Things about Sean Parnell’s Administration that you may not have been aware of….
Some Alaska Workers Comp insurers refuse to preauthorize medical services after a claim has been accepted. This results in medical providers refusing to provide services and is termed controversion-in-fact. In other words, while purporting to have accepted the claim, the insurer/employer is in fact intimidating medical providers into not providing services for fear that the bills will not be paid.
This practice has been the subject of numerous cases and most recently the Alaska Supreme Court has essentially confirmed the position of the AWCB that this practice is unlawful and amounts to a controversion because payments for medical services are essentially payable under Alaska law at the time the services are prescribed. Nevertheless, the Liberty companies have continued to engage in these practices.
The worst bit is that faced with the fact that Liberty companies are simply thumbing their noses at Alaska, the Division of Insurance has knowingly determined to take no action with respect to this conduct. Yes, that’s correct. Insurers are intentionally engaged in conduct that you or I would regard as fraudulent, and Parnell’s administration won’t do anything about it.
A tip o’ the hat to the folk at the AWCB who continue to insist that the provisions of the Act be applied fairly across the Board – it has to be disconcerting to realize that your employment may be at risk because you are in fact doing what your job requires you to do, because an administration is sabotaging the very laws it is obliged to uphold.
If you are an employer, I recommend that you immediately contact your Workers Comp carrier and demand that they amend their policy to include a provision that requires prompt preauthorization absent controversion, and if you are an employee, know that you or your medical provider should file a Claim Form with Workers Comp demanding preauthorization and payment for services immediately on determination of a course of treatment.
Yes, the provider can use the Claim Form to obtain preauthorization.
JONATHAN BOCKUS, Employee, Claimant, v. FIRST STUDENT SERVICES, Employer, and SEGDWICK CMS, INC., Adjuster, Defendants. AWCB Decision No. 14-00400 AWCB No. 201302957 Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board March 24, 2014 FINAL DECISION AND ORDER
RICHARD G. KAMITCHIS, Employee, Claimant, v. SWAN EMPLOYER SERVICES, Employer, and LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Insurer, Defendants. AWCB Decision No. 14-0039 AWCB No. 201203798
Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board March 24, 2014 FINAL DECISION AND ORDER
WILLARD HARRIS, Appellant and Cross-Appellee, v. M-K RIVERS and ACE INDEMNITY INSURANCE COMPANY, Appellees and Cross-Appellants. Nos. S-14254, S-14262 Supreme Court of Alaska March 14, 2014