(a) Every lien claimant shall file its lien with the appeals board in writing upon a form approved by the appeals board. The lien shall be accompanied by a full statement or itemized voucher supporting the lien and justifying the right to reimbursement and proof of service upon the injured worker or, if deceased, upon the worker’s dependents, the employer, the insurer, and the respective attorneys or other agents of record. For liens filed on or after January 1, 2017, the lien shall also be accompanied by an original bill in addition to either the full statement or itemized voucher supporting the lien. Medical records shall be filed only if they are relevant to the issues being raised by the lien.
(b) Any lien claim for expenses under subdivision (b) of Section 4903 or for claims of costs shall be filed with the appeals board electronically using the form approved by the appeals board. The lien shall be accompanied by a proof of service and any other documents that may be required by the appeals board. The service requirements for Section 4603.2 are not modified by this section.
(c) (1) For liens filed on or after January 1, 2017, any lien claim for expenses under subdivision (b) of Section 4903 that is subject to a filing fee under this section shall be accompanied at the time of filing by a declaration stating, under penalty of perjury, that the dispute is not subject to an independent bill review and independent medical review under Sections 4603.6 and 4610.5, respectively, that the lien claimant satisfies one of the following:
(A) Is the employee’s treating physician providing care through a medical provider network.
(B) Is the agreed medical evaluator or qualified medical evaluator.
(C) Has provided treatment authorized by the employer or claims administrator under Section 4610.
(D) Has made a diligent search and determined that the employer does not have a medical provider network in place.
(E) Has documentation that medical treatment has been neglected or unreasonably refused to the employee as provided by Section 4600.
(F) Can show that the expense was incurred for an emergency medical condition, as defined by subdivision (b) of Section 1317.1 of the Health and Safety Code.
(G) Is a certified interpreter rendering services during a medical-legal examination, a copy service providing medical-legal services, or has an expense allowed as a lien under rules adopted by the administrative director.
(2) Lien claimants shall have until July 1, 2017, to file a declaration pursuant to paragraph (1) for any lien claim filed before January 1, 2017, for expenses pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 4903 that is subject to a filing fee under this section.
(3) The failure to file a signed declaration under this subdivision shall result in the dismissal of the lien with prejudice by operation of law. Filing of a false declaration shall be grounds for dismissal with prejudice after notice.
(d) All liens filed on or after January 1, 2013, for expenses under subdivision (b) of Section 4903 or for claims of costs shall be subject to a filing fee as provided by this subdivision.
(1) The lien claimant shall pay a filing fee of one hundred fifty dollars ($150) to the Division of Workers’ Compensation prior to filing a lien and shall include proof that the filing fee has been paid. The fee shall be collected through an electronic payment system that accepts major credit cards and any additional forms of electronic payment selected by the administrative director. If the administrative director contracts with a service provider for the processing of electronic payments, any processing fee shall be absorbed by the division and not added to the fee charged to the lien filer.
(2) On or after January 1, 2013, a lien submitted for filing that does not comply with paragraph (1) shall be invalid, even if lodged with the appeals board, and shall not operate to preserve or extend any time limit for filing of the lien.
(3) The claims of two or more providers of goods or services shall not be merged into a single lien.
(4) The filing fee shall be collected by the administrative director. All fees shall be deposited in the Workers’ Compensation Administration Revolving Fund and applied for the purposes of that fund.
(5) The administrative director shall adopt reasonable rules and regulations governing the procedure for the collection of the filing fee, including emergency regulations as necessary to implement this section.
(6) Any lien filed for goods or services that are not the proper subject of a lien may be dismissed upon request of a party by verified petition or on the appeals board’s own motion. If the lien is dismissed, the lien claimant will not be entitled to reimbursement of the filing fee.
(7) No filing fee shall be required for a lien filed by a health care service plan licensed pursuant to Section 1349 of the Health and Safety Code, a group disability insurer under a policy issued in this state pursuant to the provisions of Section 10270.5 of the Insurance Code, a self-insured employee welfare benefit plan, as defined in Section 10121 of the Insurance Code, that is issued in this state, a Taft-Hartley health and welfare fund, or a publicly funded program providing medical benefits on a nonindustrial basis.
(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 868, Sec. 8. (SB 1160) Effective January 1, 2017.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018