Disillusioned workcover rehabilitation clinician’s speaks out

An anonymous rehabilitation service provider clinician, who undertakes many injured workcover victims rehabilitation and vocational assessments on behalf of various workcover insurance agencies, has kindly (thank you!) shared her/his insights in dealing with workcover case managers via our “share a story” page.

Here is his/her story about his/her experience in dealing with workcover case managers.

Disillusioned workcover rehabilitation clinician speaks out

I work as a clinician for a workcover approved  injury rehabilitation service provider. I work with injured workers on a daily basis, and can assure you that I implement only the very best rehabilitation plans for all of them. I believe that all my rehabilitation-related decisions are (and have been) extremely fair, and I am able to sleep soundly knowing that I have tried my very best each and every day to assist injured workcover victims, with the aim to get them back to work at an appropriate time (when they are ready) and in a safe and sustainable manner.

The  main issue I face on a daily basis  is working with or for the workcover insurance case managers. What is most challenging is their jaded , cynical and apathetic attitudes. I am pretty certain that most (if not all) workcover case managers are between the age of 35 – 50 and female. By their anger, frustration  and sheer resentment (on the phone) I wouldn’t be surprised if they are also divorced and extremely bitter.

The  main problem -as I see it- is that those case managers — apart having no education regarding injuries and rehabilitation, or even basic knowledge of medical terms and even anatomy — have probably or possibly seen , what they believe to be – too  many “fraudulent” workcover claims and unfortunately have let these very rare ones [where the injured worker was perhaps dishonest] affect their ability to give others a fair chance. Those workcover case managers have become and are  biased beyond belief and, as mentioned in several of your articles and comments, they have separated themselves from the reality of the situation and how their power can destroy ones life.

I am and have been truly appalled by the fact that those workcover case managers, who carry themselves with lack of basic professionalism and with utter and absolute ignorance, do not need to have any basic medical knowledge, but yet are allowed to  make drastic and life changing decisions for injured workers whilst  not needing to even understand the difference between an arm and a leg! How can that be?

Workcover rehabilitation… what’s the point?

I have, most unfortunately, seen first hand how this injustice takes place. There are many workcover case managers who will spend more time and effort  [read do everything possible ] trying to find ways to close a claim and determine the injury a “non compensable injury”, or “deny that MRI/treatment/surgery “,  rather than actually spending time trying to assist the injured worker.

After a rehabilitation session(s),  it is my job to make appropriate recommendations for the injured worker. My recommendations are thus based on how the injured worker progresses, based on their medical findings (IE: injury and status of injury/injuries) and based on their inherent job requirements. Often this will include my [professional] request for further medical investigations/tests be done.

However, I often [read several times per day] will have the workcover case managers literally yell at me on the phone and/or even swear at me as they become so angry – so angry and frustrated that they can’t yet close the claim (or not achieve their financial bonus). And, whats worse, in the end, the workcover case manager will (most often) NOT adhere to the recommendations made by the [rehabilitation] treatment team, but will rather do what they feel is appropriate and of course – based on what is more cost effective,in their non-educated opinions. In fact, and perhaps ironically, their unfounded and plain wrong decisions will most often cost the workcover insurer much more money in the end!

In summary, workcover insurance companies are businesses solely focuses on dollars and cents. They really could not care less about an injured “worker” (as they call them).

I am so frustrated and I feel so powerless, that I am currently looking for a new employer; one where I can practice injury rehabilitation and really make a positive difference in other peoples’ lives without having to interact with such immoral and most unethical workcover case managers. Don’t get me wrong, I have tried and tried and tried and I do want to make a positive difference in work injured people lives, but I can’t, because those workcover case managers won’t let me. This hurts me terribly and I find it hard to work for an employer that “chooses” to “let this happen”, although I know – deep down- that we [our company] are utterly powerless. And so it is that the very best rehab service clinicians just end up walking away from a “dirty” business, leaving only but the “least competent” clinicians behind, who obviously have no “problem” with such an unjust “system” and work practice. Some will even “adjust” their rehab plans for injured workers, as not to be yelled and sworn at every day by those monstrosities [work cover case managers].

Thank you for sharing this story with your readers. My hope is that my story will empower those injured “workers” enough to finally stand up, voice their opinions and find the necessary strength and courage to fight for a real change. You all [injured worcover victims] are ‘that government”, you all are strong in numbers, please do something about it and fight for your rights and for a just system, please.

Disillusioned

 

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Ben
Guest
It’s not “us” that needs representing — it’s the apathetic masses who are disillusioned with the political process, and have elected to give up their power to a coin-toss on two “both the same” abusive governmental agencies acting like corporations lining their own pockets.  Less dramatically than in the US, for sure, but probably moreso “per head of population” — but that’s my wild speculation, not fact, lets be clear. I’m not talking about some kind of conspiracy, I’m talking about the way the world actually currently works. The people being ripped off aren’t “injured people” — it’s everyone, people… Read more »
Ben
Guest
Petitions are akin to “asking nicely” – and the people you’d be asking are the ones who set the rules the way they are — they’re not going to listen without demand from the public. The public are “bombarded” with people with causes, so people now by default “say no” …   the trick is getting over that hurdle no1. The second hurdle, people are led to believe that “their vote” is something private, it’s theirs, never give it away, vote how you like, don’t be involved, just turn up on the day so you don’t get a fine.   People need… Read more »
workcovervictim
Guest

Great comment/article, Ben! You definitely should be the one elected to represent us (injured people/workcover & TAC)! You have a very natural and strong sense of ‘leadership’ and you’re excellent at expressing yourself, the general issues and, without a doubt, of convincing people to stand up and to do something about this.

But where does one start?

 

Ben
Guest

Legislative change, through forcing politicians hands by changing “the peoples” votes is the only thing that can make a difference.

We need to start collecting people who are “willing to change their vote” (especially in marginal seats) so we have something to negotiate with politicians with.

Anyone have ideas?

Ben.

workcovervictim
Guest
The only way I can think of is gathering enough digital signatures (email addresses) on a petition, such as the one I have set up. Unfortunately NOBODY wants to sign!!!???? Scared of workcover insurance reprisals? Doesn’t make any sense… may as well be scared of writing a complaint to them! Writing a personal letter to the Minister is not going to help, many have tried. The letter would need at least 1000 signatures to have some ‘leverage’. We could set this up digitally as well, but we’ll face the same problem I guess, and that is that nobody out there… Read more »
Also dislillusioned
Guest

A tip: never ever agree to have IPAR Rehabilitation Services engaged for you on behalf of your workcover insurer (at least not in Vic). Their slogan reads “maximizing your potential” but SHOULD read “Minimizing your potential”. I say no more…

dislillusioned injured worker
Guest
dislillusioned injured worker
Thank you, “Disillusioned” for sharing your story with us. Although what you tell here is not new to me, I am extremely grateful that you have had the courage to put this is writing, this only further affirms our (many injured worker) suspicions and own disillusions re the workcover rehab and RTW process. I, as an example, have been repeatedly and prematurely forced back to return to work,but to the very same job that caused my injury. Needless to say that this RTW has just repeatedly aggravated my injury, for which I have had major surgery at least once a… Read more »