NORTH CAROLINA INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION

Help Line: (800) 688-8349, (919) 807-2501, or infospec@ic.nc.gov
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For Insurance Carriers

Information for Carriers

Announcement Regarding Medical Bill Reporting Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

In response to requests from employers, carriers, and third-party administrators, the Industrial Commission will delay the mandatory implementation date for Medical Bill Reporting via EDI from March 1, 2014, to July 1, 2014. This purpose of this postponement is to allow these stakeholders additional time for preparation and necessary programming. No additional extensions will be granted.

Announcement Regarding Electronic Medical Billing and Payment

Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. §97-26(g1), the Industrial Commission was directed to adopt rules requiring electronic medical billing and payment processes. The Industrial Commission subsequently adopted Electronic Billing Rules 101-109 in 2012. These rules were then held in abeyance in conjunction with other rule making efforts and to allow the Commission to develop an implementation guide. The Electronic Billing and Payment Companion Guide is now in final form and ready for publication. Click here for access to the guide. This guide can also be accessed on the Commission’s webpages for Carriers and for Medical Providers.

The date for implementation of electronic medical billing in the adopted rules referenced above is March 1, 2014. The Commission received and considered feedback and multiple requests for extensions of the March 1, 2014 deadline from employers, carriers, third-party administrators, and medical billing companies. In order to allow these stakeholders additional time for preparation, the Commission will not require compliance with the Electronic Billing Rules until July 1, 2014, with regard to electronic medical billing processes. The rules and portions of the companion guide that govern and require electronic medical payment processes will not be mandatory until January 1, 2015. No additional extensions will be granted.

Update Regarding Medical Fee Schedule

On January 1, 2013, the Industrial Commission enacted 04 NCAC 10J .0101 Fees for Medical Compensation. This new rule revised the payment structure for medical treatment under the Commission’s Medical Fee Schedule and Hospital Fee Schedule. These adjustments were made on staggered dates: (1) January 1, 2013; (2) February 1, 2013; and (3) April 1, 2013. The Industrial Commission has provided three notices regarding these changes and encourages all insurance carriers, self-insured groups and administrators, and managed care organizations to make timely and accurate payment for medical services in accordance with the rule and guidance provided in the following notices:

Frequently Asked Questions from Insurance Carriers

The following are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions from insurers about North Carolina Workers’ Compensation.

I am an adjuster for an insurer. Is there a form I should use to deny a workers’ compensation claim?

Yes. Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. §97-18(c) and (d), a Form 61 must be filed with the N.C. Industrial Commission and a copy sent to the employee or the employee’s attorney of record, if any, and also to all known medical service providers. The adjuster should provide a detailed statement describing the grounds for denying compensability or liability either on the Form 61 or on an attached letter.

I am an out-of-state medical provider. Am I required to accept medical rates as established by the N.C. Medical Fee Schedule when I treat patients for a N.C. claim?

No. You are allowed to bill charges in full or based on a prior agreement if one has been established. If one has not been established, expect reimbursement pursuant to your state’s fee schedule.

Do I need permission to suspend or terminate Temporary Total benefits under workers’ compensation?

Yes, unless there has been a return to work as explained in the paragraph below. A Form 24 must be filed with the N.C. Industrial Commission and sent to the employee or the employee’s attorney of record, if any, and payments may be stopped only after a decision by the Commission.

You may terminate Temporary Total benefits [N.C. Gen. Stat. §97-29] when an employee has returned to work for the same or different employer subject to Trial-Return to Work provisions [N.C. Gen. Stat. §97-32.1] or when the employer contests a claim pursuant to Payment Without Prejudice [N.C. Gen. Stat. §97-18(d)] within ninety (90) days (unless an extension has been granted by the Industrial Commission).

Otherwise, you should submit a Form 24 - Application to Terminate or Suspend Payments of Compensation pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. §97-18.1, to the Industrial Commission. The Industrial Commission shall approve or deny the Form 24. You should receive approval from the Industrial Commission prior to the termination of compensation benefits. If payments are suspended prematurely, and the Special Deputy Commissioner disallows the Form 24 request, the insurer must pay full retroactive benefits to the employee.

Are there any penalties if payment of compensation benefits are not paid within fourteen (14) days after it has become due when the injured worker is being paid ongoing compensation?

Yes. Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. §97-18(g), there shall be added to such unpaid installment an amount equal to ten per cent (10%), which shall be paid at the same time as, but in addition to, such installment, unless such nonpayment is excused by the Industrial Commission after a showing by the employer that owing to conditions over which he had no control such installment could not be paid within the period prescribed for payment. There is a Penalty Memo available from the Industrial Commission for more information.

Which forms should I submit to the Industrial Commission when a claimant has returned to work?

You should use the Form 28 - Return to Work Report, when the claimant has returned to work with no working restrictions, or the Form 28-T - Notice of Termination of Compensation by Reason of Trial-Return to Work Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. §97-18.1(b) and §97-32.1, when the claimant has working restrictions.

Do the forms have to be color-coded?

Because we scan all forms and documents and convert them to electronic files, at this time, the Industrial Commission is using white paper for all forms and correspondence. This makes them easier to scan.

Do insurers and self-insurers have to send all bills to the Industrial Commission?

No, they do not. Insurers and self-insurers may pay the following bills without submitting them to the Industrial Commission for approval.

  • Medical Travel bills (the mileage rate will be $.56 per mile, effective 1 January 2014).
  • Minor medical bills of $2,000 or less.
  • Pharmacy bills—pay in full or per agreement.
  • Ambulance bills—pay in full or per agreement.
  • Out-of-state claims or providers—pay in full or per agreement or by your state’s fee schedule.
  • Private-duty-nursing bills—pay in full or per agreement.
  • Nursing-home bills (per agreement with nursing home).
  • Pain-clinic bills (per agreement with pain clinic).
  • Industrial rehabilitation bills for "work hardening programs" and "psychological services" (per agreement with service provider).
  • Rehabilitation nurse bills—pay in full or per agreement (per Industrial Commission rule effective January 1, 1993). Please send a copy of these bills, with the I.C. Number indicated, to the Industrial Commission for its files. It is no longer necessary to send reports unless they have been requested.

New Forms!

We are now offering versions of the Form 18 and 19 that can be submitted electronically. These forms require Adobe Reader version 7.0 or later and a valid e-mail address to submit the forms on-line. Click Here to get the free Adobe Reader.

Form 18 for Electronic Submission

This version of the Form 18 allows for filling out and submitting it on-line. You must have Adobe Reader version 7.0 or later and a valid e-mail address to submit this form on-line. Click Here to get the free Adobe Reader.

Form 19 for Electronic Submission

This version of the Form 19 allows for filling out and submitting it on-line. You must have Adobe Reader version 7.0 or later and a valid e-mail address to submit this form on-line. Click Here to get the free Adobe Reader.

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