Prompt Pay Act: Upholding the Rights and Interests of Doctors

Posted by on Jan 6, 2015 in Insurance | 0 comments

The significant decline in the purchase of private health insurance in the US can be attributed to two factors: high unemployment over the past years and the high cost of health insurance premiums. For wage earners, especially those in the middle income bracket, losing a job did not only mean lost wages, but of health care benefits too, which were actually employer-sponsored.

The cost of health insurance, on the other hand, which many health care and business experts believe to be insanely expensive, has driven many to shelve it instead. The effect is reliance on public health programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Public health programs, which were introduced by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 and which cover the health care needs of those who can no longer afford health coverage, now address the health concerns of more than 30% of the American population.

Whether having private coverage or availing of public health care benefits, there is one common negative effect, though; not to patients’ disadvantage, of course, but to doctors. For while many experts describe the American health-care system as a “fee-for-service” kind of thing, wherein health-care providers are believed to be very high earners, well, think again, because several of them end up as victims of many health-care insurance firms, experiencing low, delayed or denied compensation despite valuable service already rendered to the public.

To protect the interests and rights of medical care experts the Prompt Pay Act was enacted. As explained on the website of the Williams Kherkher law firm, this 2003 mandate is aimed at making sure that doctors who do not receive full compensation from insurance firms (within specific timeframes) for the medical treatment that they have provided “may be able to recover compensation through a legal claim.”

The law firm explains, however, that the mandate neither covers all insurance programs nor does it render all health-care providers entitled to compensation through the Prompt Pay Act. It will definitely be in the best interest of the physician, therefore, to seek sound and wise legal advice from highly knowledgeable and experienced prompt pay lawyers for a clear understanding of their legal rights and legal options.

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PAULA, A Violation of the 1984 National Minimum Drinking Age Act

Posted by on Jan 4, 2015 in Criminal Defense | 0 comments

Serious crimes, such as those involving drugs and traffic violations, like DUIs or those resulting to injury or death of an innocent victim, require a tough defense from a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense lawyer. The fact, actually, is that any type of criminal charge, even a simple case of misdemeanor, warrants the assistance of a good defense lawyer, due to the many negative severe repercussions of a criminal conviction.

A criminal charge can smudge an individual’s reputation for the rest of his/her life. This is because the ill effects of a criminal charge, more so a conviction, will continue to hound a person long after the courtroom hearing and even long after he/she has already paid for the crime he/she has been convicted of. Besides losing his/her job or getting denied employment (despite anti-discrimination laws that prohibit employers from using past criminal offenses to deny a person a job, except in certain types of work, like law enforcement, etc.), a person may also be denied by a landlord from renting an apartment, by the government from being issued a professional license and from traveling abroad, or by the court from winning a child custody case.

One type of crime that can heavily affect a young person’s life is Possession of Alcohol under the Legal Age (PAULA), or Minor in Possession (MIP). According to the website of Brent Horst, Attorney at Law, an MIP is considered only a misdemeanor, but even this can stick on one’s records.

PAULA or MIP is a violation of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. This law strictly prohibits the purchase and/or possession of alcoholic beverages in public (except under certain circumstances) by those below 21 years old.

Punishment for violators of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act differs among states; however, the usual penalty for first time offenders is a fine ranging from $100 to $200, but so long as the offense is not a DUI/DWI or public intoxication. A higher fine is imposed on repeat offenders plus possible community service or mandatory participation in an alcohol education program. Some states also suspend the offender’s driving privileges.

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Sources of Compensation in the Event of Workplace Injuries

Posted by on Jan 3, 2015 in Workers' Compensation | 0 comments

The initial count for fatal work injuries for 2013, based on records from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) of the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, is 4,405; 25% lower than in 2012, which totaled to 4,628. The total numbers of non-fatal work-related illnesses and injuries, though, as recorded by the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII), were close to 3 million each.

The numbers above point only to private-sector industries, majority of which occurring in construction and industrial working environments. The rest of the count happened in offices, which are thought to be safe and accident-free settings.

The U.S. Department of Labor says that the following are the top causes of injuries in the workplace:

  • Overexertion – caused by carrying, lifting, pushing or pulling heavy objects.
  • Slipping/Tripping – due to wet floors or tripping hazards: this is the second major cause of workplace injuries.
  • Falling from heights – falling from ladders, stairs, roofs, or from any higher area.
  • Bodily reaction during slips or trips but without falling.
  • Getting hit by falling objects.
  • Being struck by an object
  • Bumping against or running into a glass window, a glass door, a wall, cabinet or a chair.
  • Road accident – for those whose work requires driving or traveling.
  • Machine entanglement – an accident that usually happens in industrial sites.
  • Repetitive motion – includes back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome, especially those who use a computer or a typewriter regularly.
  • Violent acts – due to arguments or office politics.

The law firm Robert Wilson & Associates says on its website that a workplace injury can cause a significant financial burden to the victim and his/her family. This is why the financial benefits provided by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance program, which was required of certain employers since the early 20th century, is essential due to the major financial assistance that it can provide injured worker. This insurance benefit is intended to cover costly medical treatment, lost wages due to inability to work (especially if the injury leads to disability), rehabilitation and death.

According to the website of Wilson & McQueen, PLLC, the complexity of the procedures relating to workers’ compensation causes many claims to be denied due to reasons that leave applicants confused. With the help of a highly-skilled workers’ compensation lawyer, however, the injured worker can be spared from the complexities of the law as well as from the denial of his/her claims application.

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