|By Josh Poltilove, Tampa Tribune, Fla.|
The number of staged crashes in
But on a state level, no such law exists.
With two weeks left in this year's legislative session, Scott came to
"We're working hard to deal with the issue in the legislature," Scott said.
At this point, through, the
Scott spoke today with
Staged-accident fraud "is coming out of our pockets,"
The fraud takes advantage of state-mandated Personal Injury Protection insurance. Criminals recruit "victims" who are involved in a staged accident. Participants go to fake clinics that bill insurers the maximum
Insurance agents say they are losing business because customers can't afford their PIP insurance. The premiums have risen rapidly in response to the large payouts to fraudulent clinics, they said.
Doing this, law enforcement officials said, closes a loophole in state health care law that exempts clinics from licensure regulations when the clinics have a physician's name on the business application.
The county has the right to inspect the clinics "as necessary."
The state House bill aimed at reducing costs in no-fault automobile insurance passed through a panel Friday after being substantially amended. The changes accommodate some private physician concerns while holding the line on a cap of attorney fees.
Like the original House proposal, the new bill would continue to require that "true emergencies" be treated at emergency rooms or hospital-run clinics within 72 hours of an accident, the House sponsor told the panel Friday. But unlike previous versions, the bill does not prohibit patients from seeking medical attention from private physicians, an earlier restriction opposed by the
Under the new version, patients could go to the doctor of their choice for up to
The measure now heads to the House floor and could be taken up in the coming days.
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|Source:||McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|