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New Jersey Seeks to Cut Medical Arbitration Fees

Thursday, August, 4, 2011

Medical arbitration fees have become a contentious issue in New Jersey, where an overhaul of the state's personal injury protection system would change the method by which arbitration panels award attorney's fees to lawyers who represent people injured in automobile accidents.  The overhaul would also reduce the fees paid to chiropractors and other practitioners of alternative medicine and change payment schedules for same-day surgical centers.  The aim of the legislation is to control the cost of auto insurance.


“The goal is to control PIP [Personal Injury Protection] costs so we do what we can to reverse this upward pressure on rates that PIP is having right now on auto insurance,” said Marshall McKnight, a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.


Changes to Medical Arbitration Regulations


The new rules would also make major changes to the arbitration process in disputes between medical service providers and insurance companies.  The state's concern stems from the fact that these types of arbitration claims have increased 80% in the last five years.  The new regulations would cap the number of times arbitration could be used in such situations, and an in-person hearing rather than paper filings would be required when the amount in dispute is less than $1000.


Personal injury arbitration is a closely related field that helps people recover financially after accidents caused by others.