Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 110 Part 6.djvu/519

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CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS—APR. 16, 1996 110 STAT. 4341 applicable by the CAA, including maintenance of group health benefits. If the certifications do not ultimately establish the employee's entitlement to FMLA leave, the leave shall not be designated as FMLA leave and may be treated as paid or unpaid leave under the employing office's established leave policies. The employing office is permitted to designate the health care provider to furnish the second opinion, but the selected health care provider may not be employed on a regular basis by the employing office. See also paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section. (b) The employing office may not regularly contract with or otherwise regularly utilize the services of the health care provider furnishing the second opinion unless the employing office is located in an area where access to health care is extremely limited (e.g., a rural area where no more than one or two doctors practice in the relevant specialty in the vicinity). (c) If the opinions of the employee's and the employing office's designated health care providers differ, the employing office may require the employee to obtain certification from a third health care provider, again at the employing office's expense. This third opinion shall be final and binding. The third health care provider must be designated or approved jointly by the employing office and the employee. The employing office and the employee must each act in good faith to attempt to reach agreement on whom to select for the third opinion provider. If the employing office does not attempt in good faith to reach agreement, the employing office will be bound by the first certification. If the employee does not attempt in good faith to reach agreement, the employee will be bound by the second certification. For example, an employee who refuses to agree to see a doctor in the specialty in question may be failing to act in good faith. On the other hand, an employing office that refuses to agree to any doctor on a list of specialists in the appropriate field provided by the employee and whom the employee has not previously consulted may be failing to act in good faith. (d) The employing office is required to provide the employee with a copy of the second and third medical opinions, where applicable, upon request by the employee. Requested copies are to be provided within two business days unless extenuating circumstances prevent such action. (e) If the employing office requires the employee to obtain either a second or third opinion the employing office must reimburse an employee or family member for any reasonable "out of pocket" travel expenses incurred to obtain the second and third medical opinions. The employing office may not require the employee or family member to travel outside normal commuting distance for purposes of obtaining the second or third medical opinions except in very unusual circumstances. (f) In circumstances when the employee or a family member is visiting in another country, or a family member resides in another country, and a serious health condition develops, the employing office shall accept a medical certification as well as second and third opinions from a health care provider who practices in that country.