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KS WC- Dr "Copperhead"/Pt's rights

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  • KS WC- Dr "Copperhead"/Pt's rights

    I received my 1st on the job injury to my shoulder in 09/06, this was followed by a 2nd on the job injury to my elbow 12/06. I have been on modified duty, treated and received rehab by 2 physicians since my injuries until 05/07, my current Dr reported that I would need surgery on my elbow. Since this diagnosis, I have been assigned a case manager and a new Dr for a second opinion. This new Dr has the bedside manner of a copperhead. My initial consult with this new Dr., I felt personally attacked, my integrity questioned, with the suggestion that I am responsible for not recoverying because of family responsibilities. What are my patients rights under work comp in KS? Can I fire Dr "copperhead" and find a Dr that will treat me with dignity and get me well? At what point do I need to talk to an attorney?

  • #2
    [QUOTE=KSRN;895010]I received my 1st on the job injury to my shoulder in 09/06, this was followed by a 2nd on the job injury to my elbow 12/06. I have been on modified duty, treated and received rehab by 2 physicians since my injuries until 05/07, my current Dr reported that I would need surgery on my elbow. Since this diagnosis, I have been assigned a case manager and a new Dr for a second opinion. This new Dr has the bedside manner of a copperhead. My initial consult with this new Dr., I felt personally attacked, my integrity questioned, with the suggestion that I am responsible for not recoverying because of family responsibilities. What are my patients rights under work comp in KS? Can I fire Dr "copperhead" and find a Dr that will treat me with dignity and get me well? At what point do I need to talk to an attorney?[/QUOT

    It sounds like workers comp wanted you to see one of thier doctors for a "second opinion". I hate to sound this way, but some, not all, workers compensation doctors, will do what they have to do, to make it so your work injury is not the reason for surgery etc. This doctor does not have to be your primary physician for this W.C injury, but when W.C sends you a letter saying to see him, you have to. You can also have a doctor you are happy with, and see him on a regular basis. Only see the "Dr.Copperhead", when you are asked to by W.C. This really is not uncommon. If you feel like W.C is, or they say they are not going to continue treatment, or payment for lost wages, you should see an attorney for sure. By the sounds of it, I would see one!! If you are doing something in your "family responsibilities" that you were told not to do, then they can use that against you (like lifting your child). Please, just to be safe, see a workers comp attorney for a consultation, and see if they can offer you help, and advice you need. If you feel they can help you, hire them, they only get a percentage of what you get in a settlement (they do not get anything from your lost wages checks). Good luck to you!!

    This is from the Kansas Department Of Labor:

    You do have the right to apply to the Director of Workers Compensation for a change of doctor. I would try that first. If they refuse to let you switch, I would get an attorney, since it is obvioius that this doctor is blaming other things for your injury, or your lack of healing. Let me know how this goes!!

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    • #3
      You can always speak to an attorney, but if care is going well and treatment is not being denied, it doesn't really benefit you to hire one. If you have a decent relationship with the adjuster and NCM, and prefer to take an active role in your own care, realize that bringing an attorney into the equation can interupt that. When you hire an attorney you are asking that person to be your spokesperson. Make sure that person is listening to you and following a course you are comfortable with. Certainly if you are having difficulty with your claim, the adjusters aren't being responsive or you would prefer to have someone else managethe process for you, then I'd highly recommend seeking competent legal counsel to assist you.

      As for Dr. Personality, if he isn't just the IME doctor and is the one to be treating you, you can apply to see another doctor to the Director of Workers Compensation. In your state typically the employer may choose the treating physician, but you do have the right to apply to see someone else. I will caution you that surgeons on the whole are not known for their people skills. While certainly you should feel comfortable with whomever is treating you, I'd also look into the reputation of the doctor and whether this is a case of the doctor being blunt about the truth or someone who is truly caustic. It is your call of course but it might be worth a second visit, assuming this isn't just the IME doctor.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
        You can always speak to an attorney, but if care is going well and treatment is not being denied, it doesn't really benefit you to hire one. If you have a decent relationship with the adjuster and NCM, and prefer to take an active role in your own care, realize that bringing an attorney into the equation can interupt that. When you hire an attorney you are asking that person to be your spokesperson. Make sure that person is listening to you and following a course you are comfortable with. Certainly if you are having difficulty with your claim, the adjusters aren't being responsive or you would prefer to have someone else managethe process for you, then I'd highly recommend seeking competent legal counsel to assist you.

        As for Dr. Personality, if he isn't just the IME doctor and is the one to be treating you, you can apply to see another doctor to the Director of Workers Compensation. In your state typically the employer may choose the treating physician, but you do have the right to apply to see someone else. I will caution you that surgeons on the whole are not known for their people skills. While certainly you should feel comfortable with whomever is treating you, I'd also look into the reputation of the doctor and whether this is a case of the doctor being blunt about the truth or someone who is truly caustic. It is your call of course but it might be worth a second visit, assuming this isn't just the IME doctor.
        Great advise! I have to admit, the most rude, blunt, and hated doctor in our hospital, is also the best at what she does, and if I had to have a back surgery, I would go to her, even though I hate her bedside mannor. Thank you for bringing to light, the chance that the IME doctor, may just have a crappy bedside mannor, and nothing more or less to read into it.

        Comment

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