Friday, July 22, 2011
Rule 16 and 18 Proposed Changes
The Division lets us know about proposed rule changes and this change concerns Rules 16 and 18. These are medical matters which are changed just about every year because medical costs keep rising. Rule 18 involves medical billing and Rule 16 utilization review. The proposed rules are posted and then adopted after comments are received and reviewed. Most of this is not very exciting information except for doctors and other providers although at times a claimant or claimant's attorney does have to look at the rules. What a doctor can charge for legal things like testimony, consultations, reports and the like are important to know. Such matters are often the responsibility of the claimant if he or she asks for any of them. So wanting to have the doctor come to the hearing is fine but it is also at a cost to the claimant. So while these rules seem complicated to read and perhaps not that important to claimants most of the time there are situations where a claimant needs to check on what the rule says. For example, in the past there has been litigation on the subject of what is called prior authorization. This area involves a provider getting advance approval for something and when approval is not forthcoming the doctor and perhaps the claimants attorney may wish to dispute it and even seek penalties. What is addressed in Rule 16 on the subject becomes quite important in such a situation.