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Changing NC workers' compensation fee rules mean lower rates for hospitals, higher for doctors

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RALEIGH, North Carolina — New rules setting maximum fees for doctors and hospitals performing medical services for workers injured on the job in North Carolina could save millions of dollars annually.

The state Industrial Commission also said Monday the fee schedules set to begin April 1 and July 1 also should increase medical care access for those injured workers.

The legislature in 2013 mandated the changes to the schedule, which in some areas are based on 20-year-old Medicare reimbursement rates. The commission says the changes generally will result in lower payment rates to hospitals but higher ones to doctors and nurses. One industry study set annual savings at $27 million annually.

The Industrial Commission oversees how injured workers are compensated for lost work and how they receive medical treatment. Employers buy workers' compensation insurance.

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