Hillsborough County Addresses PIP Fraud
Tampa Bay is the worst area in Florida for staged car accidents. As a result, Hillsborough county officials have drafted an ordinance to crack down on bogus claims.
Florida’s PIP insurance allows a $10,000 per person per accident pay out in the event of a car accident for medical care and or lost wages. 2 car loads of people that stage an auto accident could easily net $100,000. The criminals get the money by colluding with dishonest PIP medical providers that treat them for fake injuries. The provider bills PIP for treatment that never occurred. The people in the accident receive a percentage and the medical provider pockets the rest.
Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner drafted a PIP medical provider ordinance. This ordinance would require medical providers to pay a fee to the County to be certified and appropriately licensed before they are allowed to treat injuries from a car accident and bill PIP. The ordinance would also make the government aware if the provider has a criminal background or are involved in illicit activities.
While the law seems to have good intentions and will generate some additional revenue for the County, it is hard to see how it will do much to reduce the amount of PIP fraud. If these criminals are bold enough to bill insurance companies for faked injuries in staged car accidents, then they are bold enough to pay a fee for a license. As I have written in previous posts about the susceptibility of PIP to fraud, the only way to eliminate PIP fraud may be to eliminate PIP itself. While, PIP does provide for people who would otherwise be unable to pay for medical care, letters of protection could be used to provide medical care to most of these people.