Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 5545

February Session, 2012

 

LCO No. 2529

 

*02529_______JUD*

Referred to Committee on Judiciary

 

Introduced by:

 

(JUD)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING FINANCIAL LIABILITY FOR AMBULANCE SERVICES, EVIDENCE OF COLLATERAL SOURCE PAYMENTS AND LIENS IN WORKERS' COMPENSATION CASES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2012) Subject to the provisions of sections 19a-177, 38a-498 and 38a-525 of the general statutes, any person who receives emergency medical treatment services or transportation services from a licensed ambulance service or certified ambulance service shall be liable to such ambulance service for the reasonable and necessary costs of providing such services, less any payment received for such services from any other source, irrespective of whether such person agreed or consented to such liability.

Sec. 2. Subsection (b) of section 52-225a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012, and applicable to actions filed on or after said date):

(b) Upon a finding of liability and an awarding of damages by the trier of fact and before the court enters judgment, the court shall receive evidence from the claimant and other appropriate persons concerning the total amount of collateral sources which have been paid for the benefit of the claimant as of the date the court enters judgment. For purposes of this section evidence that a physician or physician assistant licensed under chapter 370, dentist licensed under chapter 379, chiropractor licensed under chapter 372, natureopath licensed under chapter 373, physical therapist licensed under chapter 376, podiatrist licensed under chapter 375, psychologist licensed under chapter 383, or an emergency medical technician certified under chapter 368d, optometrist licensed under chapter 380 or advanced practice registered nurse licensed under chapter 378, accepted an amount less than the total amount of any bill generated by such physician, physician assistant, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician, optometrist, or advanced practice registered nurse, or evidence that an insurer paid less than the total amount of any bill generated by such physician, physician assistant, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician, optometrist, or advanced practice registered nurse, shall be admissible as evidence of the total amount of collateral sources which have been paid for the benefit of the claimant as of the date the court enters judgment.

Sec. 3. Subsection (b) of section 52-174 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2012):

(b) In all actions for the recovery of damages for personal injuries or death, pending on October 1, 1977, or brought thereafter, and in all court proceedings in family relations matters, as defined in section 46b-1, or in the Family Support Magistrate Division, pending on October 1, 1998, or brought thereafter, and in all other civil actions pending on October 1, 2001, or brought thereafter, any party offering in evidence a signed report and bill for treatment of any treating [physician, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician, optometrist, physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse] physician or physician assistant licensed under chapter 370, dentist licensed under chapter 379, chiropractor licensed under chapter 372, natureopath licensed under chapter 373, physical therapist licensed under chapter 376, podiatrist licensed under chapter 375, psychologist licensed under chapter 383, or an emergency medical technician certified under chapter 368d, optometrist licensed under chapter 380 or advanced practice registered nurse licensed under chapter 378, may have the report and bill admitted into evidence as a business entry and it shall be presumed that the signature on the report is that of [the] such treating physician, physician assistant, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician, optometrist [, physician assistant] or advanced practice registered nurse and that the report and bill were made in the ordinary course of business. The use of any such report or bill in lieu of the testimony of such treating physician, physician assistant, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician, optometrist [, physician assistant] or advanced practice registered nurse shall not give rise to any adverse inference concerning the testimony or lack of testimony of such treating physician, physician assistant, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician, optometrist [, physician assistant] or advanced practice registered nurse. In any action to which this section applies, the total amount of any bill generated by such physician, physician assistant, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician, optometrist or advanced practice registered nurse shall be admissible in evidence on the issue of the cost of reasonable and necessary medical care. The calculation of the total amount of the bill shall not be reduced because such physician, physician assistant, dentist, chiropractor, natureopath, physical therapist, podiatrist, psychologist, emergency medical technician, optometrist or advanced practice registered nurse accepts less than the total amount of the bill or because an insurer pays less than the total amount of the bill.

Sec. 4. Subsection (a) of section 31-293 of the 2012 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) When any injury for which compensation is payable under the provisions of this chapter has been sustained under circumstances creating in a person other than an employer who has complied with the requirements of subsection (b) of section 31-284, a legal liability to pay damages for the injury, the injured employee may claim compensation under the provisions of this chapter, but the payment or award of compensation shall not affect the claim or right of action of the injured employee against such person, but the injured employee may proceed at law against such person to recover damages for the injury; and any employer or the custodian of the Second Injury Fund, having paid, or having become obligated to pay, compensation under the provisions of this chapter may bring an action against such person to recover any amount that he has paid or has become obligated to pay as compensation to the injured employee. If the employee, the employer or the custodian of the Second Injury Fund brings an action against such person, he shall immediately notify the others, in writing, by personal presentation or by registered or certified mail, of the action and of the name of the court to which the writ is returnable, and the others may join as parties plaintiff in the action within thirty days after such notification, and, if the others fail to join as parties plaintiff, their right of action against such person shall abate unless, with respect to an action pending on or after July 1, 2011, the employer, insurance carrier or Second Injury Fund gives written notice of a lien in accordance with this subsection. In any case in which an employee brings an action against a party other than an employer who failed to comply with the requirements of subsection (b) of section 31-284, in accordance with the provisions of this section, and the employer is a party defendant in the action, the employer may join as a party plaintiff in the action. The bringing of any action against an employer shall not constitute notice to the employer within the meaning of this section. If the employer and the employee join as parties plaintiff in the action and any damages are recovered, the damages shall be so apportioned that the claim of the employer, as defined in this section, shall take precedence over that of the injured employee in the proceeds of the recovery, after the deduction of reasonable and necessary expenditures, including attorneys' fees, incurred by the employee in effecting the recovery. [If] With respect to an action pending on or after July 1, 2011, if the action has been brought by the employee, the claim of the employer shall be reduced by one-third of the amount of the benefits to be reimbursed to the employer, unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties, which reduction shall inure solely to the benefit of the employee, except that such reduction shall not apply if the reimbursement is to the state of Connecticut or a political subdivision of the state including a local public agency, as the employer, or the custodian of the Second Injury Fund. The rendition of a judgment in favor of the employee or the employer against the party shall not terminate the employer's obligation to make further compensation which the commissioner thereafter deems payable to the injured employee. If the damages, after deducting the employee's expenses as provided in this subsection, are more than sufficient to reimburse the employer, damages shall be assessed in his favor in a sum sufficient to reimburse him for his claim, and the excess shall be assessed in favor of the injured employee. No compromise with the person by either the employer or the employee shall be binding upon or affect the rights of the other, unless assented to by him. For the purposes of this section, the claim of the employer shall consist of (1) the amount of any compensation which he has paid on account of the injury which is the subject of the suit, and (2) an amount equal to the present worth of any probable future payments which he has by award become obligated to pay on account of the injury. The word "compensation", as used in this section, shall be construed to include incapacity payments to an injured employee, payments to the dependents of a deceased employee, sums paid out for surgical, medical and hospital services to an injured employee, the burial fee provided by subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 31-306, payments made under the provisions of sections 31-312 and 31-313, and payments made under the provisions of section 31-284b in the case of an action brought under this section by the employer or an action brought under this section by the employee in which the employee has alleged and been awarded such payments as damages. Each employee who brings an action against a party in accordance with the provisions of this subsection shall include in his complaint (A) the amount of any compensation paid by the employer or the Second Injury Fund on account of the injury which is the subject of the suit, and (B) the amount equal to the present worth of any probable future payments which the employer or the Second Injury Fund has, by award, become obligated to pay on account of the injury. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, when any injury for which compensation is payable under the provisions of this chapter has been sustained under circumstances creating in a person other than an employer who has complied with the requirements of subsection (b) of section 31-284, a legal liability to pay damages for the injury and the injured employee has received compensation for the injury from such employer, its workers' compensation insurance carrier or the Second Injury Fund pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the employer, insurance carrier or Second Injury Fund shall have a lien upon any judgment received by the employee against the party or any settlement received by the employee from the party, provided the employer, insurance carrier or Second Injury Fund shall give written notice of the lien to the party prior to such judgment or settlement.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2012

New section

Sec. 2

October 1, 2012, and applicable to actions filed on or after said date

52-225a(b)

Sec. 3

October 1, 2012

52-174(b)

Sec. 4

from passage

31-293(a)

Statement of Purpose:

To: (1) Specify that a person is liable in contract to pay for the cost of services delivered by an ambulance provider, (2) clarify the purposes for which certain health care provider bills may be used in personal injury and wrongful death actions, and (3) specify that the provisions of public act 11-205 apply to actions pending on or after July 1, 2011.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]