…scan the entire PIP benefits check
Partial Payments to Healthcare Providers
Many insurers, including United Auto and MGA Insurance Co., will send partial payments to health care providers with the language either on the check, its stub, or letter enclosing check that says “full and final payment.” There are rules as to how this language is supposed to be made visible, but even complying with those rules often leaves this language hard to find for the payee. This is especially true when you receive several checks from an insurer that doesn’t have such language on previous checks, then they send you one that does. It is strongly urged that you scan the entire PIP benefits check, its stub, and any correspondence or documentation enclosed with it for this “full and final payment” language, because failing to do so and cashing said check may leave you in a position where you will be unable to go after any additional money owed to you.
Accepting the “Final Payment”
An accord and satisfaction results as a matter of law “when the creditor accepts payment tendered on the expressed condition that its receipt is deemed to be a complete satisfaction of a disputed issue.” St. Mary’s Hosp., 725 So. 2d at 456. The Fourth District Court of Appeals, for example, has long held that cashing a check containing language that it is in full payment of the debtor’s obligations creates an accord and satisfaction with regard to the claim for which payment was tendered. See Eder v. Yvette B. Gervey Interiors, Inc., 407 So. 2d 312 (Fla. 4th DCA 1981); Ennia Gen. Ins. Co., Ltd. v. Auld, 506 So. 2d 62 (Fla. 4th DCA 1987); see also Mortell v. Keith, Mack, Lewis & Allison, 528 So. 2d 1362 (Fla. 3d DCA 1988). Thus, if you are a healthcare provider who receives any sort of payment with “full and final payment” language, it is advised you do not cash the check and that you contact your PIP attorney to discuss, unless you are ready to accept that check as final payment for your patient for the dates of service in question.