2024 Colorado Workers’ Compensation Regulations

January 1, 2024, marked a significant shift in Colorado’s employment landscape, with the introduction of new employment laws, regulations, and programs. Among these changes are revisions to the state’s workers’ compensation rules, affecting dispute resolution and medical fee schedules. Here’s what you need to know about these changes and how they may affect your claim.

Changes to Workers’ Compensation Rule 9: Dispute Resolution

Rule 9 governs dispute resolution in workers’ compensation cases, impacting discovery processes and prehearing protocols. This regulation has not been updated since a new version went into effect in 2019, and as a result, the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation has implemented several new guidelines.

The 2024 updates introduce a more collaborative approach to discovery, requiring mutual agreement or a judge’s order to serve interrogatories and requests for the production of documents. This change limits the number of these requests to ten unless otherwise agreed or ordered.

Deposition procedures have also been modified, allowing for the depositions of expert witnesses without an order under certain conditions. Moreover, the updated Rule 9 outlines more detailed procedures for prehearing conferences; the time frame for adding issues after a hearing is scheduled has been extended. The 2024 version of Rule 9 also establishes specific protocols for objections during prehearing conferences.

Additionally, Rule 9 now explicitly permits the electronic filing of motions, reflecting a modernization of the workers’ compensation system. This move towards digital processes is expected to improve accessibility and efficiency—but time will tell if this change will be effective.

Changes to Workers’ Compensation Rule 18: Medical Fee Schedule

Significant revisions have also been made to Rule 18, which governs the medical fee schedule in Colorado workers’ compensation cases. Key updates include:

  • Revised conversion factors for various medical services, which ensure that compensation rates keep pace with current medical costs
  • An updated definition of global days, clarifying the time period associated with surgical procedures
  • The introduction of new billing codes for prolonged medical services, encompassing both outpatient and inpatient care
  • The removal of the requirement to establish a practitioner/patient relationship through live audio or video for telemedicine services
  • The addition of a Place of Service (POS) code 10 for telemedicine, indicating services provided in a patient’s home
  • Updated per diem allowances for inpatient facilities such as skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation hospitals, and long-term acute care hospitals
  • A new stipulation that opioids or scheduled controlled substances, including benzodiazepines, must only be provided through a pharmacy

Seek Justice for Workplace Injuries with a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

The changes to Colorado’s workers’ comp regulations signal new trends in healthcare management and legal procedures for workplace injuries. However, these regulations can be challenging to navigate alone. To ensure that you are being treated fairly throughout the workers’ compensation process, you need an attorney on your side.

A Denver workers’ compensation lawyer can help you with everything from understanding the nuances of these laws to ensuring your claim is filed accurately and efficiently. Your attorney can guide you through complex dispute resolution procedures, connect you with medical experts, and argue for your right to compensation during hearings, negotiations, and more. As soon as possible following your accident, schedule a free legal consultation and start building a robust case for your benefits.

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