NBC Dateline: Paper Chase

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NBC Dateline: Paper Chase

Postby Webmaster » February 25th, 2005, 5:12 pm

Paper Chase, Part I, aired on NBC's Dateline June 23, 2000. In 15-month investigation, they interviewed more than 250 people, reviewed more than 70,000 pages of documents, and examined two companies that State Farm did business with involving "independent medical reviews." They state, "What we found was a disturbing pattern in the way State Farm handled thousands of accident claims."

The Paper Chase
June 23, 2000

Summary: Dateline investigates State Farm Insurance Company and its little-known practice of "paper review." In a paper review, State Farm employees review a patient's medical records rather than actually examining the patient. The Dateline crew discovered that some State Farm employees use this practice to manipulate the system. For example, the crew found that some employees "secretly orchestrated the supposedly independent medical results, helping author reports and dictating changes to medical opinions that led to lower recommended payments for medical claims."

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Paper Chase, Part II was broadcast on July 25, 2000. The Dateline show added to the original report in significant ways. It stated that additional insurance companies were using the same illegal and unethical tactics previously highlighted. The show presented additional examples of fraud.

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The Idaho Supreme Court upheld a decision by a jury in 1999 requiring State Farm Insurance to pay an Idaho woman $9.6 million after the insurer allegedly used a biased medical review company to evaluate her injury claim. The jury ruled that State Farm referred Cindy Robinson's medical file to Medical Claims Review Service (MCRS), knowing that the company would return a "favorable review" to State Farm and give the insurer grounds to deny her claim. NBC's Dateline also questioned State Farm's medical-claims handling practices in June 2000. State Farm sells workers' compensation insurance.
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