Usually non-compliance by the injured employee in following the treatment plan is, in some aspect, covered in all states.
Chiropractors, unfortunately, seem to fail in this category. Some (not all) do not even keep an actual medical chart with notes. Sometimes they briefly chart pain complaints and indicate pain progress. Overall, the notes are not detailed and fail to show medical improvement (progression).
Adjusters often fax a request or call the treating doctor asking for answers to specific questions or for medical notes. Every doctor's office is different, but at times weeks, even months, can go by and the adjuster will still be waiting for the doctor to address their questions.
Sometimes doctors ask to see patients two to three months following discharge of patients to regular duty as a follow up on their treatment. Depending on the injury, a follow up may be appropriate.
An independent medical exam (IME) is one of the adjusters best tools. Adjusters usually send patients for an IME because something is not adding up medically. Either the treatment is going on a lot longer than expected, or something in the medical notes does not make sense. Typically, claimants tell the doctor they have tons of symptoms, and the physician’s job should be to sort out what is work-related, what is not, and what makes no medical sense. Oftentimes, the doctor mentions allegations only to ignore them, and does not discharge patients when their subjective complaints do not match their objective signs of evidence.
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com