The fact that the Division of Workers’ Compensation suspended 178 medical providers during the first eight months of 2022 serves as a fresh reminder that when negotiating lien settlements, defendants should be checking to see if specific liens are stayed or dismissed.
The DWC noted that currently there are 86 providers facing criminal charges, which has resulted in about 516,000 liens being stayed. To view the list of criminally-charged providers, go to this link:
The DIR has been continually updating that link on a regular basis, so we recommend that defendants bookmark it. It is also worth perusing the list even if one is not resolving liens, because many of those facing criminal charges are still working in different roles in the workers’ compensation system.
It’s also important to remember that the case title on that list generally do not list the businesses that the criminal defendant is affiliated with, which means it is best to confirm the affiliated businesses elsewhere. For instance, WorkCompCentral or other media outlets will often list those businesses. Another place is the press release from the prosecutor’s office, who will usually issue a lengthy description of who was charged, what the alleged crime is, and what businesses are involved, and sometimes a monetary amount of the fraud involved.
The best place to determine whether a lien is stayed or dismissed is the EAMS Public Search Tool. When one goes to the “lien search” page and punches in a valid ADJ number, stayed or dismissed liens will often have LC 4615 or LC 139.21 next to them in the far right column. LC 4615 means that the lien is stayed until further notice.
Here are some of the other things that can be listed in that far right-hand column on the EAMS Public Lien Search:
- CONSOLIDATED – Consolidated for special lien proceeding (LC 139.21(f)).
- CONSOLIDATED AND STAY – Consolidated for special lien proceeding (LC 139.21(f)).
- DISMISSED – Dismissed by Judge order.
- DISMISSED PURSUANT TO 4903.05(C) – Liens dismissed by operation of law (LC 4903.05(c)(3)).
- DISMISSED PURSUANT TO LC 139.21 – Liens dismissed pursuant to LC 139.21
- PENDING CONSOLIDATION – Liens filed by providers that have been suspended pursuant to LC 139.21.
Lastly, please remember that just because a lien is stayed pursuant to LC 4615, it is not “gone forever.” If the provider is not convicted of criminal charges, the stay will probably be lifted and the provider will be free to pursue their lien again. So while the thought of a lien worth more than $10,000 being stayed can be a relief for the time being, be forewarned that it could return years from now if the charges don’t stick.
If you have any questions about lien stays, dismissals, or special lien proceedings, please feel free to contact your favorite attorney at the Law Offices of Bradford and Barthel. The Law Offices of Bradford and Barthel will have more blogs about lien tips and tricks in the coming months, so please stay tuned to our blog for more content like this.
Got a question about workers’ compensation defense issues or pending legislation? Feel free to contact John P. Kamin. Mr. Kamin is a workers’ compensation defense attorney and partner at Bradford & Barthel’s Woodland Hills location, where he monitors the recent legislative affairs as the firm’s Director of the Editorial Board. Mr. Kamin previously worked as a journalist for WorkCompCentral, where he reported on work-related injuries in all 50 states. Please feel free to contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (818) 654-0411.
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