After years of debate, California’s Division of Workers’ Compensation has formally adopted a new payment for the medical-legal fee schedule to compensate Qualified Medical Evaluators (QME). QMEs are doctors paid to evaluate injured workers to determine whether they meet eligibility for the state’s workers’ compensation benefits. According to an article published by Business Insurance, For almost 15 years, QMEs made an hourly rate of around 250 dollars to review patients’ medical records, write reports, and testify in trials. The method these QMEs received payment for evaluations is the medical-legal fee schedule, which was last updated in 2006. Under these newly adopted changes to the medical-legal fee schedule, QMEs will be paid a flat fee with an additional $3 per page of medical record review for medical records over 200 pages. As a result, QMEs will now make around $2,015 with an additional $3 per page fee.
Qualified Medical Evaluators Legal Fee Schedule
These changes to the medical-legal fee schedule to compensate Qualified Medical Evaluators may be seen by many as a much-needed update to the 15-year-old payment system. However, dissenting opinions expressed concerns that the new payment system will leave payers covering thousands in additional costs for QMEs to review potentially redundant or inapplicable medical records. Given how thorough insurance companies are, these medical records can become extensively documented, even for minor injuries requiring little or zero medical attention. The main concern for payers is that the threshold of 200 pages will quickly be surpassed, leaving those who cover the $3 per page fee covering exuberant costs for a simple evaluation of medical records. Medical community members acknowledge that these QMEs were underpaid for years. Still, the restructuring of the medical-legal fee schedule was mainly overlooked until the establishment of a completely different payment method was piloted into the workers’ compensation system.
Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Suppose you’ve been injured or have had a work-related illness while on the job; we would like to hear about your experience and help you get the legal compensation you need to get your life back on track. At Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorneys P.C., our team of qualified Sacramento workers’ compensation attorneys keeps updated on all recent news and legislation that may impact our clients and their cases. Our attorneys know how difficult and complex the entire workers’ compensation system can be and how these recent changes may affect our client’s ability to obtain the legal compensation they deserve for their injuries.
Would you like to take advantage of your FREE no-obligation attorney consultation today? In that case, you can call us at (916) 288-9193 to chat directly with a Sacramento workers’ compensation attorney on our team.