Senate amendment would drop ‘med pay’ mandate, as attack on PIP repeal bill widens

car fire arson insurance fraud

An advertising onslaught against the Senate version of no-fault auto insurance repeal broadened Wednesday, even as a committee prepared to take up an amendment dropping a requirement that motorists buy mandatory medical coverage.

That mandate was among the business community’s principal objections to the bill. The amendment also contains language intended to discourage lawsuits alleging bad faith by insurance companies.

But it retains higher coverage levels against bodily injury liability than a proposed House version. The House bill lacks a “med pay” mandate.

The Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services was to take up the new language Wednesday afternoon. The committee’s chairwoman, Miami Republican Anitere Flores, has expressed reluctance to drop med pay.

Meanwhile, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America launched a video campaign encouraging Floridians to lean on their lawmakers to oppose the Senate legislation (SB 150). The move came two days after the Florida Chamber of Commerce began airing similar sentiments.

The PCI ad blames fraud and distracted driving for pushing up premiums for personal injury protection, or PIP, insurance.

“We must protect our policyholders, and SB 150 does nothing to fix these real underlying problems, and instead could end up costing you even more,” it says. The ad urges viewers to contact their legislators in support of “a better solution to protect Florida policyholders.”

Logan McFaddin, regional manager for PCI, said in a written statement that SB 150 “could actually wipe away years of cost-saving reforms and further increase the cost of auto insurance for Florida consumers.”

Also on Wednesday, Michael Carlson, president of the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida, welcomed a possible move toward the House position.

“However, we have no expectation that Senate leadership will permit such language to remain in the bill even if it is adopted today,” Carson said via email.

“It’s time to slow down the PIP repeal train and take a thoughtful look at the auto reparations system,” he said. “PIP has been on the books since 1972; another year of consideration of this issue won’t disrupt the market in the same way that a wholesale repeal and replace law would.”

Michael Moline

Michael Moline is a former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal and managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal. Previously, he reported on politics and the courts in Tallahassee for United Press International. He is a graduate of Florida State University, where he served as editor of the Florida Flambeau. His family’s roots in Jackson County date back many generations.

One comment

  • Vivian Madison Mahoney

    March 2, 2018 at 2:23 am

    Wow, now it is distracted drivers and fraud driving up premiums.

    Do we dare trust what is happening in legislative session any more this year than we did back in 2012? Read on…

    And yet in the 2012 PIP Legislation they blamed FL State Licensed Massage Therapists and Acupuncturists for the”FRAUD” stating if they got rid of these two professions who provided safe, non narcotic, patient and physician approved and appreciated alternative treatments that really WORKED for muscle related injuries and pain, your rates would go down.

    It is a FACT that this was a lie. Rates went up with most insurers instead!

    Here we are 6 years later, Massage Therapists and Acupuncturists out of the picture and we still read of incredible fraud and abuse by those who perpetrated it in the first place by utilizing massage therapists who knew nothing about insurance or billing. They have found other, not so easy ways as utilizing massage therapists, (and some still do use massage therapists even though it was against the 2012 FL PIP LAW).

    But these therapists were doing what they were ordered to do by unlawfully set up clinics and greedy billing by the clinic owners, hiring newly graduated and recently licensed therapists who again knew nothing about what was going on in most cases.

    Bills that were being way overcharged because the coding billed for was not what was provided by therapist, or way more codes/procedures and modalities check marked than what could ever be done in a one hour treatment session! There was one case I was consulted on that when the investigator and I figured out the time it would take to have performed the number of codes billed for per AMA Guidelines would have had to have taken the therapist 32 hours non stop work.

    WE all know this is impossible! Then there were bills submitted for over $450.00 for a single treatment session.

    Massage therapists are taught to not bill over 4 units (1 hour) of a hands on procedures and often up to 9 or more were being billed to pad the claims.

    I KNOW!!

    In my opinion there were a lot of scam artists and from the top on down. If those at the top could look good in the eyes of the insurers by cutting out massage therapists, it would help them get voted back in.

    We were accused of using too many CPT Codes, padding the bills, but that did NOT happen when a massage therapist worked and billed on their own. It happened when OTHERS, of a non like profession, billed for the services of a massage therapist they had working for them.

    Anger and disgust are not the words for my feelings of scheming, scamming and dirty deals from the top on down.

    Thousands of patients got scammed (Some got paid for helping in these schemes) and others went without care and treatment their honest physicians wanted for them and that patient’s stated helped them in many ways to be back to work, to function in a family setting and so much more.

    I am not afraid to communicate with anyone on this subject and my email address is
    [email protected]

Comments are closed.


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