Home > Liens, Medical Provider Network, Medical Treatment > Are extra-PBN liens now valid? Maybe…

Are extra-PBN liens now valid? Maybe…

In an earlier post, I mentioned the Valdez v. Warehouse Demo Services (en banc) case, in which the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board first ruled that defendants are not responsible for treatment bills originating outside of a validly established Medical Provider Network, before deciding to take more time to consider the issue.

While we are in limbo, waiting to see who foots the bill for extra-MPN charges, a thought comes to mind about the companion arena to the MPN: what about the Pharmacy Benefit Networks established pursuant to Labor Code § 4600.2?

In the case of Brambila v. Vons, Inc. (2010), the WCAB denied a lien-claimants petition for reconsideration of the Workers’ Compensation Judge’s ruling that liens asserted by extra-PBN suppliers of drugs are not valid or enforceable.  The WCAB denied reconsideration, relying on § 4600.2.

(As an aside, I have had lien-claimant argue that because the injured worker didn’t understand the PBN network notices, the PBN does not apply to the worker and he or she can obtain drugs wherever he or she wants.  But even if the worker doesn’t understand the plain meaning of the notice, the pharmacist does, and the meaning of the objection letters that followed the first filled prescription as well.)

Since the WCAB now needs more time to consider whether or not insurance companies and self-insured employers are liable for extra-MPN treatment, is it possible that the same reasoning applies to extra-PBN dosages.  The Valdez case is newer and en banc, giving it controlling power over Brambila.

Until the Valdez decision comes out, Brambila is still good law.  If lien-claimants demand payment of extra-PBN liens, settle for token amounts or rush to trial before the WCAB changes its mind in Valdez!

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  1. September 6, 2011 at 8:09 am

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