What do you do if the health care provider’s office doesn’t or won’t bill the Workers Compensation insurance claim, or does and the insurance company doesn’t pay the bill and the provider’s office is billing you, calling you, for the money?
It’s illegal for a health care provider to charge an injured worker. AS 23.30.097(f) states unequivocally: “An employee may not be required to pay a fee or charge for medical treatment or service provided under this chapter.”
So what? What happens to a health care provider who continues to charge an employee for treatment as the result of a workers compensation injury? So you report the provider to the State of Alaska Consumer Protection Unit, http://www.law.state.ak.us/consumer/.At its website, the State of Alaska provides a complaint form for you to fill out and mail or fax to the Attorney General’s Office. http://www.law.state.ak.us/department/civil/consumer/cp_complaint.html. There are instructions on how to do fill out the form and where to send it.
What will the Attorney General’s Office do? They’ll send a copy to the offending provider and ask for a response. At that point, the provider may realize what he is doing is illegal and will agree to stop hounding you for the bill. If not, the Attorney General may proceed with a prosecution against him which means he will incur not only legal fees but may be fined.
The problem isn’t the doctor, it’s the biller. Any more, most doctors hire outside billing agencies who don’t understand and don’t want to learn Alaska law. In the event you hire an attorney to pursue a Workers Compensation Claim on your behalf, your attorney should deal with these issues for you.
If you have questions about your workers compensation claim, call my office. I have more than 30 years experience fighting for the rights of injured Alaskans. Consultations are FREE. Call 258-7663.