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Sound Shore Medical Center As Assignee of Barbara Kocourek v. Richmond University Medical Center As Assignee of Santa Reyes

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK APPELLATE TERM: 9th and 10th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS


January 10, 2011

SOUND SHORE MEDICAL CENTER AS ASSIGNEE OF BARBARA KOCOUREK,
RESPONDENT,
v.
RICHMOND UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER AS ASSIGNEE OF SANTA REYES,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
NEW YORK CENTRAL MUTUAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY,
APPELLANT.

Appeal from an order of the District Court of Nassau County, First District (Fred J. Hirsh, J.), dated August 31, 2009.

Sound Shore Med. Ctr. v New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co.

Appellate Term, Second Department

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.

Decided on January 10, 2011

PRESENT: NICOLAI, P.J., MOLIA and LaCAVA, JJ

The order denied defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted by plaintiff Sound Shore Medical Center and granted plaintiff Sound Shore Medical Center's cross motion for summary judgment.

ORDERED that the order is reversed, without costs, defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted by plaintiff Sound Shore Medical Center is granted and plaintiff Sound Shore Medical Center's cross motion for summary judgment is denied.

In this action by providers to recover assigned first-party no-fault benefits, defendant moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted by plaintiff Sound Shore Medical Center (plaintiff) on the ground that the action was premature because plaintiff had failed to provide requested verification documents. Plaintiff cross-moved for summary judgment. The District Court denied defendant's motion for summary judgment and granted plaintiff's cross motion for summary judgment. The instant appeal by defendant ensued.

Contrary to the determination of the District Court, the affidavit of defendant's claims examiner was sufficient to establish that defendant had timely mailed the verification request and follow-up verification request in accordance with defendant's standard office practices and procedures (see St. Vincent's Hosp. of Richmond v Government Empls. Ins. Co., 50 AD3d 1123 [2008]; Residential Holding Corp. v Scottsdale Ins. Co., 286 AD2d 679 [2001]). In addition, defendant's moving papers established that plaintiff had failed to provide the requested verification.

In support of its cross motion and in opposition to defendant's motion for summary judgment, plaintiff did not assert that it had never received the initial and follow-up verification requests nor did it assert that it had fully complied with these requests. Plaintiff's attorney merely argued that since the affidavit of the hospital biller, taken together with the copy of the certified return receipt card, established that defendant had received the bill on December 22, 2008, defendant's initial verification request, sent on November 26, 2008, pre-dated defendant's receipt of the bill and was therefore a nullity. However, the record establishes that defendant's initial verification request was sent to plaintiff after plaintiff had sent, and defendant had received, a UB-04 form, which specified the treatment rendered. The UB-04 form is the successor to the UB-92 form and the functional equivalent of the NF-5 form (see Insurance Department Regulations [11 NYCRR] § 65-3.5 [a], [f]). Accordingly, defendant's initial verification request was not untimely (cf. Mount Sinai Hosp. v Triboro Coach, 263 AD2d 11 [1999]).

Since plaintiff has not rebutted defendant's prima facie showing that defendant's initial request and follow-up request for verification were timely and that plaintiff failed to respond to same, defendant established that its time to pay or deny the claim was tolled. Consequently, defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, on the ground that the action was premature, should have been granted (see Hospital for Joint Diseases v New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 44 AD3d 903 [2007]; Central Suffolk Hosp. v New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 24 AD3d 492 [2005]; Mary Immaculate Hosp. v New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 21 Misc 3d 130[A], 2008 NY Slip Op 52046[U] [App Term, 9th & 10th Jud Dists 2008]). Accordingly, the order is reversed, defendant's motion is granted and plaintiff's cross motion for summary judgment is denied.

Nicolai, P.J., Molia and LaCava, JJ., concur.

Decision Date: January 10, 2011

20110110

© 1992-2011 VersusLaw Inc.



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