Michigan Court of Appeals Holds that Services Might be Lawfully Rendered Under MCL 500.3157 Even if the Service is Proper to a Field of Practice for Which the Provider is Not Licensed
Foster Swift No-Fault E-News
June 24, 2008
On June 19, 2008, the Court of Appeals held in a published opinion that services might be lawfully rendered under MCL 500.3157 even if the particular service is proper to a field of practice for which the provider is not licensed Psychosocial Service Associates, PC v State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co, (Docket No. 276193).
Plaintiff sought payment for services rendered to an insured of Defendant. The services included neurobiofeedback (NBF) treatment, for which State Farm denied payment under MCL 500.3157. This provision limits PIP benefit payments to persons "lawfully rendering treatment to an injured person." State Farm argued that NBF is proper to the practice of Psychology, and since no one at Psychosocial was licensed to practice Psychology, NBF had not been lawfully rendered. The district court denied State Farm’s motion for partial summary disposition based on this premise, but the circuit court reversed. The Court of Appeals reversed the circuit court order, reinstated the district court order and remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings.
The Court of Appeals held that services might be lawfully rendered under MCL 500.3157 even if a particular service is proper to a field of practice for which a provider is not licensed. The analysis requires a determination of whether the service belongs exclusively to a field, in this case Psychology. Depending on how NBF is characterized, the services provided by the plaintiff and its staff did not necessarily fail the "lawfully rendered" test.
This case is important because it further defines what qualifies as treatment lawfully rendered under MCL 500.3157.