Re: What is the PM doctors job?
Hi back in the saddle, When comp cuts off pay and refuses procedures or treatment it's time to get a lawyer involved. This is their way of squeezing you into a crappy settlement. There is a lot a PM doc can do aside from prescribing meds. In fact you don't need a PM doc if that's all he is doing, Your GP can write a script just as easily. You do have the right to get another opinion in the comp system and there is certainly more that can be done than prescribe meds. It would have been best to get an attorney as soon as things turned advesarial or when you were unable to return to work when they wanted or expected.
My sugestion would be to get a true IME "independent medical eval" from a doc of your choosing. If comp is paying and it's a comp doc, It's not independent. If comp docs don't side with comp, they lose their lucrative contracts and steady referral of patients from comp. The more respected the doc you see for an IME, the more crediable the opinion will be be and the more likely comp will allow additional treatment. A dept head at a med school would be ideal and tough for a comp doc who works for comp, not you, to dispute.
Sorry your stuck in the system but a quick settlement just to get away from comp docs is a very short sighted solution. The meds alone to treat intractable chronic pain for one year cost more than comp will likely make in their first offer of settlement. You likely can contact your state ambudsman and the industrial commision and get a hearing to reinstate benefits and get aproval for additional treatment. Comp is counting on you doing nothing and simply going so broke you will take anything they offer to be done with this case and to have control over your own medical care.
This is really when you need a lawyer the most and there is a cap on what a comp lawyer can charge you. It's just a piece of the settlement, nothing up front or out of pocket other than your own outside opinion if you choose to get one.
Comp is playing a waiting game and it costs them nothing to wait while you loose everything you ever worked for. The only way to force comps hand is to prove they are denying you basic standards of care and you are going to have to get a non comp doc and likely an attorney to do that.
Good luck, Dave
Last edited by Shoreline; 11-02-2007 at 12:07 PM.