Don't like fighting with your QME about their billing? Do you get a $10,000 QME bill and wonder how and why it happened? Well you may be disputing higher billing in the near future if Assembly Bill 404 passes.
Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) has introduced AB 404, [among other bills relating to medical treatment laws], which would amend the existing Labor Code Section 5307.6, to provide for annual increases in the medical-legal fee schedule, consistent with the percentage increases in the most recent federal Medicare Economic Index.
However, any decreases in the Index would not require that the fee schedule decrease. QME's have been complaining of stagnant fee schedule pricing for years, and as I have seen lately, QME panels are becoming more and more limited in their physician pools. Is this an attempt to lure more qualified, competent physicians into serving as QME's? Maybe.
So while we may be seeing an increase in the amount a QME will be able to bill under potentially revised ML codes on a yearly basis, we may be receiving an influx of physicians to choose from in our panels we obtain. Look at the glass half full folks.
This bill would require that the medical-legal fee schedule be updated at least annually to increase the conversion factor by the percentage increase in the most recent federal Medicare Economic Index. The bill would require that the fee schedule not decrease in the event that the federal Medicare Economic Index decreases.