new games by copy services? (California) (California)

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new games by copy services? (California) (California)

Postby kurious kat on Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:41 pm

I have noticed a new billing pattern for a copy service company. We now have a fee schedule that allows $180 per initial record set, additional electronic set within 30 days at $5.45 and if an additional electronic set is requested after 30 days, a cost of $30.00.

I am seeing the initial set and one electronic set followed about 30 days later for an additional electronic set. When I ask for a copy of the order I am told they will not provide them until they get to court. More interesting, I am often told the third set was for the applicant. When do AA want the applicant to have a link to their records? And why decide that 30+ days later?

How are we supposed to make a good faith attempt to settle if we can't see what was ordered, who ordered it, and where copies were to be sent? I am also seeing two subpoenas for each location, one for medical records and one for billing.

Anyone else seeing any copy company patterns? :?
Kat
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I'd put shoes on my cat.
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Re: new games by copy services? (California) (California)

Postby vampireinthenight on Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:15 am

Yeah, we routinely see subpoenas for claims files, personnel records, payroll, etc. immediately after the AA's NOR is filed. Duplicate orders all over the place.
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Re: new games by copy services? (California) (California)

Postby LawAdvocate on Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:28 pm

Copy service invoices are garbage. They are never properly support by documentation. A mere invoice is not proof of services. They should be objected to at all times. The bills/invoices must contain the supporting documentation.

First, we must have proof of the medical-legal dispute at the time of the request for the documents.
Second, for services after 7/1/15, where is the proof of the demand for the records from the AA 30 days prior to the SDT of the records?
Third, nothing attached to show documentation of compliance CCR section 105030.
Fourth, payment for additional sets of records are allowed for good cause so what was that good cause? If the AA wants to send it to the AME/PQME/PTP, since when can't the AA copy the disk they already have? That is still the cost of AA overhead. Most med-legal physicians don't even take copies of the records on disk, they want paper - so why are the additional set(s) of records reasonable and/or necessary.
Two subpoenas per location is not reasonable or necessary unless the locations are a separate address.

I know exactly what you say when you demand the evidence and they won't comply. I send a letter demanding the evidence per CCR 10770 which requires lien holders to SERVE the DA and the TPA/IC via US Mail, ALL documents in support of their lien - so that means an evidence packet. I got called a dumbass this morning for demanding this, so guess who isn't getting paid.

Good faith means you make an offer based on the evidence in your possession. The DWC said a $0 offer was in fact good faith if you could articulate why you were offering $0.

So the issue is to get enough clients to draw a lien in the sand and litigate EVERY single invoice. Perhaps, the copy service vendors would then get on board with complying with the law. I list the refusal with my demand letter to serve the evidence as to my request for costs and sanctions on the Stipulations and Issues pages, as I should not have to appear in court to secure the lien holder's evidence. Evidence is to be served upon the filing of the lien, the filing or receipt of the DOR for lien conference, etc. You have to go to that party with clean hands - there has to be proof you served all required documents and most defense attorneys are clueless on how to serve a lien claimant.

Service to lien claimants works like this:

Non-Physicians- any lien objections, all legal pleadings, all settlement documents, all state notices/claims correspondence, including all MPN notices, all deposition transcripts, elections of PTPs and any other relevant non-medical reporting documents.

Physicians – all of the above listed non-physician documents, all medical treatment, consulting and medical- legal reporting, all subpoenaed records, and any other relevant medical reporting documents.

After designating these records, prepare an Index split by physicians and non-physicians. Call your client's copy service to pick up the documents and load the documents to CDs, designated as physician and non-physician, requesting the correct number of each to all unsettled lien providers on EAMS, including stayed liens. Request 2 extra CDs of each type for your file. Then serve the CDs with the Exhibit list and a proof of service, providing Sedgwick with a copy of the Exhibit list and the proof of service.

So all guilty defense reps who serve the medical-legal reporting and the settlement documents, raise your hands - this is why lien conferences are continued - either for the churn of the legal fees for the appearance or for the lack of integrity to do it right in the first place.

I have gotten take nothings against a number of copy service companies an costs and sanctions for the exact reasons describe above. However, I also see claims examiner's a plenty just pay every invoice. So until enough defendants say enough, the copy services will continue their shoddy work practices. But I do also blow up their non-IBR dispute petitions on the same basis and get costs and sanctions for those as well, as they come to the party with dirty hands.
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Re: new games by copy services? (California) (California)

Postby steve appell on Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:43 pm

OK Law Ad
I'm going to pick on one thing you said and only one thing .............
"So the issue is to get enough clients to draw a lien in the sand and litigate EVERY single invoice"

I believe that sounds like bad faith, restriction of trade, antitrust, and I do not recommend it.
Did I miss something?
Steve

appellandassociates.com
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Van Nuys, Ca 91401
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Re: new games by copy services? (California) (California)

Postby 50Cal20 on Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:29 am

I truly believe that certain copy service companies diary their cases to automatically bill $30 after 30 days for a second set of records. It's automatic. Just the other day I saw a bill for $75 for a cancelled subpoena. And then 30 days later another invoice was sent for a second set of records. Yes, a bill for a second set of records on a cancelled subpoena. How blatantly fraudulent is that?

Incidentally, I have a letter from the Dept of Equalization explaining the tax structure on subpoenas. Sales tax is owed over and beyond the flat rate fee unless no records were produced. If the subpoena resulted in no records or if the subpoena was cancelled, no sales tax is due.
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Re: new games by copy services? (California) (California)

Postby vampireinthenight on Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:22 am

Sounds like some good preparation advice by LA. Almost all of these claims completely fall apart if they are taken the distance. Really the only way I have seen them succeed at all is when procedural errors are done by defendants. The new regulations place higher evidentiary burdens on the copy services as pointed out by LA. It doesn't sound like much (actually a lot of it is common sense), but it ends up killing a lot of liens because it exposes a fatal flaw that most of the industry suspected even if no one was admitting to it. Most of the time the AA is not the primary decision decision maker. They may be "primary" in the sense that they authorize the company to obtain records, but in many instances the AAs are hands-off in deciding what gets ordered, when and how it is done. It allows the copy companies to run wild with a lien, but the other edge of the sword is the lack of foundation for the orders themselves.
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Re: new games by copy services? (California) (California) (Calif

Postby LawAdvocate on Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:01 pm

Steve - within the context of my post -my meaning being litigate every single undocumented invoice. Not bad faith at all. If you can't serve the evidence with your billing to substantiate your services and entitlement to payment - one, you don't deserve to be paid, two you deserve to have all of your billing litigated and pay the defendant costs and the WCAB sanctions because you are too dumb to do your job.

Adding, I have yet to see an AA who orders records after 7/1/15 after their initial demand for all current SDT'd records in their opening letter, once they have identified other records which should perhaps be subpoenaed send me a demand for the records 30 days in advance with the articulation as to the medical-legal dispute at that time and why the records are reasonably necessary/believed to resolve that dispute.

If some of these copy services lose a chunk of change because I am teaching everyone I can about this defense, that makes me happy. They call me, I demand the evidence and they refuse to give it to me until we are at a lien conference exactly as Kat has described. That is bad faith, so they may not push it far enough, but karmic justice is sometimes better. So tell two friend and they tell two friends and pretty soon - copy services will not be paid without their complying with the copy service fee schedule requirements and CCR 10770.

If you haven't served your lien/bills and ALL supporting documents, meaning your evidence packet as a lien claimant, don't bother calling. Just write it off, go home, you have no integrity for failing to do so.
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Re: new games by copy services? (California) (California)

Postby LawAdvocate on Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:33 pm

I want to add the crap Defendants see from AA's on the order forms - the need to subpoenaed records is properly documented on the order form with additional pieces of paper, if necessary.

The standard language "The Appicant has a workers' compensation case" ?? So what? attorney up and act like one - list why the records are necessary.
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