The By Report paradigm November 25, 2018

Pavlova v Allstate Ins. Co., 2018 NY Slip Op 51654(U)(App. Term 2d Dept. 2018)

“Plaintiff properly argues that where, as here, a provider does not provide such documentation with its claim form, and the insurer will not pay the claim as submitted, 11 NYCRR 65-3.5 (b) requires the insurer to, within 15 business days of its receipt of the claim form, request “any additional verification required by the insurer to establish proof of claim” (see Bronx Acupuncture Therapy, P.C. v Hereford Ins. Co., 54 Misc 3d 135[A], 2017 NY Slip Op 50101[U] [App Term, 2d Dept, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2017]). Thus, defendant’s denial of payment for the services billed under CPT code 20999 on the ground that plaintiff had failed to provide sufficient documentation, where defendant did not demonstrate that it had requested any such documentation, was not proper and the branch of defendant’s cross motion seeking summary judgment dismissing so much of the complaint as sought to recover for services billed under that CPT code should have been denied.”

This is an interesting case since several arbitrators have been lulled into finding that Bronx Acupuncture stands for the proposition that an insurance carrier ma not re-price a code labelled “BR” without resort to verification.  Bronx Acupuncture means what it says – you cannot deny a bill based upon the non-compliance with the by report requirements.  Should the carrier believe it has sufficient information to re-price a service, then this defense will stand despite not following the by-report protocols.  Yet, we shall still see too many arbitrators refusing to follow the law.


Objective reasons not necessary to prove an EUO no-show defense November 25, 2018

Gentlecare Ambulatory Anesthesia Services; Lyonel F. Paul, M.D. v GEICO Ins. Co., 2018 NY Slip Op 51653(U)(App. Term 2d Dept. 2018)

“Furthermore, defendant was not required to set forth objective reasons for requesting EUOs in order to establish its prima facie entitlement to summary judgment (see Gentlecare Ambulatory Anesthesia Servs. v GEICO Ins. Co., 59 Misc 3d 152[A], 2018 NY Slip Op 50864[U] [App Term, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2018]).”

One need to forget this lesson.  That said, a proper and timely objection changes the calculus.

LMS Acupuncture, P.C. v State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2018 NY Slip Op 51655(U)(App. Term 2d Dept. 2018)

Furthermore, defendant was not required to set forth objective reasons for requesting the EUOs in order to establish its prima facie entitlement to summary judgment, as an insurer need only demonstrate “as a matter of law that it twice duly demanded an [EUO] from the [provider] . . . that the [provider] twice failed to appear, and that the [insurer] issued a timely denial of the claim[]”

120-day rule rebutted November 25, 2018

Solution Bridge, Inc. v State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2018 NY Slip Op 51648(U)(App. Term 2d Dept. 2018)

“Contrary to plaintiff’s contentions, defendant’s proof was sufficient to demonstrate prima facie that it had timely mailed initial and follow-up verification requests (see St. Vincent’s Hosp. of Richmond v Government Empls. Ins. Co., 50 AD3d 1123 [2008]); that it had not received the requested verification; and that it had timely denied the claim on that ground. However, as plaintiff further argues, the affidavit submitted by plaintiff in opposition to defendant’s motion was sufficient to give rise to a presumption that the requested verification had been mailed to, and received by, defendant (see id.). In light of the foregoing, there is a triable issue of fact as to whether plaintiff provided the requested verification.”

Has anyone sought to ask the Second Department to review these cases?  i am hard-pressed to imagine that an affidavit without documentary support is sufficient to raise an issue of fact.  Or, are we all sheep?

Prima Facie Staged accident November 19, 2018

Jamaica Wellness Med., P.C. v Hereford Ins. Co., 2018 NY Slip Op 51586(U)(App. Term 2d Dept. 2018)

“In support of its motion, defendant submitted a transcript of the examination under oath (EUO) of its insured in which he testified that he had picked up three customers and had been driving them to their destination when they repeatedly asked him to give them money. After he declined to do so, he was pulled over by the police, who advised him that the passengers had reported that the vehicle had been in an accident with another vehicle which had fled from the scene. Defendant’s insured testified that the vehicle had not been in an accident while the passengers had been in the car. The EUO testimony by defendant’s insured was sufficient to demonstrate, prima facie, that “the alleged injury [did] not arise out of an insured incident” (Central Gen. Hosp. v Chubb Group of Ins. Cos., 90 NY2d 195, 199 [1997]; see Andromeda Med. Care, P.C. v NY Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 26 Misc 3d 126[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 52601[U] [App Term, 2d Dept, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2009]; Midwood Med. Equip. & Supply, Inc. v USAA Cas. Ins. Co., 25 Misc 3d 139[A], 2009 NY Slip Op 52379[U] [App Term, 2d Dept, 2d, 11th & 13th Jud Dists 2009]). Plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact in opposition to defendant’s motion (see Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557 [1980]).”

Jamaica Wellness Med., P.C. v Hereford Ins. Co., 2018 NY Slip Op 51587(U)(App. Term 2d Dept. 2018)

LVOV Acupuncture, P.C. v Hereford Ins. Co., 2018 NY Slip Op 51589(U)(App. Term 2d Dept. 2018)

Is it ironic that Danny Safire, the purported owner of Jamaica Wellness Med was indicted at or about the time these cases were decided?  The fact that an attorney would appeal a case with these facts speaks volumes about so much.  I would have run for cover if I was a Plaintiff.  But read the indictment…



The existence of a workers compensation award is lack of coverage November 19, 2018

Active Care Med. Supply Corp. v Hartford Ins. Co., 2018 NY Slip Op 51591(U)(App. Term 2d Dept. 2018)

“Contrary to plaintiff’s contention, a lack of coverage defense may be raised without regard to any issue as to the propriety or timeliness of an insurer’s denial of claim form (see Zappone v Home Ins. Co., 55 NY2d 131, 135-136 [1982] [lack of coverage defense is not precluded]; see also Central Gen. Hosp. v Chubb Group of Ins. Cos., 90 NY2d 195 [1997]). The papers submitted by defendant in support of its motion, and by plaintiff in support of its cross motion, established that plaintiff had submitted claims for workers’ compensation benefits and that the Workers’ Compensation Board had awarded plaintiff’s assignor workers’ compensation benefits [*2]for injuries she had sustained in the accident at issue. As plaintiff failed to demonstrate the existence of a triable issue of fact, the order is affirmed.”

This changes the calculus a bit.  While the existence of Workers Compensation coverage is precludable, the actual proof and fact of the workers compensation coverage is a coverage defense.  In actuality, the regulation states that Workers Compensation Coverage is the only type of coverage that will pay medical billings when the choice is between No-Fault and Compensation.  But, the Second Department has held it is an offset.  Perhaps as to lost wages, but not as to medical billings.