If you are an injured worker with an accepted workers’ compensation claim in Nevada, you should not be receiving bills from hospitals, radiologists, labs, doctors, or physical therapists for treatment that was authorized by your adjuster. In fact, it is against the law for medical providers on claims they know are accepted to bill the injured worker if they don’t get paid quick enough or at all by the workers’ comp. insurer. NRS 616C.135.
Sometimes, I see bills that have a stamp that says the work comp insurer has been billed and that because it hasn’t been paid, the injured worker should show the bill to the employer. This too is wrong, because the employer isn’t responsible for the bill. Nor is it likely that an employer will actually get after the insurer to pay the bill. Instead, the injured worker worries, and even pays the bill that he or she shouldn’t have to pay.
I also see cases where the medical provider sends the bill to collections against the injured worker when the work comp insurer fails to pay bills on accepted claims. I’m trying to track just how prevalent this occurs so I can do more about it. The law referenced above says that the DIR can fine a medical provider $250 for violating the law. Big deal!! What is $250 to a billion dollar corporation? How much money has already been wrongfully collected from injured workers, and how many have had their credit ruined? I want to know.
Until I can find a better solution for injured workers, I recommend that you file a complaint with DIR, attaching a copy of your claims acceptance letter and the bill you receive from a medical provider. Also attach any collection notices. Please note that this statute only covers situations where you can show that the medical provider knew that they were providing services on a workers’ compensation claim that was already accepted. I would really like to hear from you if this has happened or is happening to you so that I know how frequently this occurs.
(Please note: This is not to be interpreted as any promise to provide you with legal representation. I am simply trying to determine how serious this problem is for injured workers at this time.)
–Written by Virginia Hunt, Hunt Law Office