Following years of debate, California’s Division of Workers Compensation has now formally adopted a new payment for the medical-legal fee schedule to compensate Qualified Medical Evaluators (QME). QME’s are doctors paid to evaluate injured workers to determine whether they meet the eligibility requirements for the state’s workers compensation benefits. According to an article published from Business Insurance, For almost 15 years, QME’s made an hourly rate of around 250 dollars to review patients’ medical records, write reports, and testify in trials. The method these QME’s received payment for evaluations is called the medical-legal fee schedule, which was last updated in 2006. Under these newly adopted changes to the medical-legal fee schedule, QME’s will be paid a flat fee with an additional $3 cost per page of medical record review for medical records over 200 pages. As a result, QME’s 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 QME’s 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 that need 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. Those in the medical community acknowledge that these QME’s 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
If you’ve been injured or have acquired a work-related illness while on the job, we want to hear of your experience and help you obtain the legal compensation you require 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.
To take advantage of your FREE no-obligation attorney consultation today, call us at (916) 288-9193 to chat directly with a Sacramento workers’ compensation attorney on our team.