Chapter 4121: INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION; BUREAU OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION

4121.01 Industrial commission - bureau of workers' compensation definitions.

(A) As used in sections 4121.01 to 4121.29 of the Revised Code:

(1) "Place of employment" means every place, whether indoors or out, or underground, and the premises appurtenant thereto, where either temporarily or permanently any industry, trade, or business is carried on, or where any process or operation, directly or indirectly related to any industry, trade, or business, is carried on and where any person is directly or indirectly employed by another for direct or indirect gain or profit, but does not include any place where persons are employed in private domestic service or agricultural pursuits which do not involve the use of mechanical power.

(2) "Employment" means any trade, occupation, or process of manufacture or any method of carrying on such trade, occupation, or process of manufacture in which any person may be engaged, except in such private domestic service or agricultural pursuits as do not involve the use of mechanical power.

(3) "Employer" means every person, firm, corporation, agent, manager, representative, or other person having control or custody of any employment, place of employment, or employee.

(4) "Employee" means every person who may be required or directed by any employer, in consideration of direct or indirect gain or profit, to engage in any employment, or to go, or work, or be at any time in any place of employment.

(5) "Frequenter" means every person, other than an employee, who may go in or be in a place of employment under circumstances which render the person other than a trespasser.

(6) "Deputy" means any person employed by the industrial commission or the bureau of workers' compensation, designated as a deputy by the commission or the administrator of workers' compensation, who possesses special, technical, scientific, managerial, professional, or personal abilities or qualities in matters within the jurisdiction of the commission or the bureau, and who may be engaged in the performance of duties under the direction of the commission or the bureau calling for the exercise of such abilities or qualities.

(7) "Order" means any decision, rule, regulation, direction, requirement, or standard, or any other determination or decision that the bureau is empowered to and does make.

(8) "General order" means an order that applies generally throughout the state to all persons, employments, or places of employment, or all persons, employments, or places of employment of a class under the jurisdiction of the bureau. All other orders shall be considered special orders.

(9) "Local order" means any ordinance, order, rule, or determination of the legislative authority of any municipal corporation, or any trustees, or board or officers of any municipal corporation upon any matter over which the bureau has jurisdiction.

(10) "Welfare" means comfort, decency, and moral well-being.

(11) "Safe" or "safety," as applied to any employment or a place of employment, means such freedom from danger to the life, health, safety, or welfare of employees or frequenters as the nature of the employment will reasonably permit, including requirements as to the hours of labor with relation to the health and welfare of employees.

(12) "Employee organization" means any labor or bona fide organization in which employees participate and that exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, hours, terms, and other conditions of employment.

(B) As used in the Revised Code:

(1) "Industrial commission" means the chairperson of the three-member industrial commission created pursuant to section 4121.02 of the Revised Code when the context refers to the authority vested in the chairperson as the chief executive officer of the three-member industrial commission pursuant to divisions (A), (B), (C), and (D) of section 4121.03 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Industrial commission" means the three-member industrial commission created pursuant to section 4121.02 of the Revised Code when the context refers to the authority vested in the three-member industrial commission pursuant to division (E) of section 4121.03 of the Revised Code.

(3) "Industrial commission" means the industrial commission as a state agency when the context refers to the authority vested in the industrial commission as a state agency.

Effective Date: 09-29-1997; 2007 HB100 09-10-2007

4121.02 [Effective Until 9/15/2014] Industrial commission.

(A) There is hereby created the industrial commission. The commission shall consist of three members appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate. One member shall be an individual who, on account of the individual's previous vocation, employment, or affiliations, can be classed as a representative of employers; one shall be an individual who, on account of the individual's previous vocation, employment, or affiliations, can be classed as a representative of employees; and one shall be an individual who, on account of the individual's previous vocation, employment, or affiliations, can be classed as a representative of the public. Each member shall have six or more years of recognized expertise in the field of workers' compensation, and at least one member shall be an attorney registered to practice law in this state. No more than two members of the industrial commission shall belong to or be affiliated with the same political party.

(B) Within thirty days after the industrial commission nominating council submits its list to the governor under division (D) of this section, the governor shall make initial appointments to the commission. Of the initial appointments, the member who is a representative of employees shall serve a term ending on June 30, 1995; the member who is a representative of employers shall serve a term ending on June 30, 1997; and the member who is a representative of the public shall serve a term ending on June 30, 1999. Thereafter, terms of office are for six years, beginning on the first day of July and ending on the thirtieth day of June.

(C) Each member shall hold office from the date of the member's confirmation by the senate, as provided in division (E) of this section, until the end of the term for which the member was appointed, except that if a member has not been appointed by the end of the term, the member shall remain in office until the member's successor takes office, or until a period of sixty days has elapsed, whichever occurs first. However, if a member is appointed to fill a full term subsequent to an initial appointment, the term of office is as provided in division (B) of this section. The governor shall not appoint any person to more than two full six-year terms of office on the commission. This restriction does not prevent the governor from appointing a person to fill a vacancy caused by death, resignation, or removal of a commission member, or from appointing that person twice to full terms on the commission, or from appointing a person previously appointed to fill less than a full term twice to full terms on the commission. Except for the public member's tenure as chairperson of the self-insuring employer's evaluation board, a member of the commission shall hold no other public office or position of trust or profit, engage in any other occupation or business, or serve on any committee of any political party and shall devote full time to the member's duties as a member of the commission.

(D) In making appointments to the commission, the governor shall select the members from the list of the names submitted by the industrial commission nominating council pursuant to this division. Within thirty days after the effective date of this section, the nominating council shall submit to the governor for the initial appointments a list containing three separate names for the employer, employee, and public members to be filled. Within seven days of the submission of the initial list, the governor shall either appoint individuals from the list or request the nominating council to submit another list of three names for each member the governor has not appointed from the original list, which list the nominating council shall submit to the governor within seven days of the governor's request. The governor then shall appoint, within seven days of the submission of the second list, individuals from either list to fill each position for which the governor has not made an appointment from the original list. Thereafter, within sixty days of a vacancy occurring as a result of the expiration of a term and within thirty days after other vacancies occurring on the commission, the nominating council shall submit an initial list containing three names for each vacancy. Within seven days of the submission of the initial list, the governor shall either appoint individuals from the list or request the nominating council to submit another list of three names for each member the governor has not appointed from the original list, which list the nominating council shall submit to the governor within fourteen days of the governor's request. The governor then shall appoint, within seven days of the submission of the second list, one of the individuals from either list to fill the vacancy for which the governor has not made an appointment from the original list. In order for a name of an individual to be submitted to the governor under this division, the nominating council shall approve the individual by an affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of its members.

(E) The governor shall notify the senate of the names of the individuals for whom the governor is making the initial appointments to the commission within thirty days after the submission of the names to the governor by the industrial commission nominating council under division (D) of this section. For appointments subsequent to the initial appointments under this division, if the appointment is to fill a member's term which is to expire, the governor shall notify the senate of the name of the individual to be appointed to fill that position by no later than the first day of June of the year that the term is to expire. For subsequent appointments to fill a vacancy on the commission occurring as a result of the death, resignation, or removal of the commission member, the governor shall notify the senate of the name of the individual to be appointed to fill the remainder of that term within thirty days after the submission of the names to the governor by the nominating council under division (D) of this section. For all appointments, the senate shall refer the matter to an appropriate standing committee for consideration of the appointments, and the committee shall hold a public hearing to consider the appointments. After conclusion of the public hearing, the standing committee shall make its recommendations to the senate. The senate shall not confirm any appointee if the individual does not meet the qualifications of division (A) of this section or if the individual has not been approved by the industrial commission nominating council as provided in division (D) of this section. If the full senate fails to take a final vote on an appointment within thirty days after the governor submits the names to the senate under this division, the individual's appointment is deemed confirmed by the senate and the individual shall take the office of commission member subject to removal as provided in division (F) of this section.

(F) The governor may remove or suspend a member of the commission pursuant to section 3.04 of the Revised Code. The governor shall notify the senate of any decision to remove or suspend a commission member. The senate shall refer the matter to an appropriate standing committee for consideration and the committee shall hold a public hearing to consider the matter. At the hearing, the governor or the governor's authorized representative may present evidence and give testimony in support of the decision. The commission member or the member's authorized representatives may appear and present evidence and testimony. After conclusion of the public hearing, the committee shall make its recommendation to the senate.

Upon receipt of a recommendation from the standing committee, the senate shall vote on the issue of whether to advise and consent to the removal or suspension of the member. The senate shall vote on the matter within sixty legislative days from the date the governor communicates the decision to remove or suspend the member.

(G) The governor shall determine the compensation of the members of the commission, based upon such facts as the governor considers appropriate, provided that the salary of each member shall be no less than seventy-five thousand dollars per year. In addition, each commission member shall receive an annual salary increase based upon the average salary increases of other state department directors for that year, not to exceed five per cent per year.

(H) Before entering upon the duties of office, each member shall take and subscribe to the constitutional oath of office and swear and affirm that the member holds no position under any committee of a political party, which oath or affirmation the member shall file in the office of the governor. Each member shall give a bond in the sum of fifty thousand dollars, which bond shall be approved by the governor and filed with the treasurer of state. All employees or deputies of the commission who receive or disburse state funds shall give a bond to the state in the amounts and surety approved by the industrial commission.

Effective Date: 09-29-1997

4121.02 [Effective 9/15/2014] Industrial commission.

(A) There is hereby created the industrial commission. The commission shall consist of three members appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate. One member shall be an individual who, on account of the individual's previous vocation, employment, or affiliations, can be classed as a representative of employers; one shall be an individual who, on account of the individual's previous vocation, employment, or affiliations, can be classed as a representative of employees; and one shall be an individual who, on account of the individual's previous vocation, employment, or affiliations, can be classed as a representative of the public. Each member shall have six or more years of recognized expertise in the field of workers' compensation, and at least one member shall be an attorney registered to practice law in this state. No more than two members of the industrial commission shall belong to or be affiliated with the same political party.

(B) Within thirty days after the industrial commission nominating council submits its list to the governor under division (D) of this section, the governor shall make initial appointments to the commission. Of the initial appointments, the member who is a representative of employees shall serve a term ending on June 30, 1995; the member who is a representative of employers shall serve a term ending on June 30, 1997; and the member who is a representative of the public shall serve a term ending on June 30, 1999. Thereafter, terms of office are for six years, beginning on the first day of July and ending on the thirtieth day of June.

(C) Each member shall hold office from the date of the member's confirmation by the senate, as provided in division (E) of this section, until the end of the term for which the member was appointed, except that if a member has not been appointed by the end of the term, the member shall remain in office until the member's successor takes office, or until a period of sixty days has elapsed, whichever occurs first. However, if a member is appointed to fill a full term subsequent to an initial appointment, the term of office is as provided in division (B) of this section. The governor shall not appoint any person to more than two full six-year terms of office on the commission. This restriction does not prevent the governor from appointing a person to fill a vacancy caused by death, resignation, or removal of a commission member, or from appointing that person twice to full terms on the commission, or from appointing a person previously appointed to fill less than a full term twice to full terms on the commission. Except for the public member's tenure as chairperson of the self-insuring employer's evaluation board, a member of the commission shall hold no other office of trust or profit, engage in any other occupation or business, or serve on any committee of any political party and shall devote full time to the member's duties as a member of the commission.

(D) In making appointments to the commission, the governor shall select the members from the list of the names submitted by the industrial commission nominating council pursuant to this division. Within thirty days after October 20, 1993, the nominating council shall submit to the governor for the initial appointments a list containing three separate names for the employer, employee, and public members to be filled. Within seven days of the submission of the initial list, the governor shall either appoint individuals from the list or request the nominating council to submit another list of three names for each member the governor has not appointed from the original list, which list the nominating council shall submit to the governor within seven days of the governor's request. The governor then shall appoint, within seven days of the submission of the second list, individuals from either list to fill each position for which the governor has not made an appointment from the original list. Thereafter, within sixty days of a vacancy occurring as a result of the expiration of a term and within thirty days after other vacancies occurring on the commission, the nominating council shall submit an initial list containing three names for each vacancy. Within seven days of the submission of the initial list, the governor shall either appoint individuals from the list or request the nominating council to submit another list of three names for each member the governor has not appointed from the original list, which list the nominating council shall submit to the governor within fourteen days of the governor's request. The governor then shall appoint, within seven days of the submission of the second list, one of the individuals from either list to fill the vacancy for which the governor has not made an appointment from the original list. In order for a name of an individual to be submitted to the governor under this division, the nominating council shall approve the individual by an affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of its members.

(E) The governor shall notify the senate of the names of the individuals for whom the governor is making the initial appointments to the commission within thirty days after the submission of the names to the governor by the industrial commission nominating council under division (D) of this section. For appointments subsequent to the initial appointments under this division, if the appointment is to fill a member's term which is to expire, the governor shall notify the senate of the name of the individual to be appointed to fill that position by no later than the first day of June of the year that the term is to expire. For subsequent appointments to fill a vacancy on the commission occurring as a result of the death, resignation, or removal of the commission member, the governor shall notify the senate of the name of the individual to be appointed to fill the remainder of that term within thirty days after the submission of the names to the governor by the nominating council under division (D) of this section. For all appointments, the senate shall refer the matter to an appropriate standing committee for consideration of the appointments, and the committee shall hold a public hearing to consider the appointments. After conclusion of the public hearing, the standing committee shall make its recommendations to the senate. The senate shall not confirm any appointee if the individual does not meet the qualifications of division (A) of this section or if the individual has not been approved by the industrial commission nominating council as provided in division (D) of this section. If the full senate fails to take a final vote on an appointment within thirty days after the governor submits the names to the senate under this division, the individual's appointment is deemed confirmed by the senate and the individual shall take the office of commission member subject to removal as provided in division (F) of this section.

(F) The governor may remove or suspend a member of the commission pursuant to section 3.04 of the Revised Code. The governor shall notify the senate of any decision to remove or suspend a commission member. The senate shall refer the matter to an appropriate standing committee for consideration and the committee shall hold a public hearing to consider the matter. At the hearing, the governor or the governor's authorized representative may present evidence and give testimony in support of the decision. The commission member or the member's authorized representatives may appear and present evidence and testimony. After conclusion of the public hearing, the committee shall make its recommendation to the senate.

Upon receipt of a recommendation from the standing committee, the senate shall vote on the issue of whether to advise and consent to the removal or suspension of the member. The senate shall vote on the matter within sixty legislative days from the date the governor communicates the decision to remove or suspend the member.

(G) The governor shall determine the compensation of the members of the commission, based upon such facts as the governor considers appropriate, provided that the salary of each member shall be no less than seventy-five thousand dollars per year. In addition, each commission member shall receive an annual salary increase based upon the average salary increases of other state department directors for that year, not to exceed five per cent per year.

(H) Before entering upon the duties of office, each member shall take and subscribe to the constitutional oath of office and swear and affirm that the member holds no position under any committee of a political party, which oath or affirmation the member shall file in the office of the governor. Each member shall give a bond in the sum of fifty thousand dollars, which bond shall be approved by the governor and filed with the treasurer of state. All employees or deputies of the commission who receive or disburse state funds shall give a bond to the state in the amounts and surety approved by the industrial commission.

(I) As used in this section only, "office of trust or profit" means:

(1) A federal or state elective office or an elected office of a political subdivision of the state;

(2) A position on a board or commission of the state that is appointed by the governor;

(3) An office set forth in section 121.03, 121.04, or 121.05 of the Revised Code;

(4) An office of the government of the United States that is appointed by the president of the United States.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 483, §101.01, eff. 9/15/2014.

Effective Date: 09-29-1997

4121.021 Industrial commission operating fund.

The industrial commission operating fund is hereby created in the state treasury. The fund shall consist of all moneys transferred to the fund pursuant to division (C) of section 4123.342 of the Revised Code. Revenues credited to the fund shall be used for those costs solely attributable to the activities of the commission.

Effective Date: 08-01-2003

4121.03 Chairperson - executive director - powers and duties generally.

(A) The governor shall appoint from among the members of the industrial commission the chairperson of the industrial commission. The chairperson shall serve as chairperson at the pleasure of the governor. The chairperson is the head of the commission and its chief executive officer.

(B) The chairperson shall appoint, after consultation with other commission members and obtaining the approval of at least one other commission member, an executive director of the commission. The executive director shall serve at the pleasure of the chairperson. The executive director, under the direction of the chairperson, shall perform all of the following duties:

(1) Act as chief administrative officer for the commission;

(2) Ensure that all commission personnel follow the rules of the commission;

(3) Ensure that all orders, awards, and determinations are properly heard and signed, prior to attesting to the documents;

(4) Coordinate, to the fullest extent possible, commission activities with the bureau of workers' compensation activities;

(5) Do all things necessary for the efficient and effective implementation of the duties of the commission.

The responsibilities assigned to the executive director of the commission do not relieve the chairperson from final responsibility for the proper performance of the acts specified in this division.

(C) The chairperson shall do all of the following:

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this division, employ, promote, supervise, remove, and establish the compensation of all employees as needed in connection with the performance of the commission's duties under this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code and may assign to them their duties to the extent necessary to achieve the most efficient performance of its functions, and to that end may establish, change, or abolish positions, and assign and reassign duties and responsibilities of every employee of the commission. The civil service status of any person employed by the commission prior to November 3, 1989, is not affected by this section. Personnel employed by the bureau or the commission who are subject to Chapter 4117. of the Revised Code shall retain all of their rights and benefits conferred pursuant to that chapter as it presently exists or is hereafter amended and nothing in this chapter or Chapter 4123. of the Revised Code shall be construed as eliminating or interfering with Chapter 4117. of the Revised Code or the rights and benefits conferred under that chapter to public employees or to any bargaining unit.

(2) Hire district and staff hearing officers after consultation with other commission members and obtaining the approval of at least one other commission member;

(3) Fire staff and district hearing officers when the chairperson finds appropriate after obtaining the approval of at least one other commission member;

(4) Maintain the office for the commission in Columbus;

(5) To the maximum extent possible, use electronic data processing equipment for the issuance of orders immediately following a hearing, scheduling of hearings and medical examinations, tracking of claims, retrieval of information, and any other matter within the commission's jurisdiction, and shall provide and input information into the electronic data processing equipment as necessary to effect the success of the claims tracking system established pursuant to division (B)(15) of section 4121.121 of the Revised Code;

(6) Exercise all administrative and nonadjudicatory powers and duties conferred upon the commission by Chapters 4121., 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code;

(7) Approve all contracts for special services.

(D) The chairperson is responsible for all administrative matters and may secure for the commission facilities, equipment, and supplies necessary to house the commission, any employees, and files and records under the commission's control and to discharge any duty imposed upon the commission by law, the expense thereof to be audited and paid in the same manner as other state expenses. For that purpose, the chairperson, separately from the budget prepared by the administrator of workers' compensation , shall prepare and submit to the office of budget and management a budget for each biennium according to sections 101.532 and 107.03 of the Revised Code. The budget submitted shall cover the costs of the commission and staff and district hearing officers in the discharge of any duty imposed upon the chairperson, the commission, and hearing officers by law.

(E) A majority of the commission constitutes a quorum to transact business. No vacancy impairs the rights of the remaining members to exercise all of the powers of the commission, so long as a majority remains. Any investigation, inquiry, or hearing that the commission may hold or undertake may be held or undertaken by or before any one member of the commission, or before one of the deputies of the commission, except as otherwise provided in this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code. Every order made by a member, or by a deputy, when approved and confirmed by a majority of the members, and so shown on its record of proceedings, is the order of the commission. The commission may hold sessions at any place within the state. The commission is responsible for all of the following:

(1) Establishing the overall adjudicatory policy and management of the commission under this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code, except for those administrative matters within the jurisdiction of the chairperson, bureau of workers' compensation, and the administrator of workers' compensation under those chapters;

(2) Hearing appeals and reconsiderations under this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code;

(3) Engaging in rulemaking where required by this chapter or Chapter 4123., 4127., or 4131. of the Revised Code.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 6/30/2011.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §1, eff. 6/30/2011.

Effective Date: 03-09-1999; 2008 HB79 01-06-2009

4121.04 Industrial commission nominating council - initial appointments - challenges.

(A) There is hereby created the industrial commission nominating council consisting of five employer representatives , four labor representatives, one representative from the Ohio association for justice, and two members of the public, each of a different political party, who are appointed by the governor. The nominating council shall make recommendations to the governor for the appointment of members to the industrial commission as provided in section 4121.02 of the Revised Code.

(B) In making the appointments, the governor shall select the members representing employees from a list of eight names submitted by the Ohio federation of labor, the member representing the Ohio association for justice from a list of two names submitted by the Ohio association of justice, and the members representing employers from a list of ten names submitted jointly by the Ohio industry organizations . The governor shall appoint at least one member from each of the Ohio industry organizations . Of the list submitted by the Ohio industry organizations , two individuals from each of the Ohio industry organizations shall be included in the list. Terms of office of employer and employee representatives are for four years, each term ending on the same day as the date of their original appointment. The Ohio federation of labor for a vacancy of an employee representative on the council, and the Ohio industry organizations, for a vacancy of an employer representative on the council, shall submit to the governor a list containing two names for appointment and the governor shall appoint an individual from the list to fill the vacancy provided that the list submitted to fill an industry representative vacancy shall contain the names of individuals who represent the organizations for which a vacancy has occurred. One public member shall represent the interests of small business . Public members shall serve for a term of two years, each term ending on the same day as the date of their original appointment. The governor shall fill a vacancy occurring on the nominating council for a public member in the same manner as for the original appointment but only for the unexpired part of the term. As used in this division, "small business" means any manufacturing establishment employing five hundred or fewer employees or any retail, or other service establishment employing one hundred or fewer employees. The representative from the Ohio association for justice shall serve for a term of four years, each term ending on the twentieth day of October of the appropriate year. The governor shall fill a vacancy occurring on the nominating council for the representative from the Ohio association for justice in the same manner as the original appointment. In the event that an appointment to the council does not conform to this division, such organizations may challenge the appointment pursuant to division (E) of this section, provided that the industry organizations only may challenge the appointment of an industry representative, and further provided that the labor organization only may challenge the appointment of a labor representative.

(C) The nominating council annually shall meet and elect such officers as it determines appropriate and shall meet at such other times as it determines appropriate in order to make recommendations to the governor for the appointment of industrial commission members pursuant to section 4121.02 of the Revised Code.

(D) Members of the nominating council shall be paid fifty dollars per day and their actual and necessary expenses while engaged in the performance of their duties as members of the nominating council, which the industrial commission shall pay from funds which the industrial commission uses to pay its operating expenses.

(E) An association generally recognized as representing the interests of labor or industry may file, within fifteen days after the governor's appointment of a member, a challenge in the common pleas court of Franklin county asserting that a representative named to represent its interests is not representative of the interests the appointee has been appointed to represent. An appointee whose appointment has been challenged shall not receive any pay nor serve on the nominating council until the court, acting without a jury and following the expedited timetable provided for hearing on restraining orders in Civil Rule 65, makes a determination that the appointee is a true and qualified representative of the group for which the appointee is selected and possesses all of the qualifications.

A challenged appointee may request the attorney general to represent the appointee in an action brought under this division and the attorney general shall provide the appointee with competent representation without charge.

(F) As used in this section, "Ohio industry organizations" means all of the following organizations:

(1) The Ohio self-insurers' association;

(2) The Ohio manufacturers' association;

(3) The Ohio council of retail merchants;

(4) The Ohio chamber of commerce;

(5) The national federation of independent business.

Amended by 128th General Assemblych.39, HB 16, §101, eff. 6/30/2009.

Effective Date: 12-02-1996

4121.05 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.06 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 08-06-1999; 2007 HB100 09-10-2007

4121.07 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 10-20-1993

4121.08 Expenses.

The members of the industrial commission, the administrator of workers' compensation, and employees and deputies of the commission and the bureau of workers' compensation are entitled to receive from the state their necessary and actual expenses while traveling on business of the commission or the bureau, either within or without the state. The expenses shall be presented in an account verified by the person who incurred the expense, approved by the chairman of the commission for commission personnel and the administrator for bureau personnel, and shall be audited and paid as other similar expenses are audited and paid.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.09 Official seal.

The industrial commission shall have an official seal for the authentication of its orders and proceedings, upon which seal shall be engraved "The Industrial Commission of Ohio," and such other design as the commission prescribes. The courts in this state shall take judicial notice of such seal, and in all cases copies of orders, proceedings, or records in the office of the commission, certified by the executive director of the commission under its seal, shall be equal to the original as evidence.

Effective Date: 06-30-1997

4121.10 Session of industrial commission continuous and open to public - records of proceedings.

The industrial commission shall be in continuous session and open for the transaction of business during all business hours of every day excepting Sundays and legal holidays. The sessions of the commission shall be open to the public and shall stand and be adjourned without further notice thereof on its record. All of the proceedings of the commission shall be shown on its record, which shall be a public record except as provided in section 4123.88 of the Revised Code, and all voting shall be had by calling the name of each member of the industrial commission by the executive director, and each member's vote shall be recorded on the record of proceedings as cast. The commission shall keep a separate record of its proceedings relative to claims coming before it for compensation for injured and the dependents of killed employees, which record shall contain its findings and the award in each such claim for compensation considered by it, and in all such claims the reasons for the allowance or rejection thereof shall be stated in said record.

Effective Date: 06-30-1997; 2006 SB7 10-11-2006

4121.11 Bureau rules of procedure.

Subject to any applicable sections of sections 4101.01 to 4101.16 and 4121.01 to 4121.29 of the Revised Code, the bureau of workers' compensation may adopt its own rules of procedure and may change the same in its discretion.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.12 Workers' compensation board of directors.

(A) There is hereby created the bureau of workers' compensation board of directors consisting of eleven members to be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. One member shall be an individual who, on account of the individual's previous vocation, employment, or affiliations, can be classed as a representative of employees; two members shall be individuals who, on account of their previous vocation, employment, or affiliations, can be classed as representatives of employee organizations and at least one of these two individuals shall be a member of the executive committee of the largest statewide labor federation; three members shall be individuals who, on account of their previous vocation, employment, or affiliations, can be classed as representatives of employers, one of whom represents self-insuring employers, one of whom is a state fund employer who employs one hundred or more employees, and one of whom is a state fund employer who employs less than one hundred employees; two members shall be individuals who, on account of their vocation, employment, or affiliations, can be classed as investment and securities experts who have direct experience in the management, analysis, supervision, or investment of assets and are residents of this state; one member who shall be a certified public accountant; one member who shall be an actuary who is a member in good standing with the American academy of actuaries or who is an associate or fellow with the casualty actuarial society ; and one member shall represent the public and also be an individual who, on account of the individual's previous vocation, employment, or affiliations, cannot be classed as either predominantly representative of employees or of employers. The governor shall select the chairperson of the board who shall serve as chairperson at the pleasure of the governor.

None of the members of the board, within one year immediately preceding the member's appointment, shall have been employed by the bureau of workers' compensation or by any person, partnership, or corporation that has provided to the bureau services of a financial or investment nature, including the management, analysis, supervision, or investment of assets.

(B) Of the initial appointments made to the board, the governor shall appoint the member who represents employees, one member who represents employers, and the member who represents the public to a term ending one year after June 11, 2007; one member who represents employers, one member who represents employee organizations, one member who is an investment and securities expert, and the member who is a certified public accountant to a term ending two years after June 11, 2007; and one member who represents employers, one member who represents employee organizations, one member who is an investment and securities expert, and the member who is an actuary to a term ending three years after June 11, 2007. Thereafter, terms of office shall be for three years, with each term ending on the same day of the same month as did the term that it succeeds. Each member shall hold office from the date of the member's appointment until the end of the term for which the member was appointed.

Members may be reappointed. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration date of the term for which the member's predecessor was appointed shall hold office as a member for the remainder of that term. A member shall continue in office subsequent to the expiration date of the member's term until a successor takes office or until a period of sixty days has elapsed, whichever occurs first.

(C) In making appointments to the board, the governor shall select the members from the list of names submitted by the workers' compensation board of directors nominating committee pursuant to this division. The nominating committee shall submit to the governor a list containing four separate names for each of the members on the board. Within fourteen days after the submission of the list, the governor shall appoint individuals from the list.

At least thirty days prior to a vacancy occurring as a result of the expiration of a term and within thirty days after other vacancies occurring on the board, the nominating committee shall submit an initial list containing four names for each vacancy. Within fourteen days after the submission of the initial list, the governor either shall appoint individuals from that list or request the nominating committee to submit another list of four names for each member the governor has not appointed from the initial list, which list the nominating committee shall submit to the governor within fourteen days after the governor's request. The governor then shall appoint, within seven days after the submission of the second list, one of the individuals from either list to fill the vacancy for which the governor has not made an appointment from the initial list. If the governor appoints an individual to fill a vacancy occurring as a result of the expiration of a term, the individual appointed shall begin serving as a member of the board when the term for which the individual's predecessor was appointed expires or immediately upon appointment by the governor, whichever occurs later. With respect to the filling of vacancies, the nominating committee shall provide the governor with a list of four individuals who are, in the judgment of the nominating committee, the most fully qualified to accede to membership on the board.

In order for the name of an individual to be submitted to the governor under this division, the nominating committee shall approve the individual by an affirmative vote of a majority of its members.

(D) All members of the board shall receive their reasonable and necessary expenses pursuant to section 126.31 of the Revised Code while engaged in the performance of their duties as members and also shall receive an annual salary not to exceed sixty thousand dollars in total, payable on the following basis:

(1) Except as provided in division (D)(2) of this section, a member shall receive two thousand five hundred dollars during a month in which the member attends one or more meetings of the board and shall receive no payment during a month in which the member attends no meeting of the board.

(2) A member may receive no more than thirty thousand dollars per year to compensate the member for attending meetings of the board, regardless of the number of meetings held by the board during a year or the number of meetings in excess of twelve within a year that the member attends.

(3) Except as provided in division (D)(4) of this section, if a member serves on the workers' compensation audit committee, workers' compensation actuarial committee, or the workers' compensation investment committee, the member shall receive two thousand five hundred dollars during a month in which the member attends one or more meetings of the committee on which the member serves and shall receive no payment during any month in which the member attends no meeting of that committee.

(4) A member may receive no more than thirty thousand dollars per year to compensate the member for attending meetings of any of the committees specified in division (D)(3) of this section, regardless of the number of meetings held by a committee during a year or the number of committees on which a member serves.

The chairperson of the board shall set the meeting dates of the board as necessary to perform the duties of the board under this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4125., 4127., 4131., and 4167. of the Revised Code. The board shall meet at least twelve times a year. The administrator of workers' compensation shall provide professional and clerical assistance to the board, as the board considers appropriate.

(E) Before entering upon the duties of office, each appointed member of the board shall take an oath of office as required by sections 3.22 and 3.23 of the Revised Code and file in the office of the secretary of state the bond required under section 4121.127 of the Revised Code.

(F) The board shall:

(1) Establish the overall administrative policy for the bureau for the purposes of this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4125., 4127., 4131., and 4167. of the Revised Code;

(2) Review progress of the bureau in meeting its cost and quality objectives and in complying with this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4125., 4127., 4131., and 4167. of the Revised Code;

(3) Submit an annual report to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the governor and include all of the following in that report:

(a) An evaluation of the cost and quality objectives of the bureau;

(b) A statement of the net assets available for the provision of compensation and benefits under this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code as of the last day of the fiscal year;

(c) A statement of any changes that occurred in the net assets available, including employer premiums and net investment income, for the provision of compensation and benefits and payment of administrative expenses, between the first and last day of the fiscal year immediately preceding the date of the report;

(d) The following information for each of the six consecutive fiscal years occurring previous to the report:

(i) A schedule of the net assets available for compensation and benefits;

(ii) The annual cost of the payment of compensation and benefits;

(iii) Annual administrative expenses incurred;

(iv) Annual employer premiums allocated for the provision of compensation and benefits.

(e) A description of any significant changes that occurred during the six years for which the board provided the information required under division (F)(3)(d) of this section that affect the ability of the board to compare that information from year to year.

(4) Review all independent financial audits of the bureau. The administrator shall provide access to records of the bureau to facilitate the review required under this division.

(5) Study issues as requested by the administrator or the governor;

(6) Contract with all of the following:

(a) An independent actuarial firm to assist the board in making recommendations to the administrator regarding premium rates;

(b) An outside investment counsel to assist the workers' compensation investment committee in fulfilling its duties;

(c) An independent fiduciary counsel to assist the board in the performance of its duties.

(7) Approve the investment policy developed by the workers' compensation investment committee pursuant to section 4121.129 of the Revised Code if the policy satisfies the requirements specified in section 4123.442 of the Revised Code.

(8) Review and publish the investment policy no less than annually and make copies available to interested parties.

(9) Prohibit, on a prospective basis, any specific investment it finds to be contrary to the investment policy approved by the board.

(10) Vote to open each investment class and allow the administrator to invest in an investment class only if the board, by a majority vote, opens that class;

(11) After opening a class but prior to the administrator investing in that class, adopt rules establishing due diligence standards for employees of the bureau to follow when investing in that class and establish policies and procedures to review and monitor the performance and value of each investment class;

(12) Submit a report annually on the performance and value of each investment class to the governor, the president and minority leader of the senate, and the speaker and minority leader of the house of representatives.

(13) Advise and consent on all of the following:

(a) Administrative rules the administrator submits to it pursuant to division (B)(5) of section 4121.121 of the Revised Code for the classification of occupations or industries, for premium rates and contributions, for the amount to be credited to the surplus fund, for rules and systems of rating, rate revisions, and merit rating;

(b) The duties and authority conferred upon the administrator pursuant to section 4121.37 of the Revised Code;

(c) Rules the administrator adopts for the health partnership program and the qualified health plan system, as provided in sections 4121.44 , 4121.441 , and 4121.442 of the Revised Code;

(d) Rules the administrator submits to it pursuant to Chapter 4167. of the Revised Code regarding the public employment risk reduction program and the protection of public health care workers from exposure incidents.

As used in this division, "public health care worker" and "exposure incident" have the same meanings as in section 4167.25 of the Revised Code.

(14) Perform all duties required under this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4125., 4127., 4131., and 4167. of the Revised Code;

(15) Meet with the governor on an annual basis to discuss the administrator's performance of the duties specified in this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4125., 4127., 4131., and 4167. of the Revised Code;

(16) Develop and participate in a bureau of workers' compensation board of directors education program that consists of all of the following:

(a) An orientation component for newly appointed members;

(b) A continuing education component for board members who have served for at least one year;

(c) A curriculum that includes education about each of the following topics:

(i) Board member duties and responsibilities;

(ii) Compensation and benefits paid pursuant to this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code;

(iii) Ethics;

(iv) Governance processes and procedures;

(v) Actuarial soundness;

(vi) Investments;

(vii) Any other subject matter the board believes is reasonably related to the duties of a board member.

(17) Hold all sessions, classes, and other events for the program developed pursuant to division (F)(16) of this section in this state.

(G) The board may do both of the following:

(1) Vote to close any investment class;

(2) Create any committees in addition to the workers' compensation audit committee, the workers' compensation actuarial committee, and the workers' compensation investment committee that the board determines are necessary to assist the board in performing its duties.

(H) The office of a member of the board who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a felony, a theft offense as defined in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code, or a violation of section 102.02 , 102.03 , 102.04 , 2921.02 , 2921.11 , 2921.13 , 2921.31 , 2921.41 , 2921.42 , 2921.43 , or 2921.44 of the Revised Code shall be deemed vacant. The vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. A person who has pleaded guilty to or been convicted of an offense of that nature is ineligible to be a member of the board. A member who receives a bill of indictment for any of the offenses specified in this section shall be automatically suspended from the board pending resolution of the criminal matter.

(I) For the purposes of division (G)(1) of section 121.22 of the Revised Code, the meeting between the governor and the board to review the administrator's performance as required under division (F)(15) of this section shall be considered a meeting regarding the employment of the administrator.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §1, eff. 6/30/2011.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 6/30/2011.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.16, HB 123, §101, eff. 7/29/2011.

Amended by 128th General Assemblych.16, HB 15, §101, eff. 9/29/2009.

Effective Date: 08-06-1999; 06-21-2005; 09-29-2005; 2006 SB7 10-11-2006; 2007 HB100 06-11-2007

4121.121 Bureau of workers' compensation - appointment, powers and duties of administrator - chief operating officer.

(A) There is hereby created the bureau of workers' compensation, which shall be administered by the administrator of workers' compensation. A person appointed to the position of administrator shall possess significant management experience in effectively managing an organization or organizations of substantial size and complexity. A person appointed to the position of administrator also shall possess a minimum of five years of experience in the field of workers' compensation insurance or in another insurance industry, except as otherwise provided when the conditions specified in division (C) of this section are satisfied. The governor shall appoint the administrator as provided in section 121.03 of the Revised Code, and the administrator shall serve at the pleasure of the governor. The governor shall fix the administrator's salary on the basis of the administrator's experience and the administrator's responsibilities and duties under this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4125., 4127., 4131., and 4167. of the Revised Code. The governor shall not appoint to the position of administrator any person who has, or whose spouse has, given a contribution to the campaign committee of the governor in an amount greater than one thousand dollars during the two-year period immediately preceding the date of the appointment of the administrator.

The administrator shall hold no other public office and shall devote full time to the duties of administrator. Before entering upon the duties of the office, the administrator shall take an oath of office as required by sections 3.22 and 3.23 of the Revised Code, and shall file in the office of the secretary of state, a bond signed by the administrator and by surety approved by the governor, for the sum of fifty thousand dollars payable to the state, conditioned upon the faithful performance of the administrator's duties.

(B) The administrator is responsible for the management of the bureau and for the discharge of all administrative duties imposed upon the administrator in this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4125., 4127., 4131., and 4167. of the Revised Code, and in the discharge thereof shall do all of the following:

(1) Perform all acts and exercise all authorities and powers, discretionary and otherwise that are required of or vested in the bureau or any of its employees in this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4125., 4127., 4131., and 4167. of the Revised Code, except the acts and the exercise of authority and power that is required of and vested in the bureau of workers' compensation board of directors or the industrial commission pursuant to those chapters. The treasurer of state shall honor all warrants signed by the administrator, or by one or more of the administrator's employees, authorized by the administrator in writing, or bearing the facsimile signature of the administrator or such employee under sections 4123.42 and 4123.44 of the Revised Code.

(2) Employ, direct, and supervise all employees required in connection with the performance of the duties assigned to the bureau by this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4125., 4127., 4131., and 4167. of the Revised Code, including an actuary, and may establish job classification plans and compensation for all employees of the bureau provided that this grant of authority shall not be construed as affecting any employee for whom the state employment relations board has established an appropriate bargaining unit under section 4117.06 of the Revised Code. All positions of employment in the bureau are in the classified civil service except those employees the administrator may appoint to serve at the administrator's pleasure in the unclassified civil service pursuant to section 124.11 of the Revised Code. The administrator shall fix the salaries of employees the administrator appoints to serve at the administrator's pleasure, including the chief operating officer, staff physicians, and other senior management personnel of the bureau and shall establish the compensation of staff attorneys of the bureau's legal section and their immediate supervisors, and take whatever steps are necessary to provide adequate compensation for other staff attorneys.

The administrator may appoint a person who holds a certified position in the classified service within the bureau to a position in the unclassified service within the bureau. A person appointed pursuant to this division to a position in the unclassified service shall retain the right to resume the position and status held by the person in the classified service immediately prior to the person's appointment in the unclassified service, regardless of the number of positions the person held in the unclassified service. An employee's right to resume a position in the classified service may only be exercised when the administrator demotes the employee to a pay range lower than the employee's current pay range or revokes the employee's appointment to the unclassified service. An employee forfeits the right to resume a position in the classified service when the employee is removed from the position in the unclassified service due to incompetence, inefficiency, dishonesty, drunkenness, immoral conduct, insubordination, discourteous treatment of the public, neglect of duty, violation of this chapter or Chapter 124., 4123., 4125., 4127., 4131., or 4167. of the Revised Code, violation of the rules of the director of administrative services or the administrator, any other failure of good behavior, any other acts of misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance in office, or conviction of a felony. An employee also forfeits the right to resume a position in the classified service upon transfer to a different agency.

Reinstatement to a position in the classified service shall be to a position substantially equal to that position in the classified service held previously, as certified by the department of administrative services. If the position the person previously held in the classified service has been placed in the unclassified service or is otherwise unavailable, the person shall be appointed to a position in the classified service within the bureau that the director of administrative services certifies is comparable in compensation to the position the person previously held in the classified service. Service in the position in the unclassified service shall be counted as service in the position in the classified service held by the person immediately prior to the person's appointment in the unclassified service. When a person is reinstated to a position in the classified service as provided in this division, the person is entitled to all rights, status, and benefits accruing to the position during the person's time of service in the position in the unclassified service.

(3) Reorganize the work of the bureau, its sections, departments, and offices to the extent necessary to achieve the most efficient performance of its functions and to that end may establish, change, or abolish positions and assign and reassign duties and responsibilities of every employee of the bureau. All persons employed by the commission in positions that, after November 3, 1989, are supervised and directed by the administrator under this section are transferred to the bureau in their respective classifications but subject to reassignment and reclassification of position and compensation as the administrator determines to be in the interest of efficient administration. The civil service status of any person employed by the commission is not affected by this section. Personnel employed by the bureau or the commission who are subject to Chapter 4117. of the Revised Code shall retain all of their rights and benefits conferred pursuant to that chapter as it presently exists or is hereafter amended and nothing in this chapter or Chapter 4123. of the Revised Code shall be construed as eliminating or interfering with Chapter 4117. of the Revised Code or the rights and benefits conferred under that chapter to public employees or to any bargaining unit.

(4) Provide offices, equipment, supplies, and other facilities for the bureau.

(5) Prepare and submit to the board information the administrator considers pertinent or the board requires, together with the administrator's recommendations, in the form of administrative rules, for the advice and consent of the board, for classifications of occupations or industries, for premium rates and contributions, for the amount to be credited to the surplus fund, for rules and systems of rating, rate revisions, and merit rating. The administrator shall obtain, prepare, and submit any other information the board requires for the prompt and efficient discharge of its duties.

(6) Keep the accounts required by division (A) of section 4123.34 of the Revised Code and all other accounts and records necessary to the collection, administration, and distribution of the workers' compensation funds and shall obtain the statistical and other information required by section 4123.19 of the Revised Code.

(7) Exercise the investment powers vested in the administrator by section 4123.44 of the Revised Code in accordance with the investment policy approved by the board pursuant to section 4121.12 of the Revised Code and in consultation with the chief investment officer of the bureau of workers' compensation. The administrator shall not engage in any prohibited investment activity specified by the board pursuant to division (F)(9) of section 4121.12 of the Revised Code and shall not invest in any type of investment specified in divisions (B)(1) to (10) of section 4123.442 of the Revised Code. All business shall be transacted, all funds invested, all warrants for money drawn and payments made, and all cash and securities and other property held, in the name of the bureau, or in the name of its nominee, provided that nominees are authorized by the administrator solely for the purpose of facilitating the transfer of securities, and restricted to the administrator and designated employees.

(8) Make contracts for and supervise the construction of any project or improvement or the construction or repair of buildings under the control of the bureau.

(9) Purchase supplies, materials, equipment, and services; make contracts for, operate, and superintend the telephone, other telecommunication, and computer services for the use of the bureau; and make contracts in connection with office reproduction, forms management, printing, and other services. Notwithstanding sections 125.12 to 125.14 of the Revised Code, the administrator may transfer surplus computers and computer equipment directly to an accredited public school within the state. The computers and computer equipment may be repaired or refurbished prior to the transfer.

(10) Prepare and submit to the board an annual budget for internal operating purposes for the board's approval. The administrator also shall, separately from the budget the industrial commission submits , prepare and submit to the director of budget and management a budget for each biennium. The budgets submitted to the board and the director shall include estimates of the costs and necessary expenditures of the bureau in the discharge of any duty imposed by law.

(11) As promptly as possible in the course of efficient administration, decentralize and relocate such of the personnel and activities of the bureau as is appropriate to the end that the receipt, investigation, determination, and payment of claims may be undertaken at or near the place of injury or the residence of the claimant and for that purpose establish regional offices, in such places as the administrator considers proper, capable of discharging as many of the functions of the bureau as is practicable so as to promote prompt and efficient administration in the processing of claims. All active and inactive lost-time claims files shall be held at the service office responsible for the claim. A claimant, at the claimant's request, shall be provided with information by telephone as to the location of the file pertaining to the claimant's claim. The administrator shall ensure that all service office employees report directly to the director for their service office.

(12) Provide a written binder on new coverage where the administrator considers it to be in the best interest of the risk. The administrator, or any other person authorized by the administrator, shall grant the binder upon submission of a request for coverage by the employer. A binder is effective for a period of thirty days from date of issuance and is nonrenewable. Payroll reports and premium charges shall coincide with the effective date of the binder.

(13) Set standards for the reasonable and maximum handling time of claims payment functions, ensure, by rules, the impartial and prompt treatment of all claims and employer risk accounts, and establish a secure, accurate method of time stamping all incoming mail and documents hand delivered to bureau employees.

(14) Ensure that all employees of the bureau follow the orders and rules of the commission as such orders and rules relate to the commission's overall adjudicatory policy-making and management duties under this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code.

(15) Manage and operate a data processing system with a common data base for the use of both the bureau and the commission and, in consultation with the commission, using electronic data processing equipment, shall develop a claims tracking system that is sufficient to monitor the status of a claim at any time and that lists appeals that have been filed and orders or determinations that have been issued pursuant to section 4123.511 or 4123.512 of the Revised Code, including the dates of such filings and issuances.

(16) Establish and maintain a medical section within the bureau. The medical section shall do all of the following:

(a) Assist the administrator in establishing standard medical fees, approving medical procedures, and determining eligibility and reasonableness of the compensation payments for medical, hospital, and nursing services, and in establishing guidelines for payment policies which recognize usual, customary, and reasonable methods of payment for covered services;

(b) Provide a resource to respond to questions from claims examiners for employees of the bureau;

(c) Audit fee bill payments;

(d) Implement a program to utilize, to the maximum extent possible, electronic data processing equipment for storage of information to facilitate authorizations of compensation payments for medical, hospital, drug, and nursing services;

(e) Perform other duties assigned to it by the administrator.

(17) Appoint, as the administrator determines necessary, panels to review and advise the administrator on disputes arising over a determination that a health care service or supply provided to a claimant is not covered under this chapter or Chapter 4123., 4127., or 4131. of the Revised Code or is medically unnecessary. If an individual health care provider is involved in the dispute, the panel shall consist of individuals licensed pursuant to the same section of the Revised Code as such health care provider.

(18) Pursuant to section 4123.65 of the Revised Code, approve applications for the final settlement of claims for compensation or benefits under this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code as the administrator determines appropriate, except in regard to the applications of self-insuring employers and their employees.

(19) Comply with section 3517.13 of the Revised Code, and except in regard to contracts entered into pursuant to the authority contained in section 4121.44 of the Revised Code, comply with the competitive bidding procedures set forth in the Revised Code for all contracts into which the administrator enters provided that those contracts fall within the type of contracts and dollar amounts specified in the Revised Code for competitive bidding and further provided that those contracts are not otherwise specifically exempt from the competitive bidding procedures contained in the Revised Code.

(20) Adopt, with the advice and consent of the board, rules for the operation of the bureau.

(21) Prepare and submit to the board information the administrator considers pertinent or the board requires, together with the administrator's recommendations, in the form of administrative rules, for the advice and consent of the board, for the health partnership program and the qualified health plan system, as provided in sections 4121.44 , 4121.441 , and 4121.442 of the Revised Code.

(C) The administrator, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint a chief operating officer who has a minimum of five years of experience in the field of workers' compensation insurance or in another similar insurance industry if the administrator does not possess such experience. The chief operating officer shall not commence the chief operating officer's duties until after the senate consents to the chief operating officer's appointment. The chief operating officer shall serve in the unclassified civil service of the state.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §1, eff. 6/30/2011.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 6/30/2011.

Effective Date: 08-01-2003; 06-21-2005; 09-09-2005; 2006 HB699 03-29-2007; 2007 HB100 09-10-2007; 2008 HB79 01-06-2009

4121.122 Discipline of commission and bureau employees.

(A) The administrator of workers' compensation, for employees of the bureau of workers' compensation, and the industrial commission, for employees of the commission may discipline, suspend, demote or discharge any employee for misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance. In the case of any deputy administrator, or of any employee assigned to the investigation or determination of claims, and finding of the administrator or the commission that such person is not efficient, impartial, or judicious, if supported by any evidence and not promoted by personal, political, racial, or religious discrimination shall be accepted as a fact justifying the action taken by the administrator or commission.

(B) The administrator and the commission shall jointly adopt, in the form of a rule, a code of ethics for all employees of the bureau and the commission and post copies of the rule in a conspicuous place in every bureau and commission office.

(C) The administrator and the commission shall jointly adopt rules setting forth procedures designed to eliminate outside influence on bureau and commission employees, produce an impartial workers' compensation claims handling process, and avoid favoritism in the claims handling process. Failure to adopt and enforce these rules constitutes grounds for removal of the administrator and the members of the commission.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989; 2007 HB100 09-10-2007

4121.123 Workers' compensation board nominating committee.

(A) There is hereby created the workers' compensation board of directors nominating committee consisting of the following:

(1) Three individuals who are members of affiliated employee organizations of the Ohio chapter of the American federation of labor-congress of industrial organizations, who are selected by the Ohio chapter of the American federation of labor-congress of industrial organizations and who, on account of their previous vocation, employment, or affiliations, can be classed as representative of employees who are members of an employee organization. Terms of office shall be for one year, with each term ending on the same day of the same month as did the term that it succeeds.

(2) Two individuals who, on account of their previous vocation, employment, or affiliations, can be classed as representative of employees, one of whom shall be an injured worker with a valid, open, and active workers' compensation claim and at least one of these two representatives also shall represent employees who are not members of an employee organization. The president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives each shall appoint annually one of these members. The member who is an injured worker shall serve for a full term even if the member's workers' compensation claim is invalidated, closed, or inactivated during the member's term.

(3) The chief executive officer, or the equivalent of the chief executive officer, of the Ohio chamber of commerce, the Ohio manufacturers' association, the Ohio self-insurers' association, the Ohio council of retail merchants, the national federation of independent business, and the Ohio farm bureau;

(4) The director of development;

(5) The president of the Ohio township association and the president of the Ohio county commissioners association, or if any of the following circumstances apply:

(a) In the event of a vacancy in either presidency, a designee appointed by the governing body authorized to appoint the president. A designee so appointed shall serve on the nominating committee only until the vacancy in the presidency is filled.

(b) In the event that the president of the Ohio township association is unavailable, a designee selected by the president;

(c) In the event that the president of the Ohio county commissioners association is unavailable, a designee selected by the president.

(B) Each member appointed under divisions (A)(1) and (2) of this section shall hold office from the date of the member's appointment until the end of the term for which the member was appointed. Such members may be reappointed. Vacancies shall be filled in the manner provided for original appointments. Any such member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration date of the term for which the member's predecessor was appointed shall hold office as a member for the remainder of that term. Such a member shall continue in office subsequent to the expiration date of the member's term until the member's successor takes office or until a period of sixty days has elapsed, whichever occurs first.

(C) The nominating committee shall meet at the request of the governor or as the nominating committee determines appropriate in order to make recommendations to the governor for the appointment of members of the bureau of workers' compensation board of directors under section 4121.12 of the Revised Code.

(D) The director of development shall serve as chairperson of the nominating committee and have no voting rights on matters coming before the nominating committee, except that the director may vote in the event of a tie vote of the nominating committee. Annually, the nominating committee shall select a secretary from among its members. The nominating committee may adopt by-laws governing its proceedings.

(E) Members of the nominating committee shall be paid their reasonable and necessary expenses pursuant to section 126.31 of the Revised Code while engaged in the performance of their duties as members of the nominating committee.

(F) The nominating committee shall:

(1) Review and evaluate possible appointees for the board. In reviewing and evaluating possible appointees for the board, the nominating committee may accept comments from, cooperate with, and request information from any person.

(2) Make recommendations to the governor for the appointment of members to the board as provided in division (C) of section 4121.12 of the Revised Code.

(G) The nominating committee may make recommendations to the general assembly concerning changes in legislation that will assist the nominating committee in the performance of its duties.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.16, HB 123, §101, eff. 7/29/2011.

Effective Date: 09-01-1995; 2007 HB100 09-10-2007

4121.124 [Repealed].

Repealed by 129th General AssemblyFile No.16, HB 123, §102, eff. 7/29/2011.

Effective Date: 04-04-1985

4121.125 Monitoring performance of system.

(A) The bureau of workers' compensation board of directors, based upon recommendations of the workers' compensation actuarial committee, may contract with one or more outside actuarial firms and other professional persons, as the board determines necessary, to assist the board in measuring the performance of Ohio's workers' compensation system and in comparing Ohio's workers' compensation system to other state and private workers' compensation systems. The board, actuarial firm or firms, and professional persons shall make such measurements and comparisons using accepted insurance industry standards, including, but not limited to, standards promulgated by the National Council on Compensation Insurance.

(B) The board may contract with one or more outside firms to conduct management and financial audits of the workers' compensation system, including audits of the reserve fund belonging to the state insurance fund, and to establish objective quality management principles and methods by which to review the performance of the workers' compensation system.

(C) The board shall do all of the following:

(1) Contract to have prepared annually by or under the supervision of an actuary a report that meets the requirements specified under division (E) of this section and that consists of an actuarial valuation of the assets, liabilities, and funding requirements of the state insurance fund and all other funds specified in this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code;

(2) Require that the actuary or person supervised by an actuary referred to in division (C)(1) of this section complete the valuation in accordance with the actuarial standards of practice promulgated by the actuarial standards board of the American academy of actuaries;

(3) Submit the report referred to in division (C)(1) of this section to the standing committees of the house of representatives and the senate with primary responsibility for workers' compensation legislation on or before the first day of November following the year for which the valuation was made;

(4) Have an actuary or a person who provides actuarial services under the supervision of an actuary, at such time as the board determines, and at least once during the five-year period that commences on September 10, 2007, and once within each five-year period thereafter, conduct an actuarial investigation of the experience of employers, the mortality, service, and injury rate of employees, and the payment of temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, and permanent total disability under sections 4123.56 to 4123.58 of the Revised Code to update the actuarial assumptions used in the report required by division (C)(1) of this section;

(5) Submit the report required under division (F) of this section to the standing committees of the house of representatives and the senate with primary responsibility for workers' compensation legislation not later than the first day of November following the fifth year of the period that the report covers;

(6) Have prepared by or under the supervision of an actuary an actuarial analysis of any introduced legislation expected to have a measurable financial impact on the workers' compensation system;

(7) Submit the report required under division (G) of this section to the legislative service commission and the standing committees of the house of representatives and the senate with primary responsibility for workers' compensation legislation not later than sixty days after the date of introduction of the legislation.

(D) The administrator of workers' compensation and the industrial commission shall compile information and provide access to records of the bureau and the industrial commission to the board to the extent necessary for fulfillment of both of the following requirements:

(1) Conduct of the measurements and comparisons described in division (A) of this section;

(2) Conduct of the management and financial audits and establishment of the principles and methods described in division (B) of this section.

(E) The firm or person with whom the board contracts pursuant to division (C)(1) of this section shall prepare a report of the valuation and submit the report to the board. The firm or person shall include all of the following information in the report that is required under division (C)(1) of this section:

(1) A summary of the compensation and benefit provisions evaluated;

(2) A description of the actuarial assumptions and actuarial cost method used in the valuation;

(3) A schedule showing the effect of any changes in the compensation and benefit provisions, actuarial assumptions, or cost methods since the previous annual actuarial valuation report was submitted to the board.

(F) The actuary or person whom the board designates to conduct an actuarial investigation under division (C)(4) of this section shall prepare a report of the actuarial investigation and shall submit the report to the board. The actuary or person shall prepare the report and make any recommended changes in actuarial assumptions in accordance with the actuarial standards of practice promulgated by the actuarial standards board of the American academy of actuaries. The actuary or person shall include all of the following information in the report:

(1) A summary of relevant decrement and economic assumption experience;

(2) Recommended changes in actuarial assumptions to be used in subsequent actuarial valuations required by division (C)(1) of this section;

(3) A measurement of the financial effect of the recommended changes in actuarial assumptions.

(G) The actuary or person whom the board designates to conduct the actuarial analysis under division (C)(6) of this section shall prepare a report of the actuarial analysis and shall submit that report to the board. The actuary or person shall complete the analysis in accordance with the actuarial standards of practice promulgated by the actuarial standards board of the American academy of actuaries. The actuary or person shall include all of the following information in the report:

(1) A summary of the statutory changes being evaluated;

(2) A description of or reference to the actuarial assumptions and actuarial cost method used in the report;

(3) A description of the participant group or groups included in the report;

(4) A statement of the financial impact of the legislation, including the resulting increase, if any, in employer premiums, in actuarial accrued liabilities, and, if an increase in actuarial accrued liabilities is predicted, the per cent of premium increase that would be required to amortize the increase in those liabilities as a level per cent of employer premiums over a period not to exceed thirty years.

(5) A statement of whether the employer premiums paid to the bureau of workers' compensation after the proposed change is enacted are expected to be sufficient to satisfy the funding objectives established by the board.

(H) The board may, at any time, request an actuary to make any studies or actuarial valuations to determine the adequacy of the premium rates established by the administrator in accordance with sections 4123.29 and 4123.34 of the Revised Code, and may adjust those rates as recommended by the actuary.

(I) The board shall have an independent auditor, at least once every ten years, conduct a fiduciary performance audit of the investment program of the bureau of workers' compensation. That audit shall include an audit of the investment policies approved by the board and investment procedures of the bureau. The board shall submit a copy of that audit to the auditor of state.

(J) The administrator, with the advice and consent of the board, shall employ an internal auditor who shall report findings directly to the board, workers' compensation audit committee, and administrator, except that the internal auditor shall not report findings directly to the administrator when those findings involve malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance on the part of the administrator. The board and the workers' compensation audit committee may request and review internal audits conducted by the internal auditor.

(K) The administrator shall pay the expenses incurred by the board to effectively fulfill its duties and exercise its powers under this section as the administrator pays other operating expenses of the bureau.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §1, eff. 6/30/2011.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 6/30/2011.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.16, HB 123, §101, eff. 7/29/2011.

Amended by 128th General Assemblych.16, HB 15, §101, eff. 9/29/2009.

Effective Date: 09-29-1997; 09-29-2005; 2007 HB100 09-10-2007

4121.126 Conflicts of interest by board members or bureau employees.

Except as provided in this chapter, no member of the bureau of workers' compensation board of directors or employee of the bureau of workers' compensation shall have any direct or indirect interest in the gains or profits of any investment made by the administrator of workers' compensation or shall receive directly or indirectly any pay or emolument for the member's or employee's services. No member or person connected with the bureau directly or indirectly, for self or as an agent or partner of others, shall borrow any of its funds or deposits or in any manner use the funds or deposits except to make current and necessary payments that are authorized by the administrator. No member of the board or employee of the bureau shall become an indorser or surety or become in any manner an obligor for moneys loaned by or borrowed from the bureau.

The administrator shall make no investments through or purchases from, or otherwise do any business with, any individual who is, or any partnership, association, or corporation that is owned or controlled by, a person who within the preceding three years was employed by the bureau, a board member of, or an officer of the board, or a person who within the preceding three years was employed by or was an officer holding a fiduciary, administrative, supervisory, or trust position, or any other position in which such person would be involved, on behalf of the person's employer, in decisions or recommendations affecting the investment policy of the bureau, and in which such person would benefit by any monetary gain.

Effective Date: 09-29-2005; 2007 HB100 09-10-2007

4121.127 Transactions by fiduciary involving conflict of interest.

(A) Except as provided in division (B) of this section, a fiduciary shall not cause the bureau of workers' compensation to engage in a transaction, if the fiduciary knows or should know that such transaction constitutes any of the following, whether directly or indirectly:

(1) The sale, exchange, or leasing of any property between the bureau and a party in interest;

(2) Lending of money or other extension of credit between the bureau and a party in interest;

(3) Furnishing of goods, services, or facilities between the bureau and a party in interest;

(4) Transfer to, or use by or for the benefit of a party in interest, of any assets of the bureau;

(5) Acquisition, on behalf of the bureau, of any employer security or employer real property.

(B) Nothing in this section shall prohibit any transaction between the bureau and any fiduciary or party in interest if both of the following occur:

(1) All the terms and conditions of the transaction are comparable to the terms and conditions that might reasonably be expected in a similar transaction between similar parties who are not parties in interest.

(2) The transaction is consistent with fiduciary duties under this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code.

(C) A fiduciary shall not do any of the following:

(1) Deal with the assets of the bureau in the fiduciary's own interest or for the fiduciary's own account;

(2) In the fiduciary's individual capacity or in any other capacity, act in any transaction involving the bureau on behalf of a party, or represent a party, whose interests are adverse to the interests of the bureau or to the injured employees served by the bureau;

(3) Receive any consideration for the fiduciary's own personal account from any party dealing with the bureau in connection with a transaction involving the assets of the bureau.

(D) In addition to any liability that a fiduciary may have under any other provision, a fiduciary, with respect to bureau, shall be liable for a breach of fiduciary responsibility in any the following circumstances:

(1) If the fiduciary knowingly participates in or knowingly undertakes to conceal an act or omission of another fiduciary, knowing such act or omission is a breach;

(2) If, by the fiduciary's failure to comply with this chapter or Chapter 4123., 4127., or 4131. of the Revised Code, the fiduciary has enabled another fiduciary to commit a breach;

(3) If the fiduciary has knowledge of a breach by another fiduciary of that fiduciary's duties under this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code, unless the fiduciary makes reasonable efforts under the circumstances to remedy the breach.

(E) Every fiduciary of the bureau shall be bonded or insured for an amount of not less than one million dollars for loss by reason of acts of fraud or dishonesty.

(F) As used in this section, "fiduciary" means a person who does any of the following:

(1) Exercises discretionary authority or control with respect to the management of the bureau or with respect to the management or disposition of its assets;

(2) Renders investment advice for a fee, directly or indirectly, with respect to money or property of the bureau;

(3) Has discretionary authority or responsibility in the administration of the bureau.

Effective Date: 09-29-2005

4121.128 Attorney general legal adviser of board.

The attorney general shall be the legal adviser of the bureau of workers' compensation board of directors .

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 6/30/2011.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §1, eff. 6/30/2011.

Effective Date: 09-29-2005; 2007 HB100 09-10-2007

4121.129 [Effective Until 9/17/2014] Audit, actuarial, and investment committees.

(A) There is hereby created the workers' compensation audit committee consisting of at least three members. One member shall be the member of the bureau of workers' compensation board of directors who is a certified public accountant. The board, by majority vote, shall appoint two additional members of the board to serve on the audit committee and may appoint additional members who are not board members, as the board determines necessary. Members of the audit committee serve at the pleasure of the board, and the board, by majority vote, may remove any member except the member of the committee who is the certified public accountant member of the board. The board, by majority vote, shall determine how often the audit committee shall meet and report to the board. If the audit committee meets on the same day as the board holds a meeting, no member shall be compensated for more than one meeting held on that day. The audit committee shall do all of the following:

(1) Recommend to the board an accounting firm to perform the annual audits required under section 4123.47 of the Revised Code;

(2) Recommend an auditing firm for the board to use when conducting audits under section 4121.125 of the Revised Code;

(3) Review the results of each annual audit and management review and, if any problems exist, assess the appropriate course of action to correct those problems and develop an action plan to correct those problems;

(4) Monitor the implementation of any action plans created pursuant to division (A)(3) of this section;

(5) Review all internal audit reports on a regular basis.

(B) There is hereby created the workers' compensation actuarial committee consisting of at least three members. One member shall be the member of the board who is an actuary. The board, by majority vote, shall appoint two additional members of the board to serve on the actuarial committee and may appoint additional members who are not board members, as the board determines necessary. Members of the actuarial committee serve at the pleasure of the board and the board, by majority vote, may remove any member except the member of the committee who is the actuary member of the board. The board, by majority vote, shall determine how often the actuarial committee shall meet and report to the board. If the actuarial committee meets on the same day as the board holds a meeting, no member shall be compensated for more than one meeting held on that day. The actuarial committee shall do both of the following:

(1) Recommend actuarial consultants for the board to use for the funds specified in this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code;

(2) Review calculations on rate schedules and performance prepared by the actuarial consultants with whom the board enters into a contract.

(C)

(1) There is hereby created the workers' compensation investment committee consisting of at least four members. Two of the members shall be the members of the board who serve as the investment and securities experts on the board. The board, by majority vote, shall appoint two additional members of the board to serve on the investment committee and may appoint additional members who are not board members. Each additional member the board appoints shall have at least one of the following qualifications:

(a) Experience managing another state's pension funds or workers' compensation funds;

(b) Expertise that the board determines is needed to make investment decisions.

Members of the investment committee serve at the pleasure of the board and the board, by majority vote, may remove any member except the members of the committee who are the investment and securities expert members of the board. The board, by majority vote, shall determine how often the investment committee shall meet and report to the board. If the investment committee meets on the same day as the board holds a meeting, no member shall be compensated for more than one meeting held on that day.

(2) The investment committee shall do all of the following:

(a) Develop the investment policy for the administration of the investment program for the funds specified in this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code in accordance with the requirements specified in section 4123.442 of the Revised Code;

(b) Submit the investment policy developed pursuant to division (C)(2)(a) of this section to the board for approval;

(c) Monitor implementation by the administrator of workers' compensation and the bureau of workers' compensation chief investment officer of the investment policy approved by the board;

(d) Recommend outside investment counsel with whom the board may contract to assist the investment committee in fulfilling its duties;

(e) Review the performance of the bureau of workers' compensation chief investment officer and any investment consultants retained by the administrator to assure that the investments of the assets of the funds specified in this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code are made in accordance with the investment policy approved by the board and that the best possible return on investment is achieved.

Effective Date: 2007 HB100 08-11-2007

4121.129 [Effective 9/17/2014] Audit, actuarial, and investment committees.

(A) There is hereby created the workers' compensation audit committee consisting of at least three members. One member shall be the member of the bureau of workers' compensation board of directors who is a certified public accountant. The board, by majority vote, shall appoint two additional members of the board to serve on the audit committee and may appoint additional members who are not board members, as the board determines necessary. Members of the audit committee serve at the pleasure of the board, and the board, by majority vote, may remove any member except the member of the committee who is the certified public accountant member of the board. The board, by majority vote, shall determine how often the audit committee shall meet and report to the board. If the audit committee meets on the same day as the board holds a meeting, no member shall be compensated for more than one meeting held on that day. The audit committee shall do all of the following:

(1) Recommend to the board an actuarial firm to perform the annual analysis required under section 4123.47 of the Revised Code;

(2) Recommend an auditing firm for the board to use when conducting audits under section 4121.125 of the Revised Code;

(3) Review the results of each annual audit and management review and, if any problems exist, assess the appropriate course of action to correct those problems and develop an action plan to correct those problems;

(4) Monitor the implementation of any action plans created pursuant to division (A)(3) of this section;

(5) Review all internal audit reports on a regular basis.

(B) There is hereby created the workers' compensation actuarial committee consisting of at least three members. One member shall be the member of the board who is an actuary. The board, by majority vote, shall appoint two additional members of the board to serve on the actuarial committee and may appoint additional members who are not board members, as the board determines necessary. Members of the actuarial committee serve at the pleasure of the board and the board, by majority vote, may remove any member except the member of the committee who is the actuary member of the board. The board, by majority vote, shall determine how often the actuarial committee shall meet and report to the board. If the actuarial committee meets on the same day as the board holds a meeting, no member shall be compensated for more than one meeting held on that day. The actuarial committee shall do both of the following:

(1) Recommend actuarial consultants for the board to use for the funds specified in this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code;

(2) Review calculations on rate schedules and performance prepared by the actuarial consultants with whom the board enters into a contract.

(C)

(1) There is hereby created the workers' compensation investment committee consisting of at least four members. Two of the members shall be the members of the board who serve as the investment and securities experts on the board. The board, by majority vote, shall appoint two additional members of the board to serve on the investment committee and may appoint additional members who are not board members. Each additional member the board appoints shall have at least one of the following qualifications:

(a) Experience managing another state's pension funds or workers' compensation funds;

(b) Expertise that the board determines is needed to make investment decisions.

Members of the investment committee serve at the pleasure of the board and the board, by majority vote, may remove any member except the members of the committee who are the investment and securities expert members of the board. The board, by majority vote, shall determine how often the investment committee shall meet and report to the board. If the investment committee meets on the same day as the board holds a meeting, no member shall be compensated for more than one meeting held on that day.

(2) The investment committee shall do all of the following:

(a) Develop the investment policy for the administration of the investment program for the funds specified in this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code in accordance with the requirements specified in section 4123.442 of the Revised Code;

(b) Submit the investment policy developed pursuant to division (C)(2)(a) of this section to the board for approval;

(c) Monitor implementation by the administrator of workers' compensation and the bureau of workers' compensation chief investment officer of the investment policy approved by the board;

(d) Recommend outside investment counsel with whom the board may contract to assist the investment committee in fulfilling its duties;

(e) Review the performance of the bureau of workers' compensation chief investment officer and any investment consultants retained by the administrator to assure that the investments of the assets of the funds specified in this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code are made in accordance with the investment policy approved by the board and to assure compliance with the investment policy and effective management of the funds.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 493, §1, eff. 9/17/2014.

Effective Date: 2007 HB100 08-11-2007

4121.13 Administrator of workers' compensation - powers and duties.

The administrator of workers' compensation shall:

(A) Investigate, ascertain, and declare and prescribe what hours of labor, safety devices, safeguards, or other means or methods of protection are best adapted to render the employees of every employment and place of employment and frequenters of every place of employment safe, and to protect their welfare as required by law or lawful orders, and establish and maintain museums of safety and hygiene in which shall be exhibited safety devices, safeguards, and other means and methods for the protection of life, health, safety, and welfare of employees;

(B) Ascertain and fix reasonable standards and prescribe, modify, and enforce reasonable orders for the adoption of safety devices, safeguards, and other means or methods of protection to be as nearly uniform as possible as may be necessary to carry out all laws and lawful orders relative to the protection of the life, health, safety, and welfare of employees in employments and places of employment or frequenters of places of employment;

(C) Ascertain, fix, and order reasonable standards for the construction, repair, and maintenance of places of employment as shall render them safe;

(D) Investigate, ascertain, and determine reasonable classifications of persons, employments, and places of employment as are necessary to carry out the applicable sections of sections 4101.01 to 4101.16 and 4121.01 to 4121.29 of the Revised Code;

(E) Adopt reasonable and proper rules relative to the exercise of his powers and authorities, and proper rules to govern his proceedings and to regulate the mode and manner of all investigations and hearings, which rules shall not be effective until ten days after their publication; a copy of the rules shall be delivered at cost to every citizen making application therefor;

(F) Investigate all cases of fraud or other illegalities pertaining to the operation of the workers' compensation system and its several insurance funds and for that purpose, the administrator has every power of an inquisitorial nature granted to the industrial commission in this chapter and Chapter 4123. of the Revised Code;

(G) Do all things convenient and necessary to accomplish the purposes directed in sections 4101.01 to 4101.16 and 4121.01 to 4121.28 of the Revised Code;

(H) Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede section 4105.011 of the Revised Code in particular, or Chapter 4105. of the Revised Code in general.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.131 Special investigation department access to crime databases.

The bureau of workers' compensation special investigation department is a criminal justice agency in investigating reported violations of law relating to workers' compensation, and as such may apply for access to the computerized databases administered by the national crime information center or the law enforcement automated data system in Ohio and to other computerized databases administered for the purpose of making criminal justice information accessible to state and criminal justice agencies.

Effective Date: 2006 SB7 10-11-2006

4121.14 Investigating agent.

For the purpose of making any investigation with regard to any employment or place of employment, the administrator of workers' compensation may appoint, by an order in writing, any employee of the bureau of workers' compensation, any deputy, who is a citizen of the state, or any other competent person who is a resident of the state, as an agent whose duty shall be prescribed in the order.

In the discharge of his duties the agent shall have every power whatsoever of an inquisitorial nature granted in sections 4101.01 to 4101.16 and 4121.01 to 4121.29 of the Revised Code to the bureau, and the same powers as a master commissioner appointed by a court of common pleas with regard to taking testimony.

The bureau may conduct any number of investigations contemporaneously through different agents, and may delegate to agents the taking of all testimony bearing upon any investigation or hearing.

The decision of the bureau shall be based upon its examination of all testimony and records. The recommendations made by agents shall be advisory only and shall not preclude the taking of further testimony if the bureau orders, nor further investigation.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.15 Power to administer oaths, issue subpoenas, and compel attendance of witnesses.

The administrator of workers' compensation and his designees, for the purposes mentioned in sections 4121.01 to 4121.29 of the Revised Code may administer oaths, certify to official acts, issue subpoenas, and compel attendance of witnesses and the production of papers, books, accounts, documents, and testimony. In case of the failure of any person to comply with any order of the bureau of workers' compensation or any subpoena lawfully issued, or upon the refusal of any witness to testify to any matter regarding which he may be lawfully interrogated, the judge of the court of common pleas of any county in this state, on the application of the bureau, shall compel obedience by attachment proceedings for contempt as in the case of disobedience of the requirements of a subpoena issued from the court or a refusal to testify therein.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.16 Witness attendance - fees and mileage.

Each witness who appears before the bureau of workers' compensation by its order shall receive for the witness's attendance the fees and mileage provided for under section 119.094 of the Revised Code, which shall be paid from the state insurance fund on the approval of the administrator of workers' compensation. No witnesses subpoenaed at the instance of the parties other than the bureau is entitled to compensation from the state for attendance or travel unless the bureau certifies that the witness's testimony was material to the matter investigated.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989; 2008 HB525 07-01-2009

4121.17 Examination of place of employment upon petition that same is unsafe.

(A) Upon petition by any person that any employment or place of employment is not safe or is injurious to the welfare of any employee or frequenter, the bureau of workers' compensation shall proceed with or without notice to make an investigation as is necessary to determine the matter complained of.

(B) After such hearing as is necessary, the bureau may enter any necessary order relative thereto to render the employment or place of employment safe and not injurious to the welfare of the employees therein or frequenters thereof.

(C) Whenever the bureau learns that any employment or place of employment is not safe or is injurious to the welfare of any employee or frequenter, it may of its own motion summarily investigate the same, with or without notice, and issue such order as is necessary thereto.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.18 [Repealed].

Repealed by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §105.01, eff. 9/10/2012.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.19 Record of proceedings.

A full and complete record shall be kept of all proceedings had before the bureau of workers' compensation on any investigation, and all testimony shall be taken down by a stenographer appointed by the bureau.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.20 Depositions.

The bureau of workers' compensation or any party may in any investigation cause depositions of witnesses residing within or without the state to be taken in the manner prescribed by law for like depositions in civil actions.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.21 Effective date of orders - time for compliance.

(A) All general orders of the bureau of workers' compensation shall take effect within thirty days after their publication. Special orders shall take effect as therein directed.

(B) The bureau shall, upon application of any employer, grant such time as is reasonably necessary for compliance with any order.

(C) Any person may petition the bureau for an extension of time, which the bureau shall grant if it finds the extension of time necessary.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.22 Jurisdiction over places of employment.

Sections 4101.01 to 4101.16 and 4121.01 to 4121.29 of the Revised Code do not deprive the legislative authority of any municipal corporation or any board of trustees or officer of any municipal corporation of any power or jurisdiction over or relative to any place of employment, provided that whenever the bureau of workers' compensation, by an order, fixes a standard of safety or any hygienic condition for employments or places of employment, the order shall, upon the filing by the bureau of a copy thereof with the clerk of the municipal corporation to which it applies, be held to amend or modify any similar conflicting local order in any particular matters governed by the order. Thereafter, no local officer shall make or enforce any order to the contrary.

Any person affected by any local order in conflict with an order of the bureau may petition the bureau for a hearing on the ground that the local order is unreasonable and in conflict with the order of the bureau. The petition for hearing shall conform to the requirements set forth for a petition in section 4121.23 of the Revised Code.

Upon receipt of the petition, the bureau shall order a hearing to consider and determine the issues raised by the appeal, which hearing shall be held in the municipal corporation where the local order appealed from was made. Notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given to the petitioner and such other persons as the bureau finds directly interested in the decision, including the clerk of the village or the mayor of the municipal corporation from which the appeal came.

If upon investigation the bureau finds that the local order appealed from is unreasonable and in conflict with the order of the bureau, the bureau may modify its order and shall substitute for the local order appealed from such order as is reasonable and legal in the premises, and thereafter the local order, in such particulars, is void.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.23 Petition for hearing by employer.

Any employer or other person interested either because of ownership in or occupation of any property affected by any order of the bureau of workers' compensation, or otherwise, may petition for a hearing on the reasonableness and lawfulness of any bureau order.

The petition for hearing shall be by verified petition, filed with the bureau, setting out specifically and in full detail the order upon which a hearing is desired and every reason why the order is unreasonable or unlawful, and every issue to be considered by the bureau on the hearing. The petitioner shall be deemed to have finally waived all objection to any irregularities and illegalities in the order upon which a hearing is sought other than those set forth in the petition. All hearings of the bureau shall be open to the public.

Upon receipt of the petition, if the issues raised in the petition have theretofore been adequately considered, the bureau shall determine the same by confirming, without hearing, its previous determination, or if a hearing is necessary to determine the issues raised, the bureau shall order a hearing thereon and consider and determine the matters in question at the time prescribed.

Notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given to the petitioner and to such other persons as the bureau finds directly interested in the decision.

Upon an investigation, if it is found that the order complained of is unlawful or unreasonable, the bureau shall substitute a lawful and reasonable order therefor.

Whenever at the time of final determination upon hearing it is found that further time is reasonably necessary for compliance with the order of the bureau, the bureau shall grant such time as is reasonably necessary for compliance.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.24 No action to vacate allowed until after hearing.

No action, proceeding, or suit to set aside, vacate, or amend any order of the bureau of workers' compensation, or to enjoin the enforcement thereof, shall be brought unless the plaintiff has applied to the bureau for a hearing thereon at the time and as provided in section 4121.23 of the Revised Code and in the petition therefor has raised every issue raised in the action.

Every order of the bureau is, in every prosecution for a violation thereof, conclusively presumed to be just, reasonable, and lawful, unless prior to the institution of the prosecution for the violation an action has been brought to vacate and set aside the order as provided in section 4121.28 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.25 Action to set aside, vacate, or amend order.

Any employer or other person in interest who is dissatisfied with any order of the bureau of workers' compensation may commence an action in the supreme court, against the bureau as defendant, to set aside, vacate, or amend any order on the ground that the order is unreasonable or unlawful and the supreme court has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine the action. The bureau shall be served with summons as in other civil cases.

The answer of the bureau shall be filed within ten days after service of summons upon it and with its answer it shall file a certified transcript of its record in the matter. Upon the filing of the answer the action shall be at issue and shall be advanced and assigned for trial by the court, upon the application of either party, at the earliest possible date.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.26 Statement of issues not adequately considered - stay of proceedings.

If upon the trial of an action under section 4121.25 of the Revised Code it appears that all issues arising in the action have not theretofore been presented to the bureau of workers' compensation in the petition filed as provided in section 4121.23 of the Revised Code, or that the bureau has not theretofore had ample opportunity to hear and determine any of the issues raised in the action, or has for any reason not in fact heard and determined the issues raised, the court shall, before proceeding to render judgment, unless the parties to the action stipulate to the contrary, transmit to the bureau a full statement of the issues not adequately considered and shall stay further proceedings in the action for fifteen days from the date of transmission and may thereafter grant such further stay as is necessary.

Upon the receipt of the statement the bureau shall consider the issues not theretofore considered, and may alter, modify, amend, or rescind its order complained of in the action, and shall report its order thereon to the court within ten days from the receipt of the statement from the court for further hearing and consideration.

The court shall thereupon order such amendment or other proceeding as is necessary to raise the issues as changed by the modification of order as has been made by the bureau upon the hearing, if any modification has in fact been made, and shall thereupon proceed with the action in the manner provided by law for other civil actions.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.27 Exclusive jurisdiction of supreme court.

No court of this state, except the supreme court to the extent specified by sections 4101.01 to 4101.16 and 4121.01 to 4121.29 of the Revised Code has jurisdiction to review, vacate, set aside, reverse, revise, correct, amend, or annul any order of the bureau of workers' compensation, or to suspend or delay the execution or operation thereof or to enjoin, restrain, or interfere with the bureau in the performance of its official duties. The writ of mandamus shall lie from the supreme court to the bureau in all proper cases.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.28 Order of bureau of workers' compensation not stayed by pendency of action.

The pendency of an action to set aside, vacate, or amend an order of the bureau of workers' compensation shall not of itself stay or suspend the operation of an order of the bureau, but during the pendency of the action the supreme court may stay or suspend, in whole or in part, the operation of the bureau's order. No order so staying or suspending an order of the bureau shall be made by the supreme court otherwise than upon three days' notice and after hearing.

In case the order is stayed or suspended the order of the supreme court shall not become effective until a suspending bond has first been executed and filed with and approved by the bureau, or by the supreme court or the clerk thereof, payable to the state and sufficient in amount and security to insure the prompt payment by the party petitioning to set aside, vacate, or amend the order of all damages caused by the delay in the enforcement of the order of the bureau.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.29 Priority to be given actions.

All actions and proceedings under sections 4101.01 to 4101.16 and 4121.01 to 4121.29 of the Revised Code and all actions or proceedings to which the bureau of workers' compensation or the state is a party, and in which any question arises under such sections, or under or concerning any order of the bureau, shall be preferred over all other civil cases, except election causes and causes involving or affecting the public utilities commission, irrespective of position on the calendar. The same preference shall be granted upon application of the attorney of the bureau in any action or proceeding in which he may be allowed to intervene.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.30 Administrative rules.

(A) All rules governing the operating procedure of the bureau of workers' compensation and the industrial commission shall be adopted in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, except that determinations of the bureau, district hearing officers, staff hearing officers, and the commission, with respect to an individual employee's claim to participate in the state insurance fund are governed only by Chapter 4123. of the Revised Code.

The administrator of workers' compensation and commission shall proceed jointly, in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, including a joint hearing, to adopt joint rules governing the operating procedures of the bureau and commission.

(B) Upon submission to the bureau or the commission of a petition containing not less than fifteen hundred signatures of adult residents of the state, any individual may propose a rule for adoption, amendment, or rescission by the bureau or the commission. If, upon investigation, the bureau or commission is satisfied that the signatures upon the petition are valid, it shall proceed, in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, to consider adoption, amendment, or rescission of the rule.

(C) The administrator shall make available electronically all rules adopted by the bureau and the commission and shall make available in a timely manner all rules adopted by the bureau and the commission that are currently in force.

(D) The rule-making authority granted to the administrator under this section does not limit the commission's rule-making authority relative to its overall adjudicatory policy-making and management duties under this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code. The administrator shall not disregard any rule adopted by the commission, provided that the rule is within the commission's rule-making authority.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.

Effective Date: 10-20-1993

4121.31 Joint adoption of administrative rules.

(A) The administrator of workers' compensation and the industrial commission jointly shall adopt rules covering the following general topics with respect to this chapter and Chapter 4123. of the Revised Code:

(1) Rules that set forth any general policy and the principal operating procedures of the bureau of workers' compensation or commission, including but not limited to:

(a) Assignment to various operational units of any duties placed upon the administrator or the commission by statute;

(b) Procedures for decision-making;

(c) Procedures governing the appearances of a claimant, employer, or their representatives before the agency in a hearing;

(d) Procedures that inform claimants, on request, of the status of a claim and any actions necessary to maintain the claim;

(e) Time goals for activities of the bureau or commission;

(f) Designation of the person or persons authorized to issue directives with directives numbered and distributed from a central distribution point to persons on a list maintained for that purpose.

(2) A rule barring any employee of the bureau or commission from having a workers' compensation claims file in the employee's possession unless the file is necessary to the performance of the employee's duties.

(3) All claims, whether of a state fund or self-insuring employer, be processed in an orderly, uniform, and timely fashion.

(4) Rules governing the submission and sending of applications, notices, evidence, and other documents by electronic means. The rules shall provide that where this chapter or Chapter 4123., 4127., or 4131. of the Revised Code requires that a document be in writing or requires a signature, the administrator and the commission, to the extent of their respective jurisdictions, may approve of and provide for the electronic submission and sending of those documents, and the use of an electronic signature on those documents.

(B) As used in this section:

(1) "Electronic" includes electrical, digital, magnetic, optical, electromagnetic, facsimile, or any other form of technology that entails capabilities similar to these technologies.

(2) "Electronic record" means a record generated, communicated, received, or stored by electronic means for use in an information system or for transmission from one information system to another.

(3) "Electronic signature" means a signature in electronic form attached to or logically associated with an electronic record.

Effective Date: 06-14-2000

4121.32 Supplementing rules with operating manuals.

(A) The rules covering operating procedure and criteria for decision-making that the administrator of workers' compensation and the industrial commission are required to adopt pursuant to section 4121.31 of the Revised Code shall be supplemented with operating manuals setting forth the procedural steps in detail for performing each of the assigned tasks of each section of the bureau of workers' compensation and commission. The administrator and commission jointly shall adopt such manuals. No employee may deviate from manual procedures without authorization of the section chief.

(B) Manuals shall set forth the procedure for the assignment and transfer of claims within sections and be designed to provide performance objectives and may require employees to record sufficient data to reasonably measure the efficiency of functions in all sections. The bureau shall perform periodic cost-effectiveness analyses that shall be made available to the general assembly, the governor, and to the public during normal working hours.

(C) The bureau and commission jointly shall develop, adopt, and use a policy manual setting forth the guidelines and bases for decision-making for any decision which is the responsibility of the bureau, district hearing officers, staff hearing officers, or the commission. Guidelines shall be set forth in the policy manual by the bureau and commission to the extent of their respective jurisdictions for deciding at least the following specific matters:

(1) Reasonable ambulance services;

(2) Relationship of drugs to injury;

(3) Awarding lump-sum advances for creditors;

(4) Awarding lump-sum advances for attorney's fees;

(5) Placing a claimant into rehabilitation;

(6) Transferring costs of a claim from employer costs to the statutory surplus fund pursuant to section 4123.343 of the Revised Code;

(7) Utilization of physician specialist reports;

(8) Determining the percentage of permanent partial disability, temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, violations of specific safety requirements, an award under division (B) of section 4123.57 of the Revised Code, and permanent total disability.

(D) The bureau shall establish, adopt, and implement policy guidelines and bases for decisions involving reimbursement issues including, but not limited to, the adjustment of invoices, the reduction of payments for future services when an internal audit concludes that a health care provider was overpaid or improperly paid for past services, reimbursement fees, or other adjustments to payments. These policy guidelines and bases for decisions, and any changes to the guidelines and bases, shall be set forth in a reimbursement manual and provider bulletins.

Neither the policy guidelines nor the bases set forth in the reimbursement manual or provider bulletins referred to in this division is a rule as defined in section 119.01 of the Revised Code.

(E) With respect to any determination of disability under Chapter 4123. of the Revised Code, when the physician makes a determination based upon statements or information furnished by the claimant or upon subjective evidence, the physician shall clearly indicate this fact in the physician's report.

(F) The administrator shall publish the manuals and make copies of all manuals available to interested parties at cost.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.16, HB 123, §101, eff. 7/29/2011.

Effective Date: 1995 HB7 09-01-1995

4121.34 District hearing officers - jurisdiction.

(A) District hearing officers shall hear the matters listed in division (B) of this section. District hearing officers are in the classified civil service of the state, are full-time employees of the industrial commission, and shall be persons admitted to the practice of law in this state. District hearing officers shall not engage in any other activity that interferes with their full-time employment by the commission during normal working hours.

(B) District hearing officers shall have original jurisdiction on all of the following matters:

(1) Determinations under section 4123.57 of the Revised Code;

(2) All appeals from a decision of the administrator of workers' compensation under division (B) of section 4123.511 of the Revised Code;

(3) All other contested claims matters under this chapter and Chapters 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code, except those matters over which staff hearing officers have original jurisdiction.

(C) The administrator of workers' compensation shall make available to each district hearing officer the facilities and assistance of bureau employees and furnish all information necessary to the performance of the district hearing officer's duties.

Effective Date: 09-29-1997

4121.35 Staff hearing officers - jurisdiction.

(A) Staff hearing officers shall consider and decide all matters specified in division (B) of this section. All staff hearing officers are full-time employees of the industrial commission and shall be admitted to the practice of law in this state. Staff hearing officers shall not engage in any other activity that interferes with their full-time employment by the commission during normal working hours.

(B) Except as provided in division (D) of this section, staff hearing officers have original jurisdiction to hear and decide the following matters:

(1) Applications for permanent, total disability awards pursuant to section 4123.58 of the Revised Code;

(2) Appeals from an order of a district hearing officer issued under division (C) of section 4123.511 of the Revised Code;

(3) Applications for additional awards for violation of a specific safety rule of the administrator of workers' compensation pursuant to Section 35 of Article II of the Ohio Constitution;

(4) Applications for reconsideration pursuant to division (A) of section 4123.57 of the Revised Code. Decisions of the staff hearing officers on reconsideration pursuant to division (A) of section 4123.57 of the Revised Code are final.

(5) Reviews of settlement agreements pursuant to section 4123.65 of the Revised Code. Decisions of the staff hearing officer under that section are final and not appealable to the commission or to court under section 4123.511 or 4123.512 of the Revised Code.

(C) The decision of a staff hearing officer under division (D) of section 4123.511 of the Revised Code is the decision of the commission for the purposes of section 4123.512 of the Revised Code unless the commission hears an appeal under division (E) of section 4123.511 of the Revised Code.

(D) Staff hearing officers shall hold hearings on all matters referred to them for hearing. Hearing procedures shall conform to the rules the commission adopts pursuant to section 4121.36 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 09-29-1997

4121.351 Hearing spike - reports - additional personal service contracts.

(A)

(1) For purposes of this section, a hearing spike occurs when the number of claims ready for hearing on the last day of any calendar month exceeds by fifteen per cent the largest number of claims heard by full-time district and staff hearing officers in any of the preceding twelve calendar months. A hearing spike cannot occur for more than a total of six calendar months in any one calendar year.

(2) This section does not apply when the number of claims ready for hearing on the last day of any calendar month does not exceed or no longer exceeds by fifteen per cent the largest number of claims heard by full-time district and staff hearing officers in any of the preceding twelve calendar months.

(B)

(1) When a hearing spike occurs, the industrial commission may enter into personal service contracts with attorneys engaged in the practice of law in this state to serve on a temporary basis as district or staff hearing officers under Chapters 4121., 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code.

(2) Before entering into personal service contracts as provided in division (B)(1) of this section, the commission first shall attempt to resolve the hearing spike by utilizing all current full-time employees and resources of the commission under the constraints of any current collective bargaining agreement, including the offer of overtime to current district and staff hearing officers.

(C) During the time when a hearing spike is in effect, the commission shall prepare monthly, written reports and shall submit those reports to the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house of representatives certifying all of the following:

(1) All attempts to utilize full-time employees of the commission, including the offer of overtime to current full-time district and staff hearing officers, have failed to resolve the hearing spike;

(2) The number of personal service contract attorneys used by the commission, their names, and the actual number of hearings in each hearing category conducted by each personal service contract attorney in that calendar month;

(3) The amount of money paid by the commission to each personal service contract attorney for that month;

(4) Personal service contract attorneys have not been used for more than a total of six calendar months of the preceding calendar year.

(D) The commission's authority to enter into additional personal service contracts pursuant to division (B) of this section shall cease until the beginning of the next calendar year if the commission reaches its allotment of six calendar months during any calendar year for the use of personal service contract attorneys.

(E) If any party to hearing before a personal service contract attorney hired pursuant to division (B) of this section objects to a hearing before that attorney, the commission immediately shall transfer that hearing to the available docket of an appropriate full-time district or staff hearing officer.

(F) The commission may adopt rules pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to administer this section.

Effective Date: 10-01-1996

4121.36 Industrial commission hearing rules.

(A) The industrial commission shall adopt rules as to the conduct of all hearings before the commission and its staff and district hearing officers and the rendering of a decision and shall focus such rules on managing, directing, and otherwise ensuring a fair, equitable, and uniform hearing process. These rules shall provide for at least the following steps and procedures:

(1) Adequate notice to all parties and their representatives to ensure that no hearing is conducted unless all parties have the opportunity to be present and to present evidence and arguments in support of their positions or in rebuttal to the evidence or arguments of other parties;

(2) A public hearing;

(3) Written decisions;

(4) Impartial assignment of staff and district hearing officers and assignment of appeals from a decision of the administrator of workers' compensation to a district hearing officer located at the commission service office that is the closest in geographic proximity to the claimant's residence;

(5) Publication of a docket;

(6) The securing of the attendance or testimony of witnesses;

(7) Prehearing rules, including rules relative to discovery, the taking of depositions, and exchange of information relevant to a claim prior to the conduct of a hearing;

(8) The issuance of orders by the district or staff hearing officer who renders the decision.

(B) Every decision by a staff or district hearing officer or the commission shall be in writing and contain all of the following elements:

(1) A concise statement of the order or award;

(2) A notation as to notice provided and as to appearance of parties;

(3) Signatures of each commissioner or appropriate hearing officer on the original copy of the decision only, verifying the commissioner's or hearing officer's vote;

(4) Description of the part of the body and nature of the disability recognized in the claim.

(C) The commission shall adopt rules that require the regular rotation of district hearing officers with respect to the types of matters under consideration and that ensure that no district or staff hearing officer or the commission hears a claim unless all interested and affected parties have the opportunity to be present and to present evidence and arguments in support of their positions or in rebuttal to the evidence or arguments of other parties.

(D) All matters which, at the request of one of the parties or on the initiative of the administrator and any commissioner, are to be expedited, shall require at least forty-eight hours' notice, a public hearing, and a statement in any order of the circumstances that justified such expeditious hearings.

(E) All meetings of the commission and district and staff hearing officers shall be public with adequate notice, including if necessary, to the claimant, the employer, their representatives, and the administrator. Confidentiality of medical evidence presented at a hearing does not constitute a sufficient ground to relieve the requirement of a public hearing, but the presentation of privileged or confidential evidence shall not create any greater right of public inspection of evidence than presently exists.

(F) The commission shall compile all of its original memorandums, orders, and decisions in a journal and make the journal available to the public with sufficient indexing to allow orderly review of documents. The journal shall indicate the vote of each commissioner.

(G)

(1) All original orders, rules, and memoranda, and decisions of the commission shall contain the signatures of two of the three commissioners and state whether adopted at a meeting of the commission or by circulation to individual commissioners. Any facsimile or secretarial signature, initials of commissioners, and delegated employees, and any printed record of the "yes" and "no" vote of a commission member or of a hearing officer on such original is invalid.

(2) Written copies of final decisions of district or staff hearing officers or the commission that are mailed to the administrator, employee, employer, and their respective representatives need not contain the signatures of the hearing officer or commission members if the hearing officer or commission members have complied with divisions (B)(3) and (G)(1) of this section.

(H) The commission shall do both of the following:

(1) Appoint an individual as a hearing officer trainer who is in the unclassified civil service of the state and who serves at the pleasure of the commission. The trainer shall be an attorney registered to practice law in this state and have experience in training or education, and the ability to furnish the necessary training for district and staff hearing officers.

The hearing officer trainer shall develop and periodically update a training manual and such other training materials and courses as will adequately prepare district and staff hearing officers for their duties under this chapter and Chapter 4123. of the Revised Code. All district and staff hearing officers shall undergo the training courses developed by the hearing officer trainer, the cost of which the commission shall pay. The commission shall make the hearing officer manual and all revisions thereto available to the public at cost.

The commission shall have the final right of approval over all training manuals, courses, and other materials the hearing officer trainer develops and updates.

(2) Appoint a hearing administrator, who shall be in the classified civil service of the state, for each bureau service office, and sufficient support personnel for each hearing administrator, which support personnel shall be under the direct supervision of the hearing administrator. The hearing administrator shall do all of the following:

(a) Assist the commission in ensuring that district hearing officers comply with the time limitations for the holding of hearings and issuance of orders under section 4123.511 of the Revised Code. For that purpose, each hearing administrator shall prepare a monthly report identifying the status of all claims in its office and identifying specifically the claims which have not been decided within the time limits set forth in section 4123.511 of the Revised Code. The commission shall submit an annual report of all such reports to the standing committees of the house of representatives and of the state to which matters concerning workers' compensation are normally referred.

(b) Provide information to requesting parties or their representatives on the status of their claim;

(c) Issue compliance letters, upon a finding of good cause and without a formal hearing in all of the following areas:

(i) Divisions (B) and (C) of section 4123.651 of the Revised Code;

(ii) Requests for the taking of depositions of bureau and commission physicians;

(iii) The issuance of subpoenas;

(iv) The granting or denying of requests for continuances;

(v) Matters involving section 4123.522 of the Revised Code;

(vi) Requests for conducting telephone pre-hearing conferences;

(vii) Any other matter that will cause a free exchange of information prior to the formal hearing.

(d) Ensure that claim files are reviewed by the district hearing officer prior to the hearing to ensure that there is sufficient information to proceed to a hearing;

(e) Ensure that for occupational disease claims under section 4123.68 of the Revised Code that require a medical examination the medical examination is conducted prior to the hearing;

(f) Take the necessary steps to prepare a claim to proceed to a hearing where the parties agree and advise the hearing administrator that the claim is not ready for a hearing.

(I) The commission shall permit any person direct access to information contained in electronic data processing equipment regarding the status of a claim in the hearing process. The information shall indicate the number of days that the claim has been in process, the number of days the claim has been in its current location, and the number of days in the current point of the process within that location.

(J)

(1) The industrial commission may establish an alternative dispute resolution process for workers' compensation claims that are within the commission's jurisdiction under Chapters 4121., 4123., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code when the commission determines that such a process is necessary. Notwithstanding sections 4121.34 and 4121.35 of the Revised Code, the commission may enter into personal service contracts with individuals who are qualified because of their education and experience to act as facilitators in the commission's alternative dispute resolution process.

(2) The parties' use of the alternative dispute resolution process is voluntary, and requires the agreement of all necessary parties. The use of the alternative dispute resolution process does not alter the rights or obligations of the parties, nor does it delay the timelines set forth in section 4123.511 of the Revised Code.

(3) The commission shall prepare monthly reports and submit those reports to the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house of representatives describing all of the following:

(a) The names of each facilitator employed under a personal service contract;

(b) The hourly amount of money and the total amount of money paid to each facilitator;

(c) The number of disputed issues resolved during that month by each facilitator;

(d) The number of decisions of each facilitator that were appealed by a party;

(e) A certification by the commission that the alternative dispute resolution process did not delay any hearing timelines as set forth in section 4123.511 of the Revised Code for any disputed issue.

(4) The commission may adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code for the administration of any alternative dispute resolution process that the commission establishes.

Effective Date: 1996 HB413 10-01-1996

4121.37 Creation of division of safety and hygiene.

The administrator of workers' compensation having, by virtue of Section 35 of Article II, Ohio Constitution, the expenditure of the fund therein created for the investigation and prevention of industrial accidents and diseases, shall, with the advice and consent of the bureau of workers' compensation board of directors, in the exercise of the administrator's authority and in the performance of the administrator's duty, employ a superintendent and the necessary experts, engineers, investigators, clerks, and stenographers for the efficient operation of a division of safety and hygiene of the bureau of workers' compensation, which is hereby created.

The administrator, with the advice and consent of the board, shall pay into the safety and hygiene fund, which is hereby created in the state treasury, the portion of the contributions paid by employers, calculated as though all employers paid premiums based upon payroll, not to exceed one per cent thereof in any year, as is necessary for the payment of the salary of the superintendent of the division of safety and hygiene and the compensation of the other employees of the division of safety and hygiene, the expenses of investigations and researches for the prevention of industrial accidents and diseases, and for operating the long-term care loan fund program established under section 4121.48 of the Revised Code. All investment earnings of the fund shall be credited to the fund. The administrator has the same powers to invest any of the funds belonging to the fund as are delegated to the administrator under section 4123.44 of the Revised Code with respect to the state insurance fund. The superintendent, under the direction of the administrator, with the advice and consent of the board, shall conduct investigations and researches for the prevention of industrial accidents and diseases, conduct loss prevention programs and courses for employers, establish and administrate cooperative programs with employers for the purchase of individual safety equipment for employees, and print and distribute information as may be of benefit to employers and employees. The administrator shall pay from the safety and hygiene fund the salary of the superintendent of the division of safety and hygiene, the compensation of the other employees of the division of safety and hygiene, the expenses necessary or incidental to investigations and researches for the prevention of industrial accidents and diseases, and the cost of printing and distributing such information.

The superintendent, under the direction of the administrator, shall prepare an annual report, addressed to the governor, on the amount of the expenditures and the purposes for which they have been made, and the results of the investigations and researches. The administrator shall include the administrative costs, salaries, and other expenses of the division of safety and hygiene as a part of the budget of the bureau of workers' compensation that is submitted to the director of budget and management and shall identify those expenditures separately from other bureau expenditures.

The superintendent shall be a competent person with at least five years' experience in industrial accident or disease prevention work. The superintendent and up to six positions in the division of safety and hygiene as the administrator, with the advice and consent of the board, designates are in the unclassified civil service of the state as long as the administrator, with the advice and consent of the board, determines the positions subordinate to the superintendent are primarily and distinctively administrative, managerial, or professional in character. All other full-time employees of the division of safety and hygiene are in the classified civil service of the state.

Effective Date: 07-11-2001; 06-21-2005; 2007 HB100 09-10-2007

4121.38 Impairment evaluation.

(A) The industrial commission shall:

(1) Implement a program of impairment evaluation training for its staff physicians;

(2) Issue a manual of commission policy as to impairment evaluation so as to increase consistency of medical reports. This manual shall be available to the public at cost but shall be provided free to all physicians who treat claimants or to whom claimants are referred for evaluation. The commission shall take steps to ensure that the manual receives the widest possible distribution to physicians.

(3) Develop a method of peer review of medical reports prepared by the commission referral doctors;

(4) Issue a policy manual as to the basis upon which referrals to other than commission specialists will be made;

(5) Designate two hearing examiners and two medical staff members who shall be specially trained in medical-legal analysis. The specialists shall write evaluations of medical-legal problems upon assignment by other hearing examiners or the commission. The director of administrative services upon commission advice shall assign such employees to a salary schedule commensurate with expertise required of them.

(6) Require that prior to any examination, a physician to whom a claimant is referred for examination receives all necessary medical information in the claim file about the claimant and a complete statement as to the purpose of the examination.

(B) The commission may establish a medical section within the commission to perform the duties assigned to the commission under this section.

Effective Date: 1989 HB222 11-03-1989

4121.39 Administrator of workers' compensation - powers and duties.

The administrator of workers' compensation shall do all of the following:

(A) Except as provided in section 4123.402 of the Revised Code, review and process all applications for claims;

(B) Award compensation and make payment on all noncontested claims;

(C) Make payment on orders of the industrial commission and district and staff hearing officers as provided in section 4123.511 of the Revised Code;

(D) Serve as representative of the state insurance fund;

(E) Establish a legal section within the bureau to provide legal advice and assistance to the administrator and the administrator's staff as to claims procedure and policy; appeals to be lodged on behalf of the state insurance fund; and other legal issues. The bureau legal section shall act as attorney for the state fund in administrative appeals.

(F) Establish a program for quality control, systems design, and internal auditing. In the operation of the program, the administrator shall ensure that audits are performed at least annually to determine whether or not the bureau meets the performance goals the administrator establishes.

(G) Ensure that there exists the coordination between the central office and the service offices necessary to facilitate open lines of communication and the standardized procedures in conformity with the requirements set forth in the operating manuals of the bureau. The administrator shall establish a line of authority from the central office to the service offices of the bureau sufficient to avoid ambiguity in the performance of any management or policy function.

Effective Date: 09-29-1997

4121.40 Service directors - investigators and field auditors - duties.

(A) The administrator of workers' compensation shall appoint a service director for each service office who shall have all of the following duties:

(1) Provide each claimant and employer fair, impartial, and equal treatment;

(2) Recommend any needed improvements for changes in staff size and accessibility to service offices;

(3) Recommend to the administrator appropriate action concerning any allegations of misconduct, abuse of authority, or fraud committed in his service office;

(4) Ensure that all current bureau rules and operating procedures are carried out by all employees under his direction;

(5) Assist claimants and employers who contact the service office for information or assistance with respect to claims processing and coverage.

(B) The administrator shall assign to each service office an adequate number of investigators and field auditors.

Service directors shall make investigators available to district hearing officers as needed.

In addition to other duties the administrator may assign to investigators, they shall, at the service directors' direction, investigate alleged instances of persons receiving compensation pursuant to section 4123.58 of the Revised Code and engaging in remunerative employment that is incompatible with the terms of that section.

Effective Date: 10-20-1993

4121.41 Information on rights and responsibilities - optimum level of premium payment - complaints.

(A) The administrator of workers' compensation shall operate a program designed to inform employees and employers of their rights and responsibilities under Chapter 4123. of the Revised Code and as part of that program prepare and distribute pamphlets, which clearly and simply explain at least all of the following:

(1) The rights and responsibilities of claimants and employers;

(2) The procedures for processing claims;

(3) The procedure for fulfilling employer responsibility;

(4) All applicable statutes of limitation;

(5) The availability of services and benefits;

(6) The claimant's right to representation in the processing of a claim or to elect no representation.

The administrator shall ensure that the provisions of this section are faithfully and speedily implemented.

(B) The bureau of workers' compensation shall maintain an ongoing program to identify employers subject to Chapter 4123. of the Revised Code and to audit employers to ensure an optimum level of premium payment. The bureau shall coordinate such efforts with other governmental agencies which have information as to employers who are subject to Chapter 4123. of the Revised Code.

(C) The administrator shall handle complaints through the service offices, the claims section, and the ombudsperson program. The administrator shall provide toll free telephone lines for employers and claimants in order to expedite the handling of complaints. The bureau shall monitor complaint traffic to ensure an adequacy of telephone service to bureau offices and shall compile statistics on complaint subjects. Based upon those compilations, the bureau shall revise procedures and rules to correct major problem areas and submit data and recommendations annually to the appropriate committees of the general assembly.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.16, HB 123, §101, eff. 7/29/2011.

Effective Date: 10-20-1993

4121.42 In-service training programs.

(A) The administrator of workers' compensation and the industrial commission shall cooperatively implement with adequate staff a comprehensive in-service training program for their respective personnel that provides training with respect to the workers' compensation system in at least all of the following areas:

(1) General policies;

(2) Organization;

(3) Regulations;

(4) Management training, including supervision, system design, and budget drafting.

(B) The in-service training programs may be conducted by the permanent staff of the commission and the bureau or by any public or private person the commission or bureau designates.

(C) Personnel of each administrative section of the bureau and the commission shall receive training programs adequate to ensure all of the following:

(1) Familiarity with section duties and policy;

(2) Familiarity with duties and policy of sections which directly relate to their section;

(3) Continuous updating of policy and techniques for accomplishing section duties.

Effective Date: 10-20-1993

4121.43 Compensation payments.

The administrator of workers' compensation shall:

(A) Adopt rules to ensure that all compensation payments are accompanied by information which clearly indicates the source of payment, type of payment, method of computation, inclusive days of payment, reason for changes in payment, and telephone number or address for inquiries;

(B) Adopt rules to govern the method of issuing and delivering checks, including time limits for issuance of checks;

(C) Set standards and inform claimant of procedure for attorney or other representative pickup of compensation payment check, and ensure that claimant has recently executed a proper authorization to pick up the check;

(D) Prohibit any power of attorney allowing an attorney or employee to cash or endorse a check on behalf of claimant;

(E) Implement a written procedure for effectively obtaining notices of death of claimant and terminating compensation payments;

(F) Adopt rules to require that a claimant of whom medical examinations have been requested by his employer, shall submit to such examinations and shall be reimbursed by his employer for reasonable expenses incurred in submitting to the examination and provide that the claimant shall be reimbursed by his employer in an amount equal to the wages lost during the time required to attend any such examination, in the event said claimant sustains lost wages as a result of any such examination.

Effective Date: 01-01-1979

4121.44 Implementation of qualified health plan system and health partnership program - health care data program.

(A) The administrator of workers' compensation shall oversee the implementation of the Ohio workers' compensation qualified health plan system as established under section 4121.442 of the Revised Code.

(B) The administrator shall direct the implementation of the health partnership program administered by the bureau as set forth in section 4121.441 of the Revised Code. To implement the health partnership program and to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the public services provided through the program, the bureau:

(1) Shall certify one or more external vendors, which shall be known as "managed care organizations," to provide medical management and cost containment services in the health partnership program for a period of two years beginning on the date of certification, consistent with the standards established under this section;

(2) May recertify managed care organizations for additional periods of two years; and

(3) May integrate the certified managed care organizations with bureau staff and existing bureau services for purposes of operation and training to allow the bureau to assume operation of the health partnership program at the conclusion of the certification periods set forth in division (B)(1) or (2) of this section;

(4) May enter into a contract with any managed care organization that is certified by the bureau, pursuant to division (B)(1) or (2) of this section, to provide medical management and cost containment services in the health partnership program.

(C) A contract entered into pursuant to division (B)(4) of this section shall include both of the following:

(1) Incentives that may be awarded by the administrator, at the administrator's discretion, based on compliance and performance of the managed care organization;

(2) Penalties that may be imposed by the administrator, at the administrator's discretion, based on the failure of the managed care organization to reasonably comply with or perform terms of the contract, which may include termination of the contract.

(D) Notwithstanding section 119.061 of the Revised Code, a contract entered into pursuant to division (B)(4) of this section may include provisions limiting, restricting, or regulating any marketing or advertising by the managed care organization, or by any individual or entity that is affiliated with or acting on behalf of the managed care organization, under the health partnership program.

(E) No managed care organization shall receive compensation under the health partnership program unless the managed care organization has entered into a contract with the bureau pursuant to division (B)(4) of this section.

(F) Any managed care organization selected shall demonstrate all of the following:

(1) Arrangements and reimbursement agreements with a substantial number of the medical, professional and pharmacy providers currently being utilized by claimants.

(2) Ability to accept a common format of medical bill data in an electronic fashion from any provider who wishes to submit medical bill data in that form.

(3) A computer system able to handle the volume of medical bills and willingness to customize that system to the bureau's needs and to be operated by the managed care organization's staff, bureau staff, or some combination of both staffs.

(4) A prescription drug system where pharmacies on a statewide basis have access to the eligibility and pricing, at a discounted rate, of all prescription drugs.

(5) A tracking system to record all telephone calls from claimants and providers regarding the status of submitted medical bills so as to be able to track each inquiry.

(6) Data processing capacity to absorb all of the bureau's medical bill processing or at least that part of the processing which the bureau arranges to delegate.

(7) Capacity to store, retrieve, array, simulate, and model in a relational mode all of the detailed medical bill data so that analysis can be performed in a variety of ways and so that the bureau and its governing authority can make informed decisions.

(8) Wide variety of software programs which translate medical terminology into standard codes, and which reveal if a provider is manipulating the procedures codes, commonly called "unbundling."

(9) Necessary professional staff to conduct, at a minimum, authorizations for treatment, medical necessity, utilization review, concurrent review, post-utilization review, and have the attendant computer system which supports such activity and measures the outcomes and the savings.

(10) Management experience and flexibility to be able to react quickly to the needs of the bureau in the case of required change in federal or state requirements.

(G)

(1) The administrator may decertify a managed care organization if the managed care organization does any of the following:

(a) Fails to maintain any of the requirements set forth in division (F) of this section;

(b) Fails to reasonably comply with or to perform in accordance with the terms of a contract entered into under division (B)(4) of this section;

(c) Violates a rule adopted under section 4121.441 of the Revised Code.

(2) The administrator shall provide each managed care organization that is being decertified pursuant to division (G)(1) of this section with written notice of the pending decertification and an opportunity for a hearing pursuant to rules adopted by the administrator.

(H)

(1) Information contained in a managed care organization's application for certification in the health partnership program, and other information furnished to the bureau by a managed care organization for purposes of obtaining certification or to comply with performance and financial auditing requirements established by the administrator, is for the exclusive use and information of the bureau in the discharge of its official duties, and shall not be open to the public or be used in any court in any proceeding pending therein, unless the bureau is a party to the action or proceeding, but the information may be tabulated and published by the bureau in statistical form for the use and information of other state departments and the public. No employee of the bureau, except as otherwise authorized by the administrator, shall divulge any information secured by the employee while in the employ of the bureau in respect to a managed care organization's application for certification or in respect to the business or other trade processes of any managed care organization to any person other than the administrator or to the employee's superior.

(2) Notwithstanding the restrictions imposed by division (H)(1) of this section, the governor, members of select or standing committees of the senate or house of representatives, the auditor of state, the attorney general, or their designees, pursuant to the authority granted in this chapter and Chapter 4123. of the Revised Code, may examine any managed care organization application or other information furnished to the bureau by the managed care organization. None of those individuals shall divulge any information secured in the exercise of that authority in respect to a managed care organization's application for certification or in respect to the business or other trade processes of any managed care organization to any person.

(I) On and after January 1, 2001, a managed care organization shall not be an insurance company holding a certificate of authority issued pursuant to Title XXXIX of the Revised Code or a health insuring corporation holding a certificate of authority under Chapter 1751. of the Revised Code.

(J) The administrator may limit freedom of choice of health care provider or supplier by requiring, beginning with the period set forth in division (B)(1) or (2) of this section, that claimants shall pay an appropriate out-of-plan copayment for selecting a medical provider not within the health partnership program as provided for in this section.

(K) The administrator, six months prior to the expiration of the bureau's certification or recertification of the managed care organizations as set forth in division (B)(1) or (2) of this section, may certify and provide evidence to the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the president of the senate that the existing bureau staff is able to match or exceed the performance and outcomes of the managed care organizations and that the bureau should be permitted to internally administer the health partnership program upon the expiration of the certification or recertification as set forth in division (B)(1) or (2) of this section.

(L) The administrator shall establish and operate a bureau of workers' compensation health care data program. The administrator shall develop reporting requirements from all employees, employers , medical providers, managed care organizations, and plans that participate in the workers' compensation system. The administrator shall do all of the following:

(1) Utilize the collected data to measure and perform comparison analyses of costs, quality, appropriateness of medical care, and effectiveness of medical care delivered by all components of the workers' compensation system.

(2) Compile data to support activities of the selected managed care organizations and to measure the outcomes and savings of the health partnership program.

(3) Publish and report compiled data on the measures of outcomes and savings of the health partnership program and submit the report to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the governor with the annual report prepared under division (F)(3) of section 4121.12 of the Revised Code. The administrator shall protect the confidentiality of all proprietary pricing data.

(M) Any rehabilitation facility the bureau operates is eligible for inclusion in the Ohio workers' compensation qualified health plan system or the health partnership program under the same terms as other providers within health care plans or the program.

(N) In areas outside the state or within the state where no qualified health plan or an inadequate number of providers within the health partnership program exist, the administrator shall permit employees to use a nonplan or nonprogram health care provider and shall pay the provider for the services or supplies provided to or on behalf of an employee for an injury or occupational disease that is compensable under this chapter or Chapter 4123., 4127., or 4131. of the Revised Code on a fee schedule the administrator adopts.

(O) No health care provider, whether certified or not, shall charge, assess, or otherwise attempt to collect from an employee, employer, a managed care organization, or the bureau any amount for covered services or supplies that is in excess of the allowed amount paid by a managed care organization, the bureau, or a qualified health plan.

(P) The administrator shall permit any employer or group of employers who agree to abide by the rules adopted under this section and sections 4121.441 and 4121.442 of the Revised Code to provide services or supplies to or on behalf of an employee for an injury or occupational disease that is compensable under this chapter or Chapter 4123., 4127., or 4131. of the Revised Code through qualified health plans of the Ohio workers' compensation qualified health plan system pursuant to section 4121.442 of the Revised Code or through the health partnership program pursuant to section 4121.441 of the Revised Code. No amount paid under the qualified health plan system pursuant to section 4121.442 of the Revised Code by an employer who is a state fund employer shall be charged to the employer's experience or otherwise be used in merit-rating or determining the risk of that employer for the purpose of the payment of premiums under this chapter, and if the employer is a self-insuring employer, the employer shall not include that amount in the paid compensation the employer reports under section 4123.35 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.16, HB 123, §101, eff. 7/29/2011.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 6/30/2011.

Effective Date: 08-01-2003; 2006 SB7 06-30-2006

4121.441 Health care partnership program - adoption of rules.

(A) The administrator of workers' compensation, with the advice and consent of the bureau of workers' compensation board of directors, shall adopt rules under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code for the health care partnership program administered by the bureau of workers' compensation to provide medical, surgical, nursing, drug, hospital, and rehabilitation services and supplies to an employee for an injury or occupational disease that is compensable under this chapter or Chapter 4123., 4127., or 4131. of the Revised Code, and to regulate contracts with managed care organizations pursuant to this chapter.

(1) The rules shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) Procedures for the resolution of medical disputes between an employer and an employee, an employee and a provider, or an employer and a provider, prior to an appeal under section 4123.511 of the Revised Code. Rules the administrator adopts pursuant to division (A)(1)(a) of this section may specify that the resolution procedures shall not be used to resolve disputes concerning medical services rendered that have been approved through standard treatment guidelines, pathways, or presumptive authorization guidelines.

(b) Prohibitions against discrimination against any category of health care providers;

(c) Procedures for reporting injuries to employers and the bureau by providers;

(d) Appropriate financial incentives to reduce service cost and insure proper system utilization without sacrificing the quality of service;

(e) Adequate methods of peer review, utilization review, quality assurance, and dispute resolution to prevent, and provide sanctions for, inappropriate, excessive or not medically necessary treatment;

(f) A timely and accurate method of collection of necessary information regarding medical and health care service and supply costs, quality, and utilization to enable the administrator to determine the effectiveness of the program;

(g) Provisions for necessary emergency medical treatment for an injury or occupational disease provided by a health care provider who is not part of the program;

(h) Discounted pricing for all in-patient and out-patient medical services, all professional services, and all pharmaceutical services;

(i) Provisions for provider referrals, pre-admission and post-admission approvals, second surgical opinions, and other cost management techniques;

(j) Antifraud mechanisms;

(k) Standards and criteria for the bureau to utilize in certifying or recertifying a health care provider or a managed care organization for participation in the health partnership program;

(l) Standards for the bureau to utilize in penalizing or decertifying a health care provider from participation in the health partnership program.

(2) Notwithstanding section 119.061 of the Revised Code, the rules may include provisions limiting, restricting, or regulating any marketing or advertising by a managed care organization, or by any individual or entity that is affiliated with or acting on behalf of the managed care organization, under the health partnership program.

(B) The administrator shall implement the health partnership program according to the rules the administrator adopts under this section for the provision and payment of medical, surgical, nursing, drug, hospital, and rehabilitation services and supplies to an employee for an injury or occupational disease that is compensable under this chapter or Chapter 4123., 4127., or 4131. of the Revised Code."

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Effective Date: 09-17-1996; 2006 SB7 06-30-2006; 2007 HB100 09-10-2007

4121.442 Health care quality advisory council.

(A) The administrator of workers' compensation shall develop standards for qualification of health care plans of the Ohio workers' compensation qualified health plan system to provide medical, surgical, nursing, drug, hospital, and rehabilitation services and supplies to an employee for an injury or occupational disease that is compensable under this chapter or Chapter 4123., 4127., or 4131. of the Revised Code. In adopting the standards, the administrator shall use nationally recognized accreditation standards. The standards the administrator adopts must provide that a qualified plan provides for all of the following:

(1) Criteria for selective contracting of health care providers;

(2) Adequate plan structure and financial stability;

(3) Procedures for the resolution of medical disputes between an employee and an employer, an employee and a provider, or an employer and a provider, prior to an appeal under section 4123.511 of the Revised Code;

(4) Authorize employees who are dissatisfied with the health care services of the employer's qualified plan and do not wish to obtain treatment under the provisions of this section, to request the administrator for referral to a health care provider in the bureau's health care partnership program. The administrator must refer all requesting employees into the health care partnership program.

(5) Does not discriminate against any category of health care provider;

(6) Provide a procedure for reporting injuries to the bureau of workers' compensation and to employers by providers within the qualified plan;

(7) Provide appropriate financial incentives to reduce service costs and utilization without sacrificing the quality of service;

(8) Provide adequate methods of peer review, utilization review, quality assurance, and dispute resolution to prevent and provide sanctions for inappropriate, excessive, or not medically necessary treatment;

(9) Provide a timely and accurate method of reporting to the administrator necessary information regarding medical and health care service and supply costs, quality, and utilization to enable the administrator to determine the effectiveness of the plan;

(10) Authorize necessary emergency medical treatment for an injury or occupational disease provided by a health care provider who is not a part of the qualified health care plan;

(11) Provide an employee the right to change health care providers within the qualified health care plan;

(12) Provide for standardized data and reporting requirements;

(13) Authorize necessary medical treatment for employees who work in Ohio but reside in another state.

(B) Health care plans that meet the approved qualified health plan standards shall be considered qualified plans and are eligible to become part of the Ohio workers' compensation qualified health plan system. Any employer or group of employers may provide medical, surgical, nursing, drug, hospital, and rehabilitation services and supplies to an employee for an injury or occupational disease that is compensable under this chapter or Chapter 4123., 4127., or 4131. of the Revised Code through a qualified health plan.

Effective Date: 09-17-1996; 12-30-2004; 06-27-2005

4121.443 [Effective 9/15/2014] [First of two versions] Data security agreement.

Each contract the administrator of workers' compensation enters into with a managed care organization under division (B)(4) of section 4121.44 of the Revised Code shall require the managed care organization to enter into a data security agreement with the state board of pharmacy governing the managed care organization's use of the board's drug database established and maintained under section 4729.75 of the Revised Code.

This section does not apply if the board no longer maintains the drug database.

Added by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 341, §1, eff. 9/16/2014.

Added by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 483, §101.01, eff. 9/15/2014.

4121.443 [Effective 9/17/2014] [Second of two versions] Summary suspension.

(A) The bureau of workers' compensation may summarily suspend the certification of a provider to participate in the health partnership program created under sections 4121.44 and 4121.441 of the Revised Code without a prior hearing if the bureau determines any of the following apply to the provider:

(1) The professional license, certification, or registration held by the provider to practice the provider's profession has been revoked or suspended for an indefinite period of time or for a period of more than thirty days, subsequent to the provider's certification to participate in the health partnership program.

(2) The provider has been convicted of or has pleaded guilty to a violation of section 2913.48 or sections 2923.31 to 2923.36 of the Revised Code or has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any other criminal offense related to the delivery of or billing for health care services.

(3) The bureau determines, by clear and convincing evidence, that the continued participation by the provider in the health partnership program presents a danger of immediate and serious harm to claimants.

(B) The bureau shall issue a written order of summary suspension by certified mail or in person in accordance with section 119.07 of the Revised Code. If the provider subject to the summary suspension requests an adjudicatory hearing by the bureau, the date set for the hearing shall be not later than fifteen days, but not earlier than seven days, after the provider requests the hearing, unless otherwise agreed to by both the bureau and the provider.

(C) If an order issued pursuant to this section is appealed, the court may stay execution of the order and fix the terms of the stay, if the court finds both of the following:

(1) That an unusual hardship to the appellant will result from execution of the order pending appeal;

(2) That the health, safety, and welfare of the public will not be threatened by staying execution of the order pending appeal.

(D) A court or agency order staying the suspension of a professional license, certification, or registration shall not affect the ability of the bureau to suspend the certification of a provider to participate in the health partnership program under this section.

(E) The summary suspension of a certification of a provider under this section shall not affect the ability of that provider to receive payment for services rendered prior to the effective date of the suspension.

(F) Any summary suspension imposed under this section shall remain in effect, unless reversed on appeal, until a final adjudication order issued by the bureau pursuant to this section and Chapter 119. of the Revised Code takes effect. The bureau shall issue its final adjudication order within seventy-five days after completion of its hearing. A failure to issue the order within the seventy-five-day time period shall result in dissolution of the summary suspension order but shall not invalidate any subsequent, final adjudication order.

(G) As used in this section, "provider" does not include a hospital.

Added by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 493, §1, eff. 9/17/2014.

4121.444 Obtaining workers' compensation payments by deception prohibited.

(A) No person, health care provider, managed care organization, or owner of a health care provider or managed care organization shall obtain or attempt to obtain payments by deception under Chapter 4121., 4123., 4127., or 4131. of the Revised Code to which the person, health care provider, managed care organization, or owner is not entitled under rules of the bureau of workers' compensation adopted pursuant to sections 4121.441 and 4121.442 of the Revised Code.

(B) Any person, health care provider, managed care organization, or owner that violates division (A) of this section is liable, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, for all of the following penalties:

(1) Payment of interest on the amount of the excess payments at the maximum interest rate allowable for real estate mortgages under section 1343.01 of the Revised Code. The interest shall be calculated from the date the payment was made to the person, owner, health care provider, or managed care organization through the date upon which repayment is made to the bureau or the self-insuring employer.

(2) Payment of an amount equal to three times the amount of any excess payments;

(3) Payment of a sum of not less than five thousand dollars and not more than ten thousand dollars for each act of deception;

(4) All reasonable and necessary expenses that the court determines have been incurred by the bureau or the self-insuring employer in the enforcement of this section.

All moneys collected by the bureau pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the state insurance fund created in section 4123.30 of the Revised Code. All moneys collected by a self-insuring employer pursuant to this section shall be awarded to the self-insuring employer.

(C)

(1) In addition to the monetary penalties provided in division (B) of this section and except as provided in division (C)(3) of this section, the administrator may terminate any agreement between the bureau and a person or a health care provider or managed care organization or its owner and cease reimbursement to that person, provider, organization, or owner for services rendered if any of the following apply:

(a) The person, health care provider, managed care organization, or its owner, or an officer, authorized agent, associate, manager, or employee of a person, provider, or organization is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of sections 2913.48 or 2923.31 to 2923.36 of the Revised Code or any other criminal offense related to the delivery of or billing for health care benefits.

(b) There exists an entry of judgment against the person, health care provider, managed care organization, or its owner, or an officer, authorized agent, associate, manager, or employee of a person, provider, or organization and proof of the specific intent of the person, health care provider, managed care organization, or owner to defraud, in a civil action brought pursuant to this section.

(c) There exists an entry of judgment against the person, health care provider, managed care organization, or its owner, or an officer, authorized agent, associate, manager, or employee of a person, provider, or organization in a civil action brought pursuant to sections 2923.31 to 2923.36 of the Revised Code.

(2) No person, health care provider, or managed care organization that has had its agreement with and reimbursement from the bureau terminated by the administrator pursuant to division (C)(1) of this section, or an owner, officer, authorized agent, associate, manager, or employee of that person, health care provider, or managed care organization shall do either of the following:

(a) Directly provide services to any other bureau provider or have an ownership interest in a provider of services that furnishes services to any other bureau provider;

(b) Arrange for, render, or order services for claimants during the period that the agreement of the person, health care provider, managed care organization, or its owner is terminated as described in division (C)(1) of this section;

(3) The administrator shall not terminate the agreement or reimbursement if the person, health care provider, managed care organization, or owner demonstrates that the person, provider, organization, or owner did not directly or indirectly sanction the action of the authorized agent, associate, manager, or employee that resulted in the conviction, plea of guilty, or entry of judgment as described in division (C)(1) of this section.

(4) Nothing in division (C) of this section prohibits an owner, officer, authorized agent, associate, manager, or employee of a person, health care provider, or managed care organization from entering into an agreement with the bureau if the provider, organization, owner, officer, authorized agent, associate, manager, or employee demonstrates absence of knowledge of the action of the person, health care provider, or managed care organization with which that individual or organization was formerly associated that resulted in a conviction, plea of guilty, or entry of judgment as described in division (C)(1) of this section.

(D) The attorney general may bring an action on behalf of the state and a self-insuring employer may bring an action on its own behalf to enforce this section in any court of competent jurisdiction. The attorney general may settle or compromise any action brought under this section with the approval of the administrator.

Notwithstanding any other law providing a shorter period of limitations, the attorney general or a self-insuring employer may bring an action to enforce this section at any time within six years after the conduct in violation of this section terminates.

(E) The availability of remedies under this section and sections 2913.48 and 2923.31 to 2923.36 of the Revised Code for recovering benefits paid on behalf of claimants for medical assistance does not limit the authority of the bureau or a self-insuring employer to recover excess payments made to an owner, health care provider, managed care organization, or person under state and federal law.

(F) As used in this section:

(1) "Deception" means acting with actual knowledge in order to deceive another or cause another to be deceived by means of any of the following:

(a) A false or misleading representation;

(b) The withholding of information;

(c) The preventing of another from acquiring information;

(d) Any other conduct, act, or omission that creates, confirms, or perpetuates a false impression as to a fact, the law, the value of something, or a person's state of mind.

(2) "Owner" means any person having at least a five per cent ownership interest in a health care provider or managed care organization.

Effective Date: 2006 SB7 06-30-2006

4121.446 Selection of managed care organizations.

The department of administrative services shall select one or more managed care organizations for each state office, agency, institution, board, or commission, except for a public college or university, unless otherwise agreed to between the department and a state office, agency, institution, board, or commission.

Effective Date: 09-29-1997

4121.447 [Effective 9/17/2014] [See Note] Data security agreement.

Each contract the administrator of workers' compensation enters into with a managed care organization under division (B)(4) of section 4121.44 of the Revised Code shall require the managed care organization to enter into a data security agreement with the state board of pharmacy governing the managed care organization's use of the board's drug database established and maintained under section 4729.75 of the Revised Code.

This section does not apply if the board does not establish or maintain the drug database.

Added by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 493, §1, eff. 9/17/2014.

4121.45 [Effective Until 9/17/2014] Workers' compensation ombudsperson system.

(A) There is hereby created a workers' compensation ombudsperson system to assist claimants and employers in matters dealing with the bureau of workers' compensation and the industrial commission. The industrial commission nominating council shall appoint a chief ombudsperson. The chief ombudsperson, with the advice and consent of the advisory commission, may appoint such assistant ombudspersons as the nominating council deems necessary. The positions of chief ombudsperson and assistant ombudspersons are for terms of six years. A person appointed to the position of chief ombudsperson or assistant ombudspersons may not be transferred, demoted, or suspended during the person's tenure and may be removed by the nominating council only on the grounds of malfeasance or neglect of duty upon notice and public hearing. The ombudspersons shall devote their full time and attention to the duties of their office. The administrator of workers' compensation shall furnish the ombudspersons with the office space, supplies, and clerical assistance that will enable the ombudspersons to perform their duties effectively. The ombudsperson program shall be funded out of the budget of the bureau and the chief ombudsperson and assistant ombudspersons shall be carried on the bureau payroll but shall be under the direction of the nominating council. The administrator and all employees of the bureau and the commission shall give the ombudspersons full and prompt cooperation in all matters relating to the duties of the ombudspersons.

(B) The ombudspersons shall:

(1) Answer inquiries or investigate complaints made by employers or claimants under this chapter and Chapter 4123. of the Revised Code as they relate to the processing of a claim for workers' compensation benefits;

(2) Provide claimants and employers with information regarding problems which arise out of the functions of the bureau, commission hearing officers, and the commission and the procedures employed in the processing of claims;

(3) Answer inquiries or investigate complaints of an employer as they relate to reserves established and premiums charged in connection with the employer's account.

For the purpose of carrying out the chief ombudsperson's duties, the chief ombudsperson or the chief ombudsperson's assistants, notwithstanding sections 4123.27 and 4123.88 of the Revised Code, has the right at all reasonable times to examine the contents of a claim file and discuss with parties in interest the contents of the file as long as the ombusdperson does not divulge information that would tend to prejudice the case of either party to a claim or that would tend to compromise a privileged attorney-client or doctor-patient relationship.

(C) The chief ombudsperson shall:

(1) Assist any service office in its duties whenever it requires assistance or information that can best be obtained from central office personnel or records;

(2) Annually assemble reports from each assistant ombudsperson as to their activities for the preceding year together with their recommendations as to changes or improvements in the operations of the workers' compensation system. The chief ombudsperson shall prepare a written report summarizing the activities of the ombudsperson system together with a digest of recommendations. The chief ombudsperson shall transmit the report to the nominating council.

(D) No ombudsperson or assistant ombudsperson shall:

(1) Represent a claimant or employer in claims pending before or to be filed with the administrator, a district or staff hearing officer, the commission, or the courts of the state, nor shall an ombudsperson or assistant ombudsperson undertake any such representation for a period of one year after the ombudsperson's or assistant ombudsperson's employment terminates or be eligible for employment by the bureau or the commission or as a district or staff hearing officer for one year;

(2) Express any opinions as to the merit of a claim or the correctness of a decision by the various officers or agencies as the decision relates to a claim for benefits or compensation.

The chief ombudsperson and assistant ombudspersons shall receive compensation at a level established by the nominating council commensurate with the individual's background, education, and experience in workers' compensation or related fields. The chief ombudsperson and assistant ombudspersons are full-time permanent employees in the classified civil service of the state and are entitled to all benefits that accrue to such employees, including, without limitation, sick, vacation, and personal leaves.

Effective Date: 12-02-1996

4121.45 [Effective 9/17/2014] Workers' compensation ombudsperson system.

(A) There is hereby created a workers' compensation ombudsperson system to assist claimants and employers in matters dealing with the bureau of workers' compensation and the industrial commission. The industrial commission nominating council shall appoint a chief ombudsperson. The chief ombudsperson, with the advice and consent of the nominating council, may appoint such assistant ombudspersons as the nominating council deems necessary. The position of chief ombudsperson is for a term of six years. A person appointed to the position of chief ombudsperson shall serve at the pleasure of the nominating council. The chief ombudsperson may not be transferred, demoted, or suspended during the person's tenure and may be removed by the nominating council only upon a vote of not fewer than nine members of the nominating council. The chief ombudsperson shall devote the chief ombudsperson's full time and attention to the duties of the ombudsperson's office. The administrator of workers' compensation shall furnish the chief ombudsperson with the office space, supplies, and clerical assistance that will enable the chief ombudsperson and the ombudsperson system staff to perform their duties effectively. The ombudsperson program shall be funded out of the budget of the bureau and the chief ombudsperson and the ombudsperson system staff shall be carried on the bureau payroll . The chief ombudsperson and the ombudsperson system shall be under the direction of the nominating council. The administrator and all employees of the bureau and the commission shall give the the ombudsperson system staff full and prompt cooperation in all matters relating to the duties of the chief ombudsperson.

(B) The ombudsperson system staff shall:

(1) Answer inquiries or investigate complaints made by employers or claimants under this chapter and Chapter 4123. of the Revised Code as they relate to the processing of a claim for workers' compensation benefits;

(2) Provide claimants and employers with information regarding problems which arise out of the functions of the bureau, commission hearing officers, and the commission and the procedures employed in the processing of claims;

(3) Answer inquiries or investigate complaints of an employer as they relate to reserves established and premiums charged in connection with the employer's account;

(4) Comply with Chapter 102. and sections 2921.42 and 2921.43 of the Revised Code and the nominating council's human resource and ethics policies;

(5) Not express any opinions as to the merit of a claim or the correctness of a decision by the various officers or agencies as the decision relates to a claim for benefits or compensation.

For the purpose of carrying out the chief ombudsperson's duties, the chief ombudsperson or the ombudsperson system staff, notwithstanding sections 4123.27 and 4123.88 of the Revised Code, has the right at all reasonable times to examine the contents of a claim file and discuss with parties in interest the contents of the file as long as the ombudsperson does not divulge information that would tend to prejudice the case of either party to a claim or that would tend to compromise a privileged attorney-client or doctor-patient relationship.

(C) The chief ombudsperson shall:

(1) Assist any service office in its duties whenever it requires assistance or information that can best be obtained from central office personnel or records;

(2) Annually assemble reports from each assistant ombudsperson as to their activities for the preceding year together with their recommendations as to changes or improvements in the operations of the workers' compensation system. The chief ombudsperson shall prepare a written report summarizing the activities of the ombudsperson system together with a digest of recommendations. The chief ombudsperson shall transmit the report to the nominating council.

(3) Comply with Chapter 102. and sections 2921.42 and 2921.43 of the Revised Code and the nominating council's human resource and ethics policies.

(D) No ombudsperson or assistant ombudsperson shall:

(1) Represent a claimant or employer in claims pending before or to be filed with the administrator, a district or staff hearing officer, the commission, or the courts of the state, nor shall an ombudsperson or assistant ombudsperson undertake any such representation for a period of one year after the ombudsperson's or assistant ombudsperson's employment terminates or be eligible for employment by the bureau or the commission or as a district or staff hearing officer for one year;

(2) Express any opinions as to the merit of a claim or the correctness of a decision by the various officers or agencies as the decision relates to a claim for benefits or compensation.

(E) The chief ombudsperson and assistant ombudspersons shall receive compensation at a level established by the nominating council commensurate with the individual's background, education, and experience in workers' compensation or related fields. The chief ombudsperson and assistant ombudspersons are full-time permanent employees in the unclassified service of the state and are entitled to all benefits that accrue to such employees, including, without limitation, sick, vacation, and personal leaves. Assistant ombudspersons serve at the pleasure of the chief ombudsperson.

(F) In the event of a vacancy in the position of chief ombudsperson, the nominating council may appoint a person to serve as acting chief ombudsperson until a chief ombudsperson is appointed. The acting chief ombudsperson shall be under the direction and control of the nominating council and may be removed by the nominating council with or without just cause.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 493, §1, eff. 9/17/2014.

Effective Date: 12-02-1996

4121.47 Violating specific safety rule or employee welfare legislation.

(A) No employer shall violate a specific safety rule adopted by the administrator of workers' compensation pursuant to section 4121.13 of the Revised Code or an act of the general assembly to protect the lives, health, and safety of employees pursuant to section 35 of Article II, Ohio Constitution. Chapter 4167. of the Revised Code and rules and standards adopted thereunder are not the rules or enactment referred to in this division and shall not be considered as such for purposes of this section.

(B) If a staff hearing officer, in the course of the staff hearing officer's determination of a claim for an additional award under Section 35 of Article II, Ohio Constitution, finds the employer guilty of violating division (A) of this section, the staff hearing officer shall, in addition to any award paid to the claimant, issue an order to the employer to correct the violation within the period of time the staff hearing officer fixes. For any violation occurring within twenty-four months of the last violation, the staff hearing officer shall assess against the employer a civil penalty in an amount the staff hearing officer determines up to a maximum of fifty thousand dollars for each violation. In fixing the exact penalty, the staff hearing officer shall base the decision upon the size of the employer as measured by the number of employees, assets, and earnings of the employer.

(C) An employer dissatisfied with the imposition of a civil penalty pursuant to division (B) of this section may appeal the staff hearing officer's decision, if the commission refuses to hear the appeal under division (E) of section 4123.511 of the Revised Code, or a decision of the commission, if the commission hears the appeal under that division, to a court of common pleas pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure. An appeal operates to stay the payment of the fine pending the appeal.

(D) The administrator shall deposit all penalties collected pursuant to this section in the safety and hygiene fund established pursuant to section 4121.37 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 07-11-2001

4121.48 Long-term care loan program.

(A) The bureau of workers' compensation shall operate a long-term care loan fund program. The administrator of workers' compensation may adopt rules, employ personnel, and do all things necessary for that purpose.

(B) The administrator shall use the long-term care loan fund program to make loans without interest to employers that are nursing homes or hospitals for the purpose of allowing those employers to purchase, improve, install, or erect sit-to-stand floor lifts, ceiling lifts, other lifts, and fast electric beds, and to pay for the education and training of personnel, in order to implement a facility policy of no manual lifting of residents by employees.

The administrator, with the advice and consent of the bureau of workers' compensation board of directors, may adopt rules establishing criteria for loan eligibility, maximum loan amounts, loan periods, default penalties, and any other terms the administrator considers necessary for a loan.

(C) There is hereby created in the state treasury the long-term care loan fund. The fund shall consist of money the administrator, with the advice and consent of the board, requests the director of budget and management to transfer from the safety and hygiene fund created in section 4121.37 of the Revised Code. The fund shall be used solely for purposes identified in this section. All investment earnings of the fund shall be credited to the fund. All money the administrator receives for payment of a default penalty assessed or for repayment of any loan made pursuant to this section shall be credited to the safety and hygiene fund created under section 4121.37 of the Revised Code.

(D) As used in this section:

(1) "Hospital" has the same meaning as in section 3701.01 of the Revised Code;

(2) "Nursing home" has the same meaning as in section 3721.01 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 06-21-2005; 2007 HB100 09-10-2007

4121.50 Rules to implement coordinated services program for prescription drug abuse.

Not later than July 1, 2012, the administrator of workers' compensation shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to implement a coordinated services program for claimants under this chapter or Chapter 4123., 4127., or 4131. of the Revised Code who are found to have obtained prescription drugs that were reimbursed pursuant to an order of the administrator or of the industrial commission or by a self-insuring employer but were obtained at a frequency or in an amount that is not medically necessary. The program shall be implemented in a manner that is substantially similar to the coordinated services programs established for the medicaid program under sections 5164.758 and 5167.13 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.19, HB 93, §1, eff. 5/20/2011.

4121.61 Aiding rehabilitation of injured workers.

The administrator of workers' compensation, with the advice and consent of the bureau of workers' compensation board of directors, shall adopt rules, take measures, and make expenditures as it deems necessary to aid claimants who have sustained compensable injuries or incurred compensable occupational diseases pursuant to Chapter 4123., 4127., or 4131. of the Revised Code to return to work or to assist in lessening or removing any resulting handicap.

Effective Date: 2007 HB100 09-10-2007

4121.62 Contracts for rendition of rehabilitation services.

(A) The authority granted to the administrator of workers' compensation pursuant to sections 4121.61 to 4121.69 of the Revised Code includes the authority to do all of the following:

(1) Contract with any public or private person for the rendition of rehabilitation services;

(2) Take actions and utilize money in the state insurance fund as necessary to obtain federal funds and assistance in the maximum amounts and most advantageous proportions and terms possible;

(3) Conduct rehabilitation educational programs for employers and employees.

(B) Nothing in sections 4121.61 to 4121.69 of the Revised Code shall be interpreted to grant authority to the administrator to require a claimant to utilize a public provider of rehabilitation services, counseling, or training.

Amended by 128th General Assemblych.19, HB 15, §101, eff. 9/29/2009.

Effective Date: 01-01-2002

4121.63 Living maintenance payments paid to claimants agreeing to rehabilitation.

Claimants who the administrator of workers' compensation determines could probably be rehabilitated to achieve the goals established by section 4121.61 of the Revised Code and who agree to undergo rehabilitation shall be paid living maintenance payments for a period or periods which do not exceed six months in the aggregate, unless review by the administrator or the administrator's designee reveals that the claimant will be benefited by an extension of such payments.

Living maintenance payments shall be paid in weekly amounts, not to exceed the amount the claimant would receive if the claimant were being compensated for temporary total disability, but not less than fifty per cent of the current state average weekly wage. Living maintenance payments shall commence at the time the claimant begins to participate in an approved rehabilitation program.

A claimant receiving living maintenance payments shall be deemed to be temporarily totally disabled and shall receive no payment of any type of compensation except as provided by division (B) of section 4123.57 of the Revised Code for the periods during which the claimant is receiving living maintenance payments.

Effective Date: 08-06-1999

4121.64 Appeals.

Notwithstanding section 4123.512 of the Revised Code, no person may appeal to court any action or decision issued under sections 4121.61 to 4121.69 of the Revised Code.

A person may, however, appeal the decision pursuant to section 4123.511 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 10-20-1993

4121.65 Employer may furnish rehabilitation services.

Employers who provide compensation and benefits pursuant to section 4123.35 of the Revised Code also may be granted authority to furnish rehabilitation services as long as the quality and content of the same is equal to or greater than that provided by the bureau of workers' compensation, and prior approval therefor has been given by the bureau.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.66 Rehabilitation services, counseling, training, and living maintenance payments paid from surplus fund.

(A) The administrator of workers' compensation shall pay the expense of providing rehabilitation services, counseling, training, and living maintenance payments from the surplus fund established by section 4123.34 of the Revised Code.

(B) Living maintenance payments are not subject to garnishment, levy, or attachment.

(C) Sections 4123.343 , 4123.63 , and 4123.64 of the Revised Code do not apply to living maintenance payments.

(D) A self-insuring employer under section 4123.35 of the Revised Code may elect to pay directly to a claimant or to the provider of the rehabilitation services, counseling, or training the expenses listed in division (A) of this section by filing an application with the bureau of workers' compensation not more than one hundred eighty days and not less than ninety days prior to the first day of the employer's next six-month coverage period. If the self-insuring employer timely files the application, the application is effective on the first day of the employer's next six-month coverage period, provided that the administrator shall compute the employer's assessment for the surplus fund due with respect to the period during which such application was filed without regard to the filing of the application. Following the timely filing, the self-insuring employer shall pay directly to a claimant or to the provider of the rehabilitation services, counseling, or training the expenses listed in division (A) of this section for all periods of rehabilitation occurring on or after the effective date of his election, regardless of the date of the injury or occupational disease, and he shall receive no money or credits from the surplus fund on account of such payments and shall not be required to pay any amounts into the surplus fund on account of this section, provided that for a period not to exceed one hundred eighty days after the effective date of the application, the self-insuring employer may submit to the bureau requests for reimbursement from the surplus fund on account of payments made for services rendered or living maintenance periods prior to the effective date of the application pursuant to division (A) of this section. The election made under this division is irrevocable.

Effective Date: 10-20-1993

4121.67 Administrative rules for payments for employing rehabilitated workers - wage loss compensation.

The administrator of workers' compensation, with the advice and consent of the bureau of workers' compensation board of directors, shall adopt rules:

(A) For the encouragement of reemployment of claimants who have successfully completed prescribed rehabilitation programs by payment from the surplus fund established by section 4123.34 of the Revised Code to employers who employ or re-employ the claimants. The period or periods of payments shall not exceed six months in the aggregate, unless the administrator or the administrator's designee determines that the claimant will be benefited by an extension of payments.

(B) Requiring payment, in the same manner as living maintenance payments are made pursuant to section 4121.63 of the Revised Code, to the claimant who completes a rehabilitation training program and returns to employment, but who suffers a wage loss compared to the wage the claimant was receiving at the time of injury. Payments per week shall be sixty-six and two-thirds per cent of the difference, if any, between the claimant's weekly wage at the time of injury and the weekly wage received while employed, up to a maximum payment per week equal to the statewide average weekly wage. The payments may continue for up to a maximum of two hundred weeks but shall be reduced by the corresponding number of weeks in which the claimant receives payments pursuant to division (B) of section 4123.56 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 2007 HB100 09-10-2007

4121.68 Compensation and benefits to rehabilitation program participants.

In the event a claimant sustains an injury or occupational disease or dies as a result of any injury or disease received in the course of and arising out of the claimant's participation in a rehabilitation program, the claimant or, in the case of death, a dependent of the claimant, may file a claim for compensation and benefits . All compensation and benefit awards made as a result of the injury, disease, or death shall be charged to the surplus fund account, created pursuant to section 4123.34 of the Revised Code, and not charged through the state insurance fund to the employer against which the claim was allowed so long as the employer pays assessments into the surplus fund account for the payment of such compensation and benefits.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.16, HB 123, §101, eff. 7/29/2011.

Effective Date: 11-03-1989

4121.69 Compensation of professional, administrative, and managerial employees.

(A) The administrator of workers' compensation may establish compensation plans, including schedules of hourly rates, for the compensation of professional, administrative, and managerial employees who are employed to fulfill the duties placed upon the bureau of workers' compensation pursuant to sections 4121.61 to 4121.69 of the Revised Code. The administrator may establish rules or policies for the administration of the respective compensation plans.

This division does not apply to employees for whom the state employment relations board establishes appropriate bargaining units pursuant to section 4117.06 of the Revised Code.

(B) The administrator may employ the services and resources of any public entity or private person, business, or association in fulfilling the duties placed upon the bureau of workers' compensation by sections 4121.61 to 4121.69 of the Revised Code. The opportunities for Ohioans with disabilities agency, the director of job and family services, and any other public officer, employee, or agency shall give to the bureau of workers' compensation full cooperation and, at the request of the administrator, enter into a written agreement stating the procedures and criteria for referring, accepting, and providing services to claimants in the job placement and rehabilitation efforts of the bureau of workers' compensation on behalf of a claimant when referred by the bureau of workers' compensation.

(C) In appropriate cases, the bureau may refer a candidate to the opportunities for Ohioans with disabilities agency for participation in a program of the agency. For that purpose, the bureau of workers' compensation shall compensate the agency for the nonfederal portion of its services.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Effective Date: 07-01-2000

4121.70 Labor-management government advisory council.

(A) There is hereby created the labor-management government advisory council consisting of fifteen members appointed as follows:

(1) The governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint three members who, by training and vocation, are representative of labor and three members who, by training and vocation, are representative of employers.

(2) Ex officio, the chairpersons of the standing committees of the house of representatives and the senate to which legislation concerned with workers' compensation is customarily referred. A chairperson may designate the vice-chairperson of the committee to serve instead.

(3) One person who by training and vocation represents labor and one person who by training and vocation represents employers of differing political parties appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

(4) One person who by training and vocation represents labor and one person who by training and vocation represents employers of differing political parties appointed by the president of the senate.

(5) One person who by training and vocation represents nonprofit vocational rehabilitation services providers that deliver services to injured workers, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives;

(6) One person who by training and vocation represents nonprofit vocational rehabilitation services providers that deliver services to injured workers, appointed by the president of the senate;

(7) The governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint one member who, by training and vocation, represents a nonprofit organization of vocational rehabilitation services providers that deliver services to injured workers.

(B) Members appointed by the governor shall serve for a term of six years with each term ending on the same day of the year in which the member was first appointed, except that each member shall serve for a period of sixty additional days at the end of the member's term or until the member's successor is appointed and qualifies, whichever date occurs first. Of the members first appointed to the council by the governor, one member each representing labor and management shall serve an initial term of two years, one member each representing labor and management shall serve a term of four years, and the remaining two members shall serve full six-year terms. The members initially appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate shall serve a term of six years. Thereafter, members shall be appointed to and serve full six-year terms. Members are eligible for reappointment to any number of additional terms.

Legislative members shall serve a term that coincides with the two-year legislative session in which they are first appointed with each term ending on the thirty-first day of December of the even-numbered year. Legislative members are eligible for reappointment.

Vacancies on the council shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. All members of the council shall serve without additional compensation but shall be reimbursed by the bureau of workers' compensation for actual and necessary expenses.

The council shall advise the bureau of workers' compensation board of directors and the administrator of workers' compensation on the quality and effectiveness of rehabilitation services and make recommendations pertaining to the bureau's rehabilitation program, including the operation of that program.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.79, HB 267, §1, eff. 5/22/2012.

Amended by 128th General Assemblych.79, HB 15, §101, eff. 9/29/2009.

Effective Date: 12-02-1996; 2007 HB100 09-10-2007

4121.71 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 07-01-1995

4121.75 [Repealed].

Repealed by 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §2, eff. 6/30/2011.

Repealed by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §105.01, eff. 6/30/2011.

4121.76 [Repealed].

Repealed by 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §2, eff. 6/30/2011.

Repealed by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §105.01, eff. 6/30/2011.

4121.77 [Repealed].

Repealed by 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §2, eff. 6/30/2011.

Repealed by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §105.01, eff. 6/30/2011.

4121.78 [Repealed].

Repealed by 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §2, eff. 6/30/2011.

Repealed by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §105.01, eff. 6/30/2011.

4121.79 [Repealed].

Repealed by 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §2, eff. 6/30/2011.

Repealed by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §105.01, eff. 6/30/2011.

4121.80 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 12-01-1992

4121.99 [Repealed].

Repealed by 129th General AssemblyFile No.16, HB 123, §102, eff. 7/29/2011.

Effective Date: 10-20-1993