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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bills attacking PIP fraud pass Senate committee despite resistance



With CFO Jeff Atwater beating the PIP fraud drum, two bills addressng the issue passed their first Senate committee stop on Tuesday, but not before facing withering criticism. 

The Banking and Insurance committee voted 7-4 in favor of SB 1930, sponsored by Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, with Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, joining Democrats in opposing it. Among other things, the bill would give insurers 90 days to investigate claims to make sure they're legitimate before making payments for medical services. That doesn't sit well with Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, who deemed the provision "ridiculous" and said it would have to change for the bill to continue to win his support.

"Let's not use fraud as a rationale for all these other parting gifts, such as allowing three months to pay a bill," Negron said. "Let's not go to the other exteme and act like every person involved in an auto accident is a potential crook. People are involved in auto accidents and do have injuries."

Negron also voted with Fasano and three Democrats in opposing SB 1694, sponsored by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, which seeks to limit attorney's fees in PIP lawsuits.

"We are trying to wrap our arms around the carrot," Richter said of the proposal.

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 1:47pm]


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