2014 Louisiana Laws
TITLE 23 - Labor and Worker's Compensation
RS 23:1142 - Approval of health care providers; fees
§1142. Approval of health care providers; fees
A. Definitions. For the purposes of this Section, the following terms shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) "Payor" shall mean the entity responsible, whether by law or contract, for the payment of the medical expenses incurred by a claimant as a result of a work related injury.
(2) "Utilization review company" shall mean the company or entity which contracts with the payor, and which entity reviews the claimant's medical records and information and makes the determination of medical necessity in accordance with this Chapter, for the purposes of assisting the payor with the authorization of the claimant's medical care, services and treatment requested pursuant to this Chapter.
B. Nonemergency care. (1)(a) Except as provided herein, each health care provider may not incur more than a total of seven hundred fifty dollars in nonemergency diagnostic testing or treatment without the mutual consent of the payor and the employee as provided by regulation. Except as provided herein, that portion of the fees for nonemergency services of each health care provider in excess of seven hundred fifty dollars shall not be an enforceable obligation against the employee or the employer or the employer's workers' compensation insurer unless the employee and the payor have agreed upon the diagnostic testing or treatment by the health care provider.
(b)(i) The payor may contract with a utilization review company to assist the payor in determining if the request for nonemergency diagnostic testing or treatment, in an amount which exceeds seven hundred fifty dollars, is a medical necessity as provided pursuant to this Chapter.
(ii) A medical necessity determination by a utilization review company and the payor's consent to authorize the requested nonemergency diagnostic testing and treatment shall require only a review of the claimant's medical records and shall not require an examination of the employee.
(2)(a) When the payor has agreed to the diagnostic testing or treatment, the health care provider shall not issue any demand for payment to the employee or his family until the payor denies liability for the diagnostic testing or treatment. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the health care provider may reasonably communicate with the employee or his attorney or representative for the purpose of pursuing its claim against the payor.
(b) A health care provider who knowingly and willfully violates this Paragraph may be ordered by the workers' compensation judge to pay penalties not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars per violation plus reasonable attorney fees. The penalty shall not exceed one thousand dollars for any demand for payment to an employee or his family which is issued after the health care provider has been penalized for a previous demand for payment to that employee or his family.
C. Emergency care. (1) In no event shall prior consent be required for any emergency procedure or treatment deemed immediately necessary by the treating health care provider. Any health care provider who authorizes or orders emergency diagnostic testing or treatment, when said diagnostic testing or treatment is held not to have been of an emergency nature, shall be responsible for all of the charges incurred in such diagnostic testing or treatment. Said health care provider shall bear the burden of proving the emergency nature of the diagnostic testing or treatment.
(2) Fees for those services of the health care provider held not to have been of an emergency nature shall not be an enforceable obligation against the employee or the employer or the employer's workers' compensation insurer unless the employee and the payor have agreed upon the treatment or diagnostic testing by the health care provider, except as provided in R.S. 23:1272(D).
D. Fees and expenses. If the payor has not consented to the request to incur more than a total of seven hundred fifty dollars for any and all nonemergency diagnostic testing or treatment when such consent is required by this Section, and it is determined by a court having jurisdiction in an action brought either by the employee or the health care provider that the withholding of such consent was arbitrary and capricious, or without probable cause, the employer or the insurer shall be liable to the employee or health care provider bringing the action for reasonable attorney fees related to this dispute and to the employee for any medical expenses so incurred by him for an aggravation of the employee's condition resulting from the withholding of such health care provider services.
E. Exception. In the event that the payor has denied that the employee's injury is compensable under this Chapter, then no approval from the payor is required prior to the provision of any diagnostic testing or treatment for that injury.
Acts 1988, No. 617, §1; Acts 1995, No. 1137, §1, eff. June 29, 1995; Acts 1997, No. 1472, §1; Acts 2012, No. 235, §1.
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