Lien Consolidation (California)

The filing and enforcement of liens (different states refer to these with different terms) to secure payment for services or goods against a workers' compensation award is complex and filled with special rules - this category is for questions and discussion of this special area of work comp law.

Lien Consolidation (California)

Postby on Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:22 am

We received a hearing notice for a lien conference on a Friday in L.A. Called DA to make sure this was correct, was told that it is part of the lien consolidation going on. However, we had not received any settlement documents on this particular patient. Patient is still treating and in fact just changed AA to try to get his case settled. When DA was asked about any settlement documents they confirmed that the case in chief is still open. Could not give us any further info as to why lien conference set. My questions is: How can a lien consololidation take place when case in chief still open and patient is still treating ? Doesn't this defeat the purpose of tyring to reduce lien conferences, since there will still have to be a conference when case in chief settles, for any liens that would be filed after this lien conference. This just doesn't seem right, and seems like a mistake, but wondering if anyone else has had this happen.
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Re: Lien Consolidation (California)

Postby on Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:02 am

You are probably referring to the Los Angeles DME liens consolidation conference scheduled for October 29.

The stated purpose of this conference is to discuss POSSIBLE consolidation and stay on common issues of law and fact for certain DME liens. The proceedings do not affect the injured worker, because there is no ruling pending on any individual case at this time. We don't even know what issues might be heard - perhaps it will only be to establish guidelines for how to calculate the value of unscheduled DME items.

Note: A similar conference was held for LAO compound drug liens on October 6, and another one is scheduled for LAO interpreter liens on October 25.
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Re: Lien Consolidation (California)

Postby rosellavera on Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:20 pm

Does any one know what the outcome of the conference was on compound medication held on October 6th?
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Re: Lien Consolidation (California)

Postby on Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:24 pm

was continued until November 4, 2010 at 10 am, same location.

Judge Frank made it abundantly clear that because of the freeze on hiring judges this is about "judicial economy" so that defendants who were using it as a tactic to not settle, needed to settle because they can't handle the liens they have so defendants using it as a stalling tactic are not helping the situation.I can't tell you how many letters I received asserting that position from defense attorneys, but if you let the claims supervisors know that, they settle those liens with you right quick, they have closing ratios and recognized most of these attorneys did not understand the issue and some were just churning those files for billing.

Interestingly enough, defense attorneys were arguing against the stay, because emplolyers do not want to be barred from settling so that they can close files, if there was a stay in effect, they do not want to be barred fron voluntary settlements by the parties.

Also parties on all sides were invited to submit briefs on the issue.

The problem here is to find enough cases with common issues, so if you agree to take fee schedule, the defendants, rightfully so do not want to wave medical reasonableness and necessity, UR non-certifications or MPN until a pre-trial conference statement is filled out, how do you know where there are common issues? That is what is required for a consolidation....

have to feel for the WCAB, too short on staff to handle the volume of their filings and no financial end in sight with CA budget the real message is that we don't have enough time slots to try the liens and extra effort should be made to settle ALL liens informally and to not force the filing of DORs and stall until it is set for trial to make "real" offers. We all know the excuses on both sides, but really not getting bill reviews immediately rather then sitting on them for five years and three hearings later? obstructive to the process. Not settling because you would rather pay your defense attorney then pay for the lien? pretty penny wise and pound foolish, not settling because the case in chief has not settled yet? no law against it, make an offer and get it done now rather then later....just pet peeves and the top excuses for not resolving liens sooner rather then later.
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