State Representative Kriseman wants Governor Scott to address flaws in Personal Injury Protection bill

May 21, 2012

The following article was published in The Florida Current on May 21, 2012:

Rep. Kriseman wants Gov. Scott to address flaws in PIP bill

By Gray Rohrer

Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, sent a letter to Gov. Rick Scott on Monday, urging him to fix what he sees as problems in HB 119, the legislation designed to clamp down on auto insurance fraud that was heavily lobbied by Scott’s office.

Because of an error in drafting the bill that went uncorrected by lawmakers, some health care clinics might not be eligible for payment for personal injury protection (PIP) claims for six months after the legislation takes effect on July 1.

The new law puts in place new license requirements for health care clinics to receive PIP payments, but exemptions to the license requirement don’t take effect until Jan. 1  under the law. In a memo earlier this month, the Agency for Health Care Administration clarified that it would not begin applying the new license requirement until Jan.1, but that wasn’t enough for Kriseman, who fears a flurry of lawsuits.

“I am sure you recognize that the lack of clarity under which insurance carriers and medical providers will attempt to operate is bound to create needless new chaos and costs,” Kriseman’s letter to Scott states.

Scott is in Spain this week for an economic development trip but a spokesman said the memo from AHCA helps clear up the confusion in the law.

Scott’s office “believes AHCA’s solution is the right approach,” Scott spokesman Brian Burgess stated in an email.

The letter from Kriseman, who voted against HB 119, also raises concerns about provisions that limit non-emergency care claims to $2,500 and licensing rules for independently owned MRI facilities. He states that rather than leading to a drop in auto insurance premiums, he’s heard from constituents who say their insurers have cited the law as the reason for an increase in rates.

“Unfortunately, it does not appear that these insurance companies are living up to their assurances,” Kriseman states in the letter.

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