Colorado’s 2019 legislative session recently wrapped, setting in motion new billing and accreditation options for nurse practitioners and new conditions for which medical cannabis can be used. These new conditions do not affect policies regarding the use of medical cannabis for workers’ compensation patients.
HB1105: Nurse Practitioner Workers’ Compensation
HB1105 allows nurse practitioners to obtain DOWC Level I accreditation solely for the purpose of receiving the higher reimbursement associated with the designation. It does not allow them to declare maximum medical improvement for an injured worker, the key component of Level I accreditation. Pinnacol was neutral on the bill.
Nurse practitioners may begin pursuing DOWC Level 1 accreditation now via an online course. The next in-person training session will be offered via DOWC in September in Denver, and registration is open.
Beginning on Aug. 2, Level 1 accredited nurse practitioners with prescriptive authority will be allowed to bill for 100 percent of the DOWC Medical Fee Schedule.
SB13: “Medical Marijuana Condition Opiates Prescribed For”
SB13 will allow physicians to certify patients to use medical cannabis (marijuana) in place of an opiate.
Although this law expands the circumstances under which physicians can prescribe medical cannabis, Pinnacol (and other workers’ compensation carriers serving Colorado) is governed by the DOWC rules that prohibit reimbursement for cannabis prescriptions. Therefore, Pinnacol will deny reimbursement for any billing for medical cannabis.
If you have questions or comments, please contact Pinnacol’s vice president of communications and public affairs, Edie Sonn, at email@example.com.