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.