Have you ever wondered how a workcover case manager can influence your treating doctor or specialist? Or the so called “independent medical examiner”? Through this video we want you to see how workcover case managers pressurise doctors and how broken the workers’ compensation medical system has become.
How do workcover case managers pressurise doctors?
Have you ever wondered how a workcover case manager can influence your treating doctor or specialist? If you work in an industry where employees often get hurt, or where work injuries are likely to be serious, you can be certain that your employer’s workcover insurance company has directed the human resource director at your company to include specific doctors on your company’s “staff doctor’s list”. They also use their so called favourite “independent medical doctors”, many whom have not practiced medicine for years, some who have been stripped of their medical practice licenses.
Workcover insurance case manager know that doctors who derive most or all of their income from workers’ compensation referrals will be much less likely to keep you off work or order expensive tests. For example, some “independent medical” examiners have a reputation of being pro-workcover, and will – of course – get the most referrals from the insurance company. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you, eh.
The problem, of course, is that delays in needed tests, or delays in needed treatment can result in permanent injury to you. Further, if a doctor returns you to work and you are unable to perform your duties, you are likely to be fired putting you in a difficult financial situation and psychologically, potentially deterring you from pursuing your rightful benefits. In other cases, some doctors will certify seriously incapacitated injured workers fit for (some) work which may result in the incapacitated worker being, unjustly, cut off all benefits. A real Australian example of such a case, whereby an IME certified a seriously injured worker fit “to distribute leaflets” can be read here
In this video, a lawyer discusses a case where the doctor flat out ignored his own physical therapist’s conclusions about the lawyer’s client’s very limited use of her arms, and issued a full duty return to work.
Whilst this is an American video and case, most does apply to our very own Australian workcover system. Through this video we want you to see how broken the workers’ compensation medical system has become.
I’d also be willing to bet that this doctor knows that he was not living up to his oath to offer full and complete treatment to his patients, but his interest in making money and seeing those referrals seems to override his conscience!