Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Doctor not paid, employer does not have to pay twice

Claimant had an accident in 2007 and his plastic surgeon was not paid for more than $23,000 in billed services.  The doctor was listed as a creditor which was discharged in claimant's bankruptcy in August 2008.  The case proceeded to hearing in 2010 when claimant was awarded benefits and received payment for about $40,000 representing the charges in dispute.  No money was every distributed the medical provider. In November 2012 the provider filed an application for direct benefit to be paid.

The carrier had no obligation to pay the provider twice the disputed charges.  Concannon had waited 22 months after the award, and nearly 5 years after the treatment to pursue payment without clear evidence was it was every authorized in the first place.   Schwab v Lamb Construction, 2013 Mo WCLR Lexis 136 (August 1, 2013). 

It does beg the question why the carrier did not dispute liability for medical bills in the hearing if the debt had already been discharged in the chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Atty:  Bridges, Thompson