TITLE 23. LABOR AND WORKERS' COMPENSATION
CHAPTER 10. WORKERS' COMPENSATION
PART IV. ADMINISTRATION OF CLAIMS
SUBPART A. OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION ADMINISTRATION
23:1293 Confidentiality of records; exceptions; penalties for violation
A. (1) All medical records of an employee, all records of payment of compensation to an employee or his dependent, all records with respect to the rehabilitation or attempted rehabilitation of an injured employee, all employer reports of injury as required by R.S. 23:1306, all claims by an employee or his dependent filed pursuant to R.S. 23:1310, records submitted to the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Second Injury Board concerning claims for reimbursement arising out of a claim by an employee or his dependent filed pursuant to Chapter 10 of this Title, including but not limited to any and all records submitted for requests for reimbursement, documents maintained in the claim files regarding reimbursement and settlement requests, and all records submitted pursuant to R.S. 23:1378(A)(5), all safety plans pursuant to R.S. 23:1291(B)(4), all safety records of the OSHA section obtained in connection with the Insurance Cost Containment Act or the OSHA 7(c)(1) program, and all data produced pursuant to R.S. 23:1291.2, shall be confidential and privileged, shall not be public records, and shall not be subject to subpoena, except that records of the office may be produced in response to an order of a workers' compensation judge based upon his finding that the record is relevant and necessary to the resolution of a disputed claim pending before the office. Such confidentiality and privilege shall be strictly maintained by the director and all employees of the office except as provided above or in Subsection B of this Section and shall be used exclusively for the purpose of discharging the duties and responsibilities of the office under this Chapter.
(2) Nothing in this Section shall prohibit the communication of facts or documents that are part of an employee's medical record to the employee or his representative. When authorized in writing by the employee such facts and documents may also be released to the employer or his insurer. The facts or documents that are part of an employee's medical record shall be used exclusively for the purposes of claims administration and the communication to third parties is strictly prohibited.
(3) Nothing in this Section shall prohibit the communication of facts, documents, or other information which are part of employee or employer records if requested by a federal or state prosecuting attorney; by the office of state police, public safety services, Department of Public Safety and Corrections, in the conduct of an insurance fraud investigation; or by the attorney general of this state. The office may also share information with any state or federal agency for the purpose of investigating or determining tax fraud or the offset of any governmental benefit or workers' compensation benefits or with any other government entity authorized by law to conduct any audit, investigation, or similar activity in connection with the administration of any state or federally funded program.
(4) Nothing in this Section shall prohibit the communication of the name and address of an employer approved by this office as a self-insured. All other information submitted in an employer's application for self-insurance remains subject to the privacy provision of this Section.
(5) Nothing in this Section shall prohibit the communication of the name of an employer and the name of his insurer or membership in a group self-insurance fund as of a specific date. The office of workers' compensation administration shall not provide information which shall allow a requesting party to obtain the identity of all members or insured employers of a particular carrier or group self-insurance fund, either through individual requests or multiple requests. The office of workers' compensation administration shall not provide the effective dates of coverage for a specific employer, or groups of employers, either through individual requests or multiple requests.
(6)(a) Nothing in this Section shall prohibit the communication of information found in the records of the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Second Injury Board, during a meeting of the board, as provided in R.S. 23:1373 or on an appeal of a final decision of the Second Injury Board pursuant to R.S. 23:1378(E).
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of this Section, once a claim is made by an employer, group self-insurance fund, or insurer for reimbursement of the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Second Injury Fund, information or documents submitted to the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Second Injury Board involving the claim for reimbursement shall be available to the employer, group self-insurance fund, insurer, or their representatives upon simple request.
B. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection A of this Section, once in a disputed claim an employer begins to pay benefits to an employee under this Chapter or a claim is made by an employee against an employer for benefits under this Chapter, pleadings, motions, discovery documents, depositions, hearing transcripts, and exhibits entered into evidence in any dispute involving the same claimant or any records of the office involving prior benefits paid by an employer to the same claimant shall be available to the employer, the employee, and their counsel upon simple request. Any decision, award, or order of a workers' compensation judge is a public record and may be compiled and disseminated to the public. The complete record of any formal hearing shall be made available to the court of appeal when an appeal is filed.
(2) Nothing in this Section shall prevent the use of such records for the compilation of statistical data wherein the identity of the individual or employer is not disclosed.
C. Whoever violates Subsection (A) of this Section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than five hundred dollars for each offense.
Amended by Acts 1983, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 1, § 1, eff. July 1, 1983; Acts 1986, No. 831, § 1; Acts 1989, No. 454, § 8, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1989, No. 530, § 1; Acts 1991, No. 892, § 1; Acts 1992, No. 766, § 1; Acts 1995, No. 246, § 1, eff. June 14, 1995; Acts 1999, No. 1312, § 3, eff. January 1, 2000; Acts 2001, No. 1189, § 1, eff. June 29, 2001; Acts 2006, No. 16, § 1, eff. May 4, 2006; Acts 2010, No. 304, § 1; Acts 2012, No. 88, § 1.