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Alaska law defines rates for out-of-state workers comp medical services

Posted On: Jun. 25, 2014 12:00 AM CST

Alaska law defines rates for out-of-state workers comp medical services

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has signed a bill into law that defines rates for workers compensation treatments or services performed out of state so they're not billed at Alaska's higher rates, along with establishing a 180-day billing timeline.

Sponsored by the House Labor and Commerce Committee, the law, which takes effect immediately, aims to create more “stability and predictability” for employers who are dealing with injured workers in Alaska, which is one of the most expensive states in the country for workers comp premium rates, Gov. Parnell's office said Monday in a statement.

“By defining the rates for out-of-state services, H.B. 141 eliminates the potential for workers' compensation claims provided in another state to be billed at Alaska's higher rates for the same service,” according to the statement.

In addition, requiring medical providers under the Alaska Workers' Compensation Act to submit bills to employers within 180 days of performing treatment or services will eliminate the possibility of back-billing claims that were already paid, the Alaska State House of Representatives said in an April statement.

“This bill is a result of a problem that developed over the last several years where injured employees were being treated outside of Alaska,” Rep. Kurt Olson, House Labor and Commerce Committee chair, said in a statement after the bill unanimously passed the Alaska House of Representatives in February. “In the past, the state where the procedure took place would define the fees schedule; that's since changed. Hospitals would go back and bill the difference between Alaska's rates and the rates where the procedure took place.”