A new workers’ compensation fee manual has been submitted to legislators for review and approval at the end of October. The move came as for more than three years, workers’ compensation physicians have been asking for a revision of the Provider’s Reimbursement Manual. They have complained that their fees are some of the lowest in the country. They are also upset that previous versions of the manual required doctors to maintain separate contracted fees for services not listed in the manual.

The current manual has been in place since 2016. The Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation has updated the manual several times. However, the legislature still has to review and approve the manual. According to Florida law, any regulation or law that increases the operating costs of Florida businesses must be approved by lawmakers. Since this new manual could potentially increase insurance costs (and premiums), it must be approved by the Florida legislature.

The new workers’ compensation fee manual that was submitted to the legislature at the end of October is the updated 2020 version. It was drafted last August and has been circulating for more than a year waiting for approval. Now that the Workers Comp board has approved it, they will have to wait for the legislature to give the final go-ahead.

This new manual has updated fees for standard procedures. It also has a clause that removes the requirement for separate contracted prices for unlisted procedures. The new manual indicates that, at a minimum, doctors will be able to charge the comparable billing procedure code or clinically similar code in the manual.

Just because the manual has been approved and sent to the legislature does not guarantee that it will be approved. They have been waiting for years for the legislature to review the updated guide. To date, the legislature has refused. However, this is one step further toward getting the new manual approved. 

If you’ve been hurt at work and need to file a worker’s comp claim, call a Florida workers’ compensation attorney right away.

Source: https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2021/10/28/639708.htm