The DWC has proposed an interpreter fee schedule which would finally allow a uniformed fee schedule rather than the dreaded market rate system. The proposal includes not only rates but also requirements on who schedules and the type of interpreters required.
The fee schedule is based on the federal system. The fee is different depending on whether the interpreter is certified or provisionally certified. It also limits the stacking of interpreting events in a single session. Multiple interpreting services during the same time window would be reduced in pricing.
The proposal would be as follows:
Hearing or Deposition – Half Day
$225.00 certified / $141.00 provisional
Additional Hearing During Half Day Period
$191.25 certified / $105.75 provisional
Hearing or Deposition – Full Day
$448.00 certified / $232.00 provisional
Additional Hearing During Full Day Period
$336.00 certified / $174.00 provisional
Medical Treatment or Med Legal evaluation
$86.50 per hour certified / $57.75 per hour provisional
The regulations allow for 14 types of billing codes for interpreter services. There are 10 codes for hearings and depositions. There are 2 codes for medical treatment appointments and 2 codes for Med Legal Evaluations depending on certification.
Whomever schedules the interpreter will need to make every effort to use a certified interpreter. In fact, the scheduling party must contact at least 3 interpreter services to request a certified interpreter and document those contacts. Certification credentials would be required at all hearings, depositions, medical treatment appointments, and Med Legal evaluations.
The responsibility of scheduling the interpreter depends on the situation.
- Hearings – injured worker
- Depositions – party noticing the deposition
- Med Legal – defendant
- Medical treatment – depends on MPN
- Injured worker schedules if they are not covered in MPN, the MPN does not include ancillary providers, or they are covered in MPN with Ancillary Services but interpreter is not available
- Defendant schedules if injured worker is covered in MPN with Ancillary Services and interpreter is available
This proposal was open to public comment earlier this year. All commentary was closed April 13, 2018. So far there has been no official word on when the fee schedule will be implemented.