Senate panel mulls PIP fraud issue

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Attorneys referral services, massage therapists and clinic owners are among those with targets on their backs as lawmakers begin crafting legislation backers say is needed to reduce costs in the delivery of personal injury protection insurance, the $10,000 in medical coverage for injured motorists regardless of fault, rpeorts the News Service of Florida. Members of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee took testimony from physicians, chiropractors, clinic owners, providers and insurance companies Wednesday as it prepares to draft its proposed remedy. Likely areas would include placing restrictions or bans on attorney referral services, a move supported by Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, hinted other likely areas to be addressed include requiring clinics to be headed by physicians, and some limitations on the number of procedures allowed during the course of treatment. The Senate plans to continue taking testimony from plaintiff’s and defense attorneys when it resumes hearings on the matter at its next meeting in December. Also Wednesday, House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee members workshopped that chamber’s PIP proposal but took no vote.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.