Workers compensation is a state-mandated program that enables employees to receive compensation if they were…
The State of California is cracking down on doctors and medical facilities with a track record of abusing the state’s workers’ compensation program. Just in the past year, regulators from the California Division of Workers’ Compensation have barred 115 doctors throughout the state from treating injured workers. Last week, 21 more doctors and workers’ compensation providers were suspended due to past abuses, violations and unethical behavior. The suspensions are the result of tougher regulations after the passage of A.B. Bill 1244.
Back on January 1, the State Legislature passed A.B. Bill 1244 which gives the director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation the power to suspend any medical provider, physician or practitioner from participating in the state’s workers’ compensation system if they are involved in criminal activity or fail to perform medical procedures safely and correctly. The five latest suspensions involve physicians who were involved in illegal kickback schemes in connection to Medicare. Three of the five suspended doctors were Long Beach providers who engaged in a scheme to issue unnecessary prescriptions for durable medical equipment to Medicare patients. Two other Los Angeles-based workers’ compensation providers took part in a scheme to bill Medicare for home health care services that were never provided.
The passage of A.B. Bill 1244 was the result of widespread workers’ compensation fraud found throughout California that cost honest businesses and injured workers nearly $1 billion annually. Among the biggest violators were medical providers and doctors who have been found overbilling. But the problem goes beyond the medical industry. There have also been cases of attorneys signing up unsuspecting people they have never spoken to for workers’ compensation claims in distant cities and then settling those cases for their fees. In many of these cases, workers had no knowledge of any of these actions. A.B. 1244 requires workers’ compensation attorneys to properly interview and inform workers where the claim will be filed. Attorneys who have committed perjury will lose their licenses and could face swift legal action.
In just a short amount of time, the new law has made a major impact on how doctors and medical providers conduct themselves. Although there are still violations that continue each day, A.B. Bill 1244 sends a strong message to those who intend to rip off the public.
Each day countless employees are injured on the job. It can happen to even the most safety conscious worker. But when those injuries prevent a worker from performing their job, it is vital to receive the proper amount of worker’s compensation to account for your medical care, damages, and lost wages. Over the years, the Van Nuys workers’ compensation attorneys at Koszdin, Fields, Sherry & Katz have utilized an aggressive and comprehensive approach to protecting the rights of workers. It is part of their commitment to always place each client in the best position to succeed. Whether your employer fails to provide workers’ compensation or you have not received the proper amount of benefit, their team of legal professional can help. To learn more, contact their Van Nuys law office today and schedule a consultation today to discuss your case.