The Kentucky DWC has issued several statements regarding steps to be taken in light of COVID-19 concerns.
First, all in-person Benefit Review Conferences and Hearings are cancelled through April 20, 2020, with exceptions for emergency circumstances. Administrative Law Judges will temporarily use telephonic or video technology for necessary proceedings. This likely will be amended up through April 24, 2020 given the recent Administrative Order 2020-13 issued by the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Second, during the period of the state of emergency, application of 803 KAR 25:010, Section 17 (2) shall be suspended to the extent that court reporters may take depositions while not physically present with the deponent provided that the attorney for the deponent shall certify on the record the identity of the deponent. For depositions of individuals other than parties, the attorney taking the deposition shall certify on the record the identity of the deponent.
Third, the DWC Commissioner states that telehealth and telephysical therapy services should be promoted and utilized when appropriate in order to prevent the spread of disease and provide for continuity of care to injured workers pursuant to KRS 342.020.
Accordingly, it is the position of the DWC that:
- Medical treatment and services, including physical therapy, may be offered and performed via telehealth, as defined in KRS 304.17A-005 (47), or telephysical therapy, as defined in 201 KAR 22:001(25), when clinically appropriate in the judgment of a health care provider, for treatment of workplace injuries and occupational disease;
- An injured worker shall have the right to decline to participate in telehealth and telephysical therapy;
- In performing telehealth and telephysical therapy services, medical providers shall comply with all applicable state and federal statutes and regulations pertaining to such services;
- A medical payment obligor shall reimburse telehealth or telephysical therapy providers for services provided to an injured worker. Reimbursement shall be equal to the reimbursement for the same service had it been provided in person unless the provider and the medical payment obligor contractually agree to a lower reimbursement rate for telehealth or telephysical therapy services. Pursuant to the Kentucky Schedule of Fees for Physicians, billing for telehealth and telephysical therapy shall be submitted on a HCFA 1500 form and shall include the modifier ‘95’ with the appropriate CPT ® code.
Roland Legal will keep you advised of further COVID-19 developments from the Kentucky DWC.