Ignorance Is Bliss: Delaware IAB Strikes Fine Against Physician Who Did Not Know He Was Treating a Worker's Comp Patient



By Cassandra Roberts, Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor 


My most recent posts to the Delaware Detour & Frolic (3/1/10 and 3/2/10) involved the first IAB ruling to assess a fine against a doctor under 19 Del. Code Section 2322F(g) for failure to complete disability assessment forms required by Section 2322E(b). That decision was the subject of a Motion for Reargument and I was pleased to hear from colleague Scott Kappes of the law firm Schmittinger & Rodriguez, who represented the claimant and filed the motion on behalf of the physician, Dr. Scott Schulze. Scott offers the following:

I just received the decision on the Motion for Reargument and the Board struck the fine against Dr. Schulze finding that "Dr. Schulze did not recognize that Claimant was a worker's compensation patient as Claimant provided and Dr. Schulze billed Claimant's private health insurance for his care." The Board also held that "[t]ypically the Board would not consider additional evidence in the context of a Motion to Reargue but given that Dr. Schulze did not have the opportunity to defend himself in the underlying proceeding, the Board finds it appropriate to rely on Dr. Schulze's affidavit..." I am hopeful that language indicates that in the future the Board will schedule a separate hearing to address potential violations of 19 Del. C. 2322E(b).

We thank Scott for keeping us abreast of this reversal of misfortune for Dr. Schulze-- one wonders in the broader scheme of things whether the initial precedent stands. Dr. Schulze had the benefit of a rather unique defense in the claimant tendering up private health insurance and not making his treating doctor aware from the get-go of his workers compensation status. Now really-- how often does that happen?

Agree with attorney Kappes that the concept of a separate penalty hearing for the docs may be in the offing. Query: exactly who will they bill their time to for that appearance?


A workers' comp law blog by Cassandra Roberts

This post is provided by LexisNexis Workers' Compensation Law Community. 


© Copyright 2010 LexisNexis Workers' Compensation Law Community


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