Often, when we are injured at work, the first treatment we receive is at the local hospital. This initial treatment can last a couple of hours, days, weeks, or even longer, depending on the severity of the injuries. The glaring question that workers and the hospital are often left with is: who will pay the bill? If the case is compensable, the patient’s employer or the employer’s work-comp carrier will pay the bill. Whether or not you still get billed, despite the insurance carrier putting the provider on notice that the patient is not responsible, is a whole other question.
Under Florida law, an injured worker is not liable for the cost of medical care provided under the workers’ compensation statute. The Florida Legislature has taken great lengths to protect injured workers from being billed in these scenarios. In 1983 the legislature stated, via statute, that the “healthcare provider or health facility providing services pursuant to this section shall be paid for the services solely by the employer or its insurance carrier, except for payments from third parties who have been determined to be liable for such payment.” In 1990, the Florida Legislature clarified the statute even further by specifically stating “the employee is not liable for payment for treatment or services provided.”
Despite the prohibitions on billing injured workers, unfortunately, the practice happens too often. On top of the stress of sustaining an injury on the job that may preclude you from going back to work or being able to keep up with household bills and other costs of daily living, many injured workers receive bills for hospital treatment; from either the provider themselves or collection agencies. This causes even more stress and hardship on people already going through a challenging situation. Once the bill has hit collections, the injured worker’s credit has already been negatively impacted.
Frequently, especially for unrepresented claimants, the person doesn’t know that they are in fact, not allowed to be billed and will pay the bill, or do nothing, because they cannot do anything or afford the bill. Their credit will continue to spiral downwards.
Throughout Mr. Masnikoff’s twenty-three-year career, he has seen countless injured workers be wrongfully billed for medical care rendered as part of their workers’ compensation claim. We work vigorously to ensure that our clients’ bills are paid in a timely fashion. If the provider sends bills as part of a compensable claim, we work with partner attorneys to go after the provider and/or bill collector to ensure that the medical bills are paid and the negative credit impacts erased. There are no costs to the injured worker for this service as the provider, rightfully so, will have to pay the attorney fees.
If you or a loved one have been wrongfully billed by a medical provider or are receiving collection notices for medical treatment received as part of your workers’ compensation claim, do not hesitate to call. The consultation is always free. We practice throughout Florida, and you can reach any one of our offices at (877) 817-4127 or by completing our online form.
Copyright© 2022. Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, P.A. All rights reserved.
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