July 2009

Many times I recieve files from adjusters who already provided a list of doctors for Claimant to choose from, be it for a specialist referral by the PCP or a one time change request.  Under the 2003 law, an Employer/Carrier does not have to provide such list to Claimants.  Even under the managed care statute, section 440.134, the only list you need to provide is for the PCP.  If you provide lists to Claimant, that is ok.  Just note you are not required to do so. 

But, a question arises if an adjuster provides a list, is that considered “authorization” even if the adjuster does not set the appointment?  The First DCA answered that question last week.  (more…)

I hope you are enjoying your summer.  You know I am considering the complete lack of posts I’ve written since Crist signed the new attorney’s fee law in May.  But, as of July 1 (aka, last Thursday) this new fee provision–where the word “reasonable” no longer exists–took effect.   This will result in a new debate within the W/C community.

The next battle to take place, in this ongoing struggle between the insurance lobby and the Claimant’s bar, is whether this newest revision is constitutional.  Remember, the Claimant in the Emma Murray decision argued the 2003 changes violated her constitutional right to due process, more specifically access to courts.  The Florida Supreme Court declined to consider the constitutional arguments and instead found that section 440.34(3) statutorily ambiguous, finding that a JCC could determine “reasonable fees.”

But, what about now?  Since the Legislature removed the word “reasonable” then the sun sets on Carrier paid fees, right?  Further analysis may prove otherwise.  More after the jump. (more…)