(1) The worker and the insurer may consent to have a petition for reopening reviewed only by the department's medical director, and not by the medical review panel. An agreement to have the petition reviewed only by the department's medical director cannot be revoked. To be effective, the consent of each party to a review by only the medical director must be received by the department not later than the deadline for submission of medical records and additional information.

(2) The medical director may consult with nonphysician medical providers if the medical issues presented for review make it appropriate to do so.

(3) The medical director shall apply the standard of review, burden of proof, and other evaluation factors described in ARM 24.29.3124 that apply to review by the medical review panel.

(4) Following the medical director's review, the medical director shall issue a report and make recommendations with respect to the reopening of medical benefits.

(5) A party disagreeing with the medical director's report and recommendations may bring the dispute to the Workers' Compensation Court after following the mediation requirements provided by law.

History: 39-71-203, MCA; IMP, 39-71-717, MCA; NEW, 2016 MAR p. 204, Eff. 2/6/16.