Once the claim is accepted, the insurer must issue payment within 45 days of receiving your bills and chart notes. If you do not receive payment within 45 days or you disagree with the payment amount, first contact the insurer to try to resolve the issue (see payment disputes). If the insurer fails to pay timely, you may charge a reasonable monthly service fee for the period the payment was delayed, but only if you charge such a fee to the general public.
Tip: When the insurer does not issue a notice of acceptance or denial within 60 days of employer notice or knowledge of the claim, the workers’ compensation claim is considered denied (de facto denial). Only the patient may appeal the de facto denial with the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board.
An employer may not pay you directly unless the employer is self-insured. Therefore, you must always bill the workers’ compensation insurer.
Unless you have an MCO contract or a fee discount agreement, you should get paid the amount you billed or the amount of the Oregon workers’ compensation fee schedule, whichever is less.
Insurers do not have to pay providers for the following:
- Treating conditions that are not accepted by the insurer
- Completing Form 827
- Providing chart notes with the original bill
- Preparing a written treatment plan
- Supplying progress notes that document the services billed
- A missed appointment “no show”
- Dietary supplements
Generally, the workers’ compensation rules do not allow for bundling of services unless specified by CPT® or OAR 436-009 rules. If an insurer does not pay for a service and states the service is included in another service billed (bundling), you may want to verify that the CPT® or OAR 436- 009 rules allow that specific bundling.
Note: WCD has not adopted the National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) edits, and the insurer should not apply any NCCI edits.
Some insurers may ask you to file an appeal to answer your payment question or resolve your dispute, however, you are not required to file an appeal with the insurer. If you are unable to informally resolve your payment issue with the insurer, you may request dispute resolution with WCD.
However, you must request dispute resolution with WCD within 90 days of the mailing date of the most recent explanation of benefits or a similar notification. Rebillings without any relevant changes will not provide a new 90- day period to request administrative review.
Note: Even if you are working with the insurer to resolve your issue during the 90 days, don’t let the 90-day time frame pass before requesting dispute resolution with WCD.
To request dispute resolution, use a copy of Form 2842, “Request for Dispute Resolution of Medical Issues and Medical Fees.” To identify specific services in dispute, you may use worksheet 2842a, “Medical Fee Dispute Resolution Request and Worksheet,” in addition to Form 2842.
Alternatively, if you have an EOB, you can request dispute resolution by doing all of the following:
- Signing and dating the EOB.
- Attaching copies of chart notes, original bills, or additional supporting documentation.
- Providing a cover letter outlining the steps you have taken to try to resolve the dispute and describing the specific issue in dispute. Please include your contact information with your cover letter so that the medical resolution team may contact you during the dispute resolution process.