Thank you so much for all the kind applicant attorneys who said “hello” during the California Applicants' Attorneys Association conference in Carlsbad over the weekend. And for those of you kind enough to share your rotten tomatoes and spoiled onions while I was on stage, I have neither the words nor the means to express my gratitude appropriately to you.
I’ll share some more thoughts on the conference with my beloved readers a bit later in the week, but I would be remiss in my duties if I let a single day longer pass without warning you of the new copy service schedule.
That’s right. On June 16, the Office of Administrative Law approved the new regulations on the fee schedule to take effect July 15, 2022.
So, what’s new in the regulations? Well, lots.
First off, all bills must now include the ADJ number (Sec. 9981 (b)(3)). There is also a new fee scheme for dates of service occurring on or after July 15, 2022:
The new schedule also allows charges for contracted services, requested services and surcharges for late amounts.
The new regulations also give a limit of 25 days from receipt by the claims administrator in which to pay or contest the services. Unpaid portions of the bills are to be increased by 25%.
When an applicant attorney subpoenas records in order to submit them to independent medical review, those charges are not recoverable if the records are already in the possession of the injured worker’s representative, nor are charges recoverable when a subpoena has been ordered quashed. There is a maximum of four certificate-of-no-records charges.
Finally — and this one is of particular interest — Section 9985 allows for disputes to be resolved by filing a petition before the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board or by filing a petition with superior court, pursuant to Labor Code Section 132.
So, after you have recovered from your Independence Day barbecue and have finished putting out the fires started by all those illegal fireworks, if you get a copy service bill for dates of service on or after July 15, 2022, what are you going to do?
Well, you stack that bill up against the language of the new regulations and see what you have to pay and what you don’t. But be careful, as the clock is now ticking on a response with a potential for a 25% increase for failure to respond within 25 days.
Gregory Grinberg is managing partner of Gale, Sutow & Associates’ S.F. Bay South office and a certified specialist in workers’ compensation law. This post is reprinted with permission from Grinberg’s WCDefenseCA blog.
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