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Justices Refuse To Reconsider ‘PIP’ Fees Ruling


The Florida Supreme Court this week rejected a request from medical providers that it plunge again into a dispute about payments by Allstate Insurance Company to care for auto-accident victims.

Justices, in a 5-1 decision Monday, said they would not rehear the dispute. Chief Justice Jorge Labarga and justices R. Fred Lewis, Peggy Quince, Charles Canady and Ricky Polston were in the majority, while Justice Barbara Pariente dissented. Justice Alan Lawson, who joined the court at the end of December, did not take part.

The Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision Jan. 26, ruled in favor of Allstate in the underlying dispute, which focused on the personal-injury protection insurance system and attempts by Allstate to reimburse providers under fee schedules from the Medicare program.

The fee schedules involve limits on payments for services. Providers challenged the practice, arguing that insurance policies were "ambiguous" about whether Allstate would use the fee schedules to limit reimbursements.

The 4th District Court of Appeal, in a 2015 ruling that involved 32 consolidated cases, backed the providers. But the Jan. 26 Supreme Court opinion said Allstate's policies provided "legally sufficient notice" that the insurer would use the Medicare fee schedules.

Attorneys for the providers filed a motion last month for rehearing, arguing that the Supreme Court had "overlooked or misapprehended some important points of law and fact, including the principles of law which govern the identification and interpretation of an ambiguous insurance policy provision."

As is common, the Supreme Court this week did not explain its reasons for turning down the motion for rehearing.