DWC WARNS ABOUT BAD FAITH LIEN NEGOTIATIONS:
The DWC has issued a warning about bad faith negotiations. They have stated that the DWC has received complaints indicating that payers are refusing to negotiate liens without proof that the lien claimants have filed with WCAB or paid the activation fee.
SB 863 requires lien claimants to pay $150 activation fee for liens filed after 1/1/13.
The DWC issued a press release on 2/27/13 stating:
“…that some payers have adopted a policy of refusing to discuss negotiating the provider’s liens until the provider of the services demonstrates it has filed a lien with the WCAB and paid the applicable lien filing or activation fee required by the enactment of SB 863.” Further, the DWC stated that such practices are directly contrary to the legislative intent of SB 863 as well as existing law.
This conduct by payers could expose them to sanctions, attorney fees and costs under Labor Code section 5813 as well as other audit penalties under California Code of Regulations section 10109(e).