Indiana Spine Group, PC v. Pilot Travel Centers, LLC, No. 93A02-1003-EX-315 (Ind. Ct. App. 08/10/10).
Ruling: The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a two-year statute of limitations did not apply to a medical provider's application seeking a balance owed. The court remanded the case for a further determination.
What it means: Indiana law provides a two-year statute of limitations for the modification of a workers' compensation award due to a "change in conditions." This statute of limitations does not apply to an application by a medical provider to adjust the claim for a provider fee.
Summary: A worker sustained a work-related injury. The employer provided medical treatment through a medical provider. The employer issued payments for some of the medical treatment, but left an unpaid balance of $21,750. The provider filed an application seeking the balance owed. The employer claimed that the provider's application was barred by a statute of limitations. The Indiana Court of Appeals held that the two-year statute of limitations did not apply to the provider's application.
The court mentioned that Indiana law establishes a two-year statute of limitations for the modification of an award due to a "change in conditions" which begins to run on the last day compensation was paid to the injured worker. In this case, there were no changed conditions requiring a modification. The court stated that the worker was entitled to benefits and the only issue was the amount of the provider's bills the employer must pay.
The court said that applying a two-year statute of limitations in similar cases "could lead to absurd results." If the statute applied, a worker could receive medical services up to the end of the statutory period, leaving a medical provider with little or no time to enforce its right to payment for the services.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
November 18, 2010
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