Rule On Workers’ Comp Medical Payments Should Be Replaced, Oregon Division Says


Second advisory committee meeting scheduled for Aug. 27

Salem, OR  (CompNewsNetwork) - The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services' Workers' Compensation Division will hold the second of two advisory committee meetings Aug. 27 to receive input as it develops a replacement for its temporary rule governing medical fees and payments for treating workers' compensation patients.

The meeting will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Labor and Industries Building, 350 Winter St. NE,
The department issued a temporary rule July 7 that clarifies how doctors, physical therapists, and other health care providers are paid for treating workers' compensation patients. The department issued the rule after receiving an increasing number of fee disputes between providers and insurers about discounted rates in preferred provider network contracts. The temporary rule clarifies that if the provider has agreed to accept a discounted rate by contract, the discounted rate will apply. If there is no valid contract, the provider will receive their usual fee or the amount set by the Oregon medical fee schedule, whichever is less. The temporary rule will expire on Jan. 7.

Many health care providers have objected to the temporary rule, saying that it will result in substantial cuts in the amounts they are paid for treating injured workers. The department is currently working with health care providers and other interested parties to develop a replacement to the temporary rule.

“Our intent is to ensure that injured workers have access to quality medical care at a reasonable cost to their employers,” said John Shilts, Workers' Compensation Division administrator. “We want to gather input from all parties affected so we can create a permanent solution that benefits the entire workers' compensation system.”

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