Many of the problems that you may face in your workers comp. claim will arise from the medical care you receive from the posted panel physician. While it would not be accurate to question the motivation and integrity of every doctor who appears on a posted panel, I counsel my clients to always keep in mind that panel docs get paid by insurance companies and get on-going business from insurance companies.
Over the years I have reviewed thousands of pages of treatment records and been involved in several thousand cases and I can tell you that medical care relies to a great extent on the judgment of the treating physician. If you experience a severe back injury, for example, physician A may prescribe 6 weeks of physical therapy, followed by a series of 3 epidural injections, followed by minimally invasive diskectomy to trim protruding disc material. Physician B may order epidural blocks right away, followed up by a much more extensive fusion surgery. Physician C may make the determination that you are not a surgical candidate at all and refer you to long term pain management.
Each of these options involves both a short term and a long term cost and risk to the insurance company. As your attorney, I am focused on which treatment option will give you the best chance at long term health – both freedom from pain and maximum return to physical capacity. I am your advocate and the cost of treatment is not my concern.
The insurance company is focused on keeping its costs in check.
The physician who relies on the insurance company for business has an ethical and professional obligation to help his patient but will feel pressure to choose treatment options that may not be entirely focused on your heath.
I am sure you can see the built-in conflict that arises in just about every workers comp. case.
So when potential clients ask me why they should retain me, I explain that I can offer guidance about both the treatment options which might apply in a particular case as well as an opinion about the physician providing the treatment.
But mostly, I see my role as serving as your advocate and to look out for your interests and to resist efforts by the insurance company to limit your treatment for their financial benefit.
If you have concerns about medical care you are receiving, please call me – my direct number is 770-351-0801.