Payment of fees and medical charges by department — Interest — Cost-effective payment methods — Audits.
(1) All fees and medical charges under this title shall conform to the fee schedule established by the director and shall be paid within sixty days of receipt by the department of a proper billing in the form prescribed by department rule or sixty days after the claim is allowed by final order or judgment, if an otherwise proper billing is received by the department prior to final adjudication of claim allowance. The department shall pay interest at the rate of one percent per month, but at least one dollar per month, whenever the payment period exceeds the applicable sixty-day period on all proper fees and medical charges.
Beginning in fiscal year 1987, interest payments under this subsection may be paid only from funds appropriated to the department for administrative purposes.
Nothing in this section may be construed to require the payment of interest on any billing, fee, or charge if the industrial insurance claim on which the billing, fee, or charge is predicated is ultimately rejected or the billing, fee, or charge is otherwise not allowable.
In establishing fees for medical and other health care services, the director shall consider the director's duty to purchase health care in a prudent, cost-effective manner without unduly restricting access to necessary care by persons entitled to the care. With respect to workers admitted as hospital inpatients on or after July 1, 1987, the director shall pay for inpatient hospital services on the basis of diagnosis-related groups, contracting for services, or other prudent, cost-effective payment method, which the director shall establish by rules adopted in accordance with chapter 34.05 RCW.
(2) The director may establish procedures for selectively or randomly auditing the accuracy of fees and medical billings submitted to the department under this title.
[1998 c 245 § 104; 1993 c 159 § 2; 1987 c 470 § 1; 1985 c 368 § 2; 1985 c 338 § 1; 1971 ex.s. c 289 § 55.]
| Effective date -- 1987 c 470 § 1: "Section 1 of this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, the support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect on July 1, 1987." [1987 c 470 § 4.]|
Effective date -- 1985 c 368 § 2: "Section 2 of this act shall take effect July 1, 1987." [1985 c 368 § 7.]
Legislative findings -- 1985 c 368: "The legislature finds that:
(1) The governor's steering committee on the six-year state health care purchasing plan has estimated that health care expenditures by the department of labor and industries will rise from $172.5 million in fiscal year 1985 to $581.5 million in fiscal year 1991, an increase of two hundred thirty-seven percent in six years, while the number of persons receiving the care will rise only fifteen percent in the same period;
(2) The growing cost of health care for covered workers is a major cause of recent industrial insurance premium increases, adversely affecting both employers and employees;
(3) The department of labor and industries has not developed adequate means of controlling the costs of health care services to which covered workers are entitled by law;
(4) There is a need for all agencies of the state to act as prudent buyers in purchasing health care." [1985 c 368 § 1.]
Effective dates -- Severability -- 1971 ex.s. c 289: See RCW 51.98.060 and 51.98.070.