§14-2A-19a. Effect on physician, hospital and healthcare providers filing an assignment of benefits; tolling of the statute of limitations.
(a) As part of the order, the commission or a commissioner thereof, shall determine whether fees are due and owing for health care services rendered by a physician, hospital or other health care provider stemming from an injury received as defined under this article, and further, whether or not the physician, hospital or other health care provider has been presented an assignment of benefits, signed by the crime victim, authorizing direct payments of benefits to the health care provider. If such fees are due and owing and the health care provider has presented a valid assignment of benefits, the commission or a commissioner thereof, shall determine the amount or amounts and shall cause such reasonable fees to be paid out of the amount awarded the crime victim under this article directly to the physician, hospital or other health care provider. The requirements of this section shall be applicable to, and any such unpaid fees shall be determined and payable from, the awards made by the Legislature at regular session, 1987, and subsequently: Provided, That when a claim is filed under this section, the commission shall determine the total damages due the crime victim, and where the total damages exceed the maximum amount which may be awarded under this article, the amount paid the health care provider shall be paid in the same proportion to which the actual award bears to the total damages determined by the commission. In any case wherein an award is made which includes an amount for funeral, cremation or burial expenses, or a combination thereof, the commission shall provide for the payment directly to the provider or providers of such services, in an amount deemed proper by the commission, where such expenses are unpaid at the time of the award.
(b) If the health care provider has filed an assignment of benefits, the provider shall aid the crime victim in the development of his or her claim by providing the commission with the amount of such fees as well as the amount of any portion of the fees paid the provider by the crime victim directly or paid the provider for the crime victim by a collateral source.
(c) Whether or not a health care provider has filed an assignment of benefits, the commission shall disclose no information regarding the status of the claim to the provider: Provided, That the commission shall promptly notify the provider of the final disposition of the claim, if the provider is known to the commission.
(d) Whenever a person files a claim under this article, the statute of limitations for the collection of unpaid fees paid for such health care services shall be tolled during the pendency of the claim before the commission.