Colorado lawmakers are now considering legislation that would require workers’ compensation insurance and self-insured employers to protect an injured worker’s mental health records.
HB 1354, introduced on Thursday, defines “psychiatric records” as psychological or psychiatric intake evaluation or progress notes or psychiatric independent medical examination and breakdown given to an insurer needed for payment, adjustment and examination of claims involving psychiatric issues.
It would prohibit the disclosure of mental records “to any person not directly involved in adjusting or adjudicating claims involving psychiatric problems without the consent of the mental health care provider or applicant”; and prohibit an insurer from disclosing an applicant’s mental record to the applicant’s employer.
The bill would also limit the insurer’s disclosure of an injured employee’s mental health records to an employer, supervisor or manager “to only information from the mental health records relating to work restrictions imposed on the applicant.”
For a self-insured employer, the bill would require the employer to keep an applicant’s mental health records separate from staff documents and would limit the disclosure of the applicant’s mental health records to a supervisor or manager to only information from the mental health records relating to work restrictions imposed on plaintiffs.
The bill would also require the head of the State Department of Workers’ Compensation at the Department of Labor and Employment to set up a training program relating to mental health records for departmental employees responsible for medical policy and injury management and treatment.
The bill was awarded to the Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee.