A number of new rules set to take hold within the next several months in North Carolina could result in major savings for employers and insurance companies statewide. According to an industry study, new rules that set maximum fees for doctors and hospitals that perform medical services for injured workers could create an annual savings of about $27 million.
The legislation was actually created in 2013, but its fee schedules were not scheduled to go into effect until April 1 and July 1 of this year. Officials with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, the agency that oversees the implementation of several workplace injury laws in the state, say that the changes will lead to lower payment rates to hospitals, but perhaps higher rates for nurses and doctors.
A few other interesting findings from the study of programs across the country include the following:
- States with no fee schedules or percent-of-charge based fees had by far the highest payments to hospitals for outpatient procedures for shoulder and knee surgeries (60 to 141 percent higher payments).
- States with cost-to-charge ratio fee regulations saw their per-episode outpatient payments grow anywhere between 10 and 25 percent between 2006 and 2013.
- States with no fee schedules or percent-of-charge based fees had significantly more rapid growth in per-episode outpatient payments than states with better regulation.
As the new rules go into effect in North Carolina, you will likely have some questions about whether you will be affected. For more information on these regulations and how they will impact workers’ compensation throughout the state, consult the knowledgeable North Carolina injury attorneys at the Lanier Law Group.