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Chapter 4.5. Division of Workers' Compensation
Subchapter 1. Administrative Director--Administrative Rules
Article 5.5.0. RULES For Medical Treatment Billing and Payment on or After October 15, 2011
97188.8.131.52.12. Independent Bill Review - Consolidation or Separation of Requests.
(a) With a request for independent bill review submitted under section 9792.5.7, a provider may request combining two or more requests for independent bill review together for the purpose of having the payment reductions contested in each request resolved in a single determination issued under section 9792.5.14.
(b) In applying this section, the following definitions shall be used:
(1) “Common issues of law and fact” means the denial or reduction of the amount of payment in each request was made for similar reasons and arose from a similar fact pattern material to the reason for the denial or reduction.
(2) “Delivery of similar or related services” means like or coordinated medical treatment services or items provided to one or more injured employees.
(c) Two or more requests for independent bill review by a single provider may be consolidated if the Administrative Director or the IBRO determines that the requests involve common issues of law and fact or the delivery of similar or related services.
(1) Requests for independent bill review by a single provider involving multiple dates of medical treatment services may be consolidated and treated as one single independent bill review request if the requests involve one injured employee, one claims administrator, and one billing code under an applicable fee schedule adopted by the Administrative Director, or, if applicable, under a contract for reimbursement rates under Labor Code section 5307.11, and the total amount in dispute does not exceed $4,000.00.
(2) Requests for independent bill review by a single provider involving multiple billing codes under applicable fee schedules adopted by the Administrative Director or, if applicable, under a contract for reimbursement rates under Labor Code section 5307.11, may be consolidated with no limit on the total dollar amount in dispute and treated as one request if the request involves one injured employee, one claims administrator, and one date of medical treatment service.
(3) Upon a showing of good cause and after consultation with the Administrative Director, the IBRO may allow the consolidation of requests or independent bill review by a single provider showing a possible pattern and practice of underpayment by a claims administrator for specific billing codes. Requests to be consolidated under the subdivision shall involve multiple injured employees, one claim administrator, one billing code, one or multiple dates of service, and aggregated amounts in dispute up to $4,000.00 or individual amounts in dispute less than $50.00 each.
(d) Upon filing a request for independent bill review under section 9792.5.7, the provider, if requesting the consolidation of separate requests, shall, in addition to providing the filing fee of $335.00, specify all of the requests for independent bill review sought to be consolidated with a description of how the requests involve common issues of law and fact or delivery of similar or related services. Once consolidation has been granted no other disputes shall be added to the consolidated disputes.
(e) The IBRO may disaggregate into separate independent bill review requests a single request that does not meet the standards set forth in subdivision (c) of this section. For any independent bill review request that must be disaggregated, the same fee shall be charged for each additional independent bill review request as charged for one independent bill review request.
(1) If an independent bill review request must be separated, the IBRO shall immediately provide notice in writing to the provider and claims administrator stating the reasons for disaggregation, and shall inform the provider of the additional fee or fees required to perform the independent bill review.
(2) Within ten (10) days following receipt of the notification informing the provider of the separation of requests, the provider shall submit to the IBRO any additional fee or fees necessary to conduct independent bill review. The failure to provide the additional fee or fees shall subject the request to a determination of ineligibility under section 9792.5.9.
(f) Nothing in this section shall extend the time for issuing a determination required by Labor Code section 4603.6 (e).
Note: Authority cited: Sections 133, 4603.6, 5307.3 and 5307.6, Labor Code. Reference: Sections 4060, 4061, 4061.5, 4062, 4600, 4603.2, 4603.3. 4603.4, 4603.6, 4620, 4621, 4622, 4625, 4628 and 5307.6, Labor Code.
1. New section filed 12-31-2012 as an emergency; operative 1-1-2013 pursuant to Government Code section 11346.1(d) (Register 2013, No. 1). A Certificate of Compliance must be transmitted to OAL by 7-1-2013 or emergency language will be repealed by operation of law on the following day.
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