State authorities are contemplating whether the implementation of a fee schedule since April 2009 was effective or not in controlling the escalating costs of medical care that comes with auto insurance claims.
According to records, the fee schedule has been in the works for a long time when the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court ruled that the schedule be implemented. The fee schedule is a list of maximum allowable charges for some general medical treatments and procedures linked with collisions and car accidents. Designed primarily to lay down reasonable limits on what insurers pay for medical expenses, the schedule was tied up in court hearings after the New Jersey Medical Society took legal action to stop the schedule from being implemented. Now that 2009 comes to a close, industry insiders and state officials are wondering if the court’s decision was right and if the fee schedule did serve its purpose.
According to reports, the schedule did a very good job in lessening the burden of time-consuming and expensive disputes regarding charges. Experts say that the schedule helped lessen the costs of medical check-ups for car accident victims without damaging the salaries of doctors and the income of hospitals and clinics.
At present, New Jersey belongs to the top five states that have the highest number of claims filed for no-fault insurance. The state holds the number one spot in the list with the highest amount spent by insurance providers for personal injury protection claims. At this point, insurance companies are compiling their records and are waiting for a final list to be released later this year to see if the numbers have changed since last year, now that the fee schedule has been implemented. Experts say that if everything goes well, legislation early next year can be set to focus on enhancing the fee schedule and making sure of its strict implementation.
On the other hand, consumer groups in New Jersey responded positively to the free schedule and are looking forward to news that it will be improved next year. According to local groups, the schedule lessened the amounts they had to pay for medical expenses and it also helped lessen their premiums after filing claims. Meanwhile, the New Jersey Medical Society, the group who originally moved to stop the schedule, has not yet released a statement regarding the effectiveness of the fee schedule in serving its purpose.
Experts say that it is still very early to say if the fee schedule did do its job well and the question on the schedule’s effectivity can only be answered after December.