section, if it deems such licensed physician duly qualified, shall recommend to the chair that such physician be authorized to render medical care and/or conduct independent medical examinations under this chapter, and such recommendation and authorization shall specify the character of the medical care or independent medical examination which such physician is qualified and authorized to render under this chapter. Such recommendations shall be advisory to the chair only and shall not be binding or conclusive upon him or her. The licensed physician may present to the medical society or board, evidences of additional qualifications at any time subsequent to his or her original application. If the medical society or board fails to recommend to the chair that a physician be authorized to render medical care and/or to conduct independent medical examinations under this chapter, the physician may appeal to the medical appeals unit. The medical society or the board designated by it, or the board as otherwise provided under this section, may upon its own initiative, or shall upon request of the chair, review at any time the qualifications of any physician as to the character of the medical care or independent medical examinations which such physician has theretofore been authorized to render under this chapter and may recommend to the chair that such physician be authorized to render medical care or to conduct independent medical examinations thereafter of the character which such physician is then qualified to render. On such advisory recommendation the chair may review and after reasonable investigation may revise the authorization of a physician in respect to the character of medical care and/or to conduct independent medical examinations which he or she is authorized to render. If the medical society or board recommends to the chair that a physician be authorized to render medical care and/or to conduct independent medical examinations under this chapter of a character different from the character of medical care or independent medical examinations he or she has been theretofore authorized to render, such physician may appeal from such recommendation to the medical appeals unit.

  3. Laboratories and bureaus engaged in x-ray diagnosis or treatment or in physiotherapy or other therapeutic procedures and which participate in the diagnosis or treatment of injured workmen under this chapter shall be operated or supervised by qualified physicians duly authorized under this chapter and shall be subject to the provisions of section thirteen-c of this article. The person in charge of diagnostic clinical laboratories duly authorized under this chapter shall possess the qualifications established by the public health and health planning council for approval by the state commissioner of health or, in the city of New York, the qualifications approved by the board of health of said city and shall maintain the standards of work required for such approval.

  * NB Effective until January 1, 2020

  * § 13-b. Authorization of providers, medical bureaus and laboratories by the chair. 1. No person shall render medical care or conduct independent medical examinations under this chapter without such authorization by the chair. As used in this title, the following definitions shall have the following meanings unless their context requires otherwise:

  (a) "Acupuncturist" shall mean licensed as having completed a formal course of study and having passed an examination in accordance with the education law, the regulations of the commissioner of education, and the requirements of the board of regents. Acupuncturists are required by the education law to advise, in writing, each patient of the importance of consulting with a physician for the condition or conditions necessitating acupuncture care, as prescribed by the education law.

  (b) "Chair" of the board shall mean either the chair or the chair's designee.

  (c) "Chiropractor" shall mean licensed and having completed two years of preprofessional college study and a four-year resident program in chiropractic in accordance with the education law, and consistent with the licensing requirements of the commissioner of education.

  (d) "Dentist" shall mean licensed and having completed a four-year course of study leading to a D.D.S. or D.D.M. degree, or an equivalent degree, in accordance with the education law and the licensing requirements of the commissioner of education.

  (e) "Employer" shall mean a self-insured employer or, if insured, the insurance carrier.

  (f) "Independent medical examination" shall mean an examination performed by a physician, podiatrist, chiropractor or psychologist, authorized under this section to perform such examination, for the purpose of examining or evaluating injury or illness pursuant to paragraph (b) of subdivision four of section thirteen-a and section one hundred thirty-seven of this chapter and as more fully set forth in regulation.

  (g) "Nurse practitioner" shall mean a licensed registered professional nurse certified pursuant to section sixty-nine hundred ten of the education law acting within their lawful scope of practice.

  (h) "Occupational therapist" shall mean licensed as having at least a bachelor's or master's degree in occupational therapy from a registered program with the education department or receipt of a diploma or degree resulting from completion of not less than four years of postsecondary study, which includes the professional study of occupational therapy in accordance with the education law and the regulations of the commissioner of education.

  (i) "Physical therapist" shall mean licensed in accordance with the education law and the licensing requirements of the commissioner of education.

  (j) "Physician" shall mean licensed with a degree of doctor of medicine, M.D., or doctor of osteopathic medicine, D.O., or an equivalent degree in accordance with the education law and the licensing requirements of the state board of medicine and the regulations of the commissioner of education.

  (k) "Physician assistant" shall mean a licensed provider who is licensed as a physician assistant pursuant to section sixty-five hundred forty-one of the education law.

  (l) "Podiatrist" shall mean a doctor of podiatric medicine licensed as having received a doctoral degree in podiatric medicine in accordance with the regulations of the commissioner of education and the education law, and must satisfactorily meet all other requirements of the state board for podiatric medicine.

  (m) "Provider" shall mean a duly licensed acupuncturist, chiropractor, nurse practitioner, occupational therapist, physical therapist, physician, physician assistant, podiatrist, psychologist, or social worker authorized by the chair.

  (n) "Psychologist" shall mean licensed as having received a doctoral degree in psychology from a program of psychology registered with the state education department or the substantial equivalent thereof in accordance with the education law, the requirements of the state board for psychology, and the regulations of the commissioner of education.

  (o) "Social worker" shall mean a licensed clinical social worker. A licensed clinical social worker has completed a master's degree of social work that includes completion of a core curriculum of at least twelve credit hours of clinical courses or the equivalent post-graduate clinical coursework, in accordance with the education law and the regulations of the commissioner of education.

  2. Any provider licensed pursuant to the education law to provide medical care and treatment in the state of New York may render emergency care and treatment in an emergency hospital or urgent care setting providing emergency treatment under this chapter without authorization by the chair under this section; (a) Such licensed provider as identified in this subdivision who is on staff at any hospital or urgent care center providing emergency treatment may continue such medical care under this chapter while an injured employee remains a patient in such hospital or urgent care setting; and

  (b) Under the direct supervision of an authorized provider, medical care may be rendered by a registered nurse or other person trained in laboratory or diagnostic techniques within the scope of such person's specialized training and qualifications. This supervision shall be evidenced by signed records of instructions for treatment and signed records of the patient's condition and progress. Reports of such treatment and supervision shall be made by such provider to the chair in the format prescribed by the chair at such times as the chair may require.

  (c) Where it would place an unreasonable burden upon the employer or carrier to arrange for, or for the claimant to attend, an independent medical examination by an authorized provider, the employer or carrier shall arrange for such examination to be performed by a qualified provider in a medical facility convenient to the claimant.

  (d) Upon the prescription or referral of an authorized physician, physician assistant, podiatrist, or nurse practitioner acting within the scope of his or her practice, care or treatment may be rendered to an injured employee by an authorized physical therapist, occupational therapist or acupuncturist provided the conditions and the treatment performed are among the conditions that the physical therapist, occupational therapist or acupuncturist is authorized to treat pursuant to the education law or the regulations of the commissioner of education. Where any such care or treatment is rendered, records of the patient's condition and progress, together with records of instruction for treatment, if any, shall be maintained by the physical therapist, occupational therapist or acupuncturist rendering treatment and by the referring physician, physician assistant, podiatrist, or nurse practitioner. Said records shall be submitted to the chair on forms and at such times as the chair may require.

  (e) A record, report or opinion of a physical therapist, occupational therapist, acupuncturist or physician assistant shall not be considered as evidence of the causal relationship of any condition to a work related accident or occupational disease under this chapter. Nor may a record, report or opinion of a physical therapist, occupational therapist or acupuncturist be considered evidence of disability. Nor may a record, report or opinion of a physician assistant be considered evidence of the presence of a permanent or initial disability or the degree thereof.

  (f) An independent medical examination performed in accordance with section one hundred thirty-seven of this chapter, may only be performed by a physician, podiatrist, chiropractor or psychologist authorized to perform such examinations by the chair, or as specified in regulation, when qualified by the board.

  3. A provider properly licensed or certified pursuant to the regulations of the commissioner of education and the requirements of the education law desirous of being authorized to render medical care under this chapter and/or to conduct independent medical examinations in accordance with paragraph (b) of subdivision four of section thirteen-a and section one hundred thirty-seven of this chapter shall file an application for authorization under this chapter with the chair or chair's designee. Prior to receiving authorization, a physician must, together with submission of an application to the chair, submit such application to the medical society of the county in which the physician's office is located or of a board designated by such county society or of a board representing duly licensed physicians of any other school of medical practice in such county, and such medical society shall submit the recommendation to the board. In the event such county society or board fails to take action upon a physician's completed and signed application within forty-five days, the chair may complete review of the application without such approval. Upon approval of the application by the chair or the chair's designee, the applicant shall further agree to refrain from subsequently treating for remuneration, as a private patient, any person seeking medical treatment, or submitting to an independent medical examination, in connection with, or as a result of, any injury compensable under this chapter, if he or she has been removed from the list of providers authorized to render medical care or to conduct independent medical examinations under this chapter, or if the person seeking such treatment, or submitting to an independent medical examination, has been transferred from his or her care in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. This agreement shall run to the benefit of the injured person so treated or examined, and shall be available to him or her as a defense in any action by such provider for payment for treatment rendered by a provider after he or she has been removed from the list of providers authorized to render medical care or to conduct independent medical examinations under this chapter, or after the injured person was transferred from his or her care in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

  4. Laboratories and bureaus engaged in x-ray diagnosis or treatment or in physiotherapy or other therapeutic procedures and which participate in the diagnosis or treatment of injured workers under this chapter shall be operated or supervised by providers authorized under this chapter and shall be subject to the provisions of section thirteen-c of this article. The person in charge of diagnostic clinical laboratories duly authorized under this chapter shall possess the qualifications established by the public health and health planning council for approval by the state commissioner of health or, in the city of New York, the qualifications approved by the board of health of said city and shall maintain the standards of work required for such approval.

  * NB Effective January 1, 2020