Capitol Bridge, LLC assumed the reigns as the new Workers’ Compensation Review Contractor (WCRC) on 3/19/2018.
Immediately following the transition to Capitol Bridge, it was noted that they have a different methodology for pricing. This has caused a slight increase in counter low/high determinations as the industry adjusts to the pricing methodology changes.
In addition to the above, Optum has found the turn around time for completed WCRC determinations has increased from 9 days to 20 days. Hopefully this is just a slow down due to the transition and will level out in the near future.
There have been several “hearing loss” cases which have been returned with counter high allocations for future office visits and additional audiograms over the claimant’s life expectancy. Since Medicare does not cover ongoing office visits or testing once the claimant has been diagnosed with simple hearing loss (no other ear conditions noted), “hearing loss” claims have historically been approved as Zero MSA allocations. Optum is currently resubmitting these cases for additional review and reconsideration of a Zero MSA allocation due to the error of inclusion of non-Medicare covered items/services.
The above changes appear to be due to the transition to the new contractor and should be temporary. It was expected that there would be a short adjustment period as a result of the transition. Optum will continue to report any additional trends we become aware of that will affect WCMSAs in an ongoing effort to keep our clients apprised of changes as they occur.