A hospital must pay a fine for sending bills for treatment related to work compensation injury to the injured worker and a collection agency.
In Delta County Memorial Hospital v Industrial Claim Appeals Office Court of Appeals, Division IV, on Thursday upheld a decision by a panel of the Industrial Claim Appeals Office referring to a hospital for violating state regulations Workers Compensation Act.
Edith Keating worked for Bob Adams Trucking & Towing and suffered serious injuries. 2017 while loading a pickup truck on a tow truck. She claimed compensation for workers and a judge in the administrative court awarded her medicine and disability, but her employer did not have the necessary compensation insurance for workers.
The judge ordered the company to deposit $ 1
Ms. Keating left a copy of the order with Delta County Memorial Hospital, where she had been treated, but the hospital – without receiving any payment for its services – tried to collect from Mrs. Keating. Her lawyer informed the hospital that once a claim for damages has been established, it is illegal in the state "for a medical provider to invoice an injured worker" for services that deal with occupational injuries. Although the hospital received that letter in April 2019 and noted it in May, it continued its fundraising efforts via billing statements in June and September 2019.
A judge in the administrative court concluded that the hospital violated the state law on work compensation by sending Keating medical bills despite being informed of the compensation decision in her case and penalties of $ 750 per day for the period between the first bill in June 2019 to October 2019.
The panel upheld the decision with the exception of fines, which ruled that the hospital would only be fined for the days that it incorrectly invoiced Mrs. Keating, which amounted to eight occasions, $ 6,000 in penalties.
The hospital appealed and Mrs Keating appealed the panel's decision, arguing that the penalty should have been greater.
The Board of Appeal found that the panel correctly limited the sentence and confirmed the penalties for the dates on which the hospital invoiced Mrs Keating.
Although the hospital claimed that due process had been deprived when the administrative judge considered and decided on Mrs Keats' request for sanctions, the Board of Appeal rejected that argument. Keating's appeal that the panel would be billed by the hospital for continued violations with penalties totaling $ 89,000, but the Board of Appeal did not agree. However, the court added two more billing violations to the sum of two cases that the hospital forwarded bills to a collection agency.
The Court of Appeals reversed and withdrew the case and ordered the administrative judge to add two days' fines of $ 750. each to the sum.