With the new Med-Legal Fee Schedule, the parties must attest to the number of pages being sent for the doctor to review. Beyond 200 pages for an initial evaluation or 50 pages for a re-evaluation, each page will be billed at $3.00. If both parties submit the same records, then the page count can double causing an increase in the Med-Legal costs. During a DWC Question & Answer session on April 20, the question of duplicate records came up. There is a meet-and-confer requirement that should alleviate this problem, but what happens when the parties don't agree upon what should be sent? Dr. Feinberg pointed out that it is very time consuming to review and determine which records have been previously reviewed or are duplicates.
Feinberg said he urges payers not to send duplicates, “but if you do, it's my intention to charge for them.”
Obviously the best practice is to provide a listing of medical records that you intend to submit to the doctor to opposing counsel prior to submission. An agreement should be reached as to what records should be submitted and an agreement should be reached as to who is going to send the records to the doctor.
“We tried to insert a meet-and-confer requirement with respect to the records that are being sent. We hope that the community will take that meet-and confer-requirement to heart and not send duplicate records. The best practice would be for the QME to bill for the records received and not the duplicate records. But there’s no hard-and-fast regulation on this issue.”