Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 34 L
"What Lawyers Really NEED"
Through the years, I have sat with many lawyers, but one in particular was a pain in my ass, on a continual basis, for many years, and I have referenced him throughout these consultations. His name is Harold and he is now in his 70's and still practicing. As I reflect on many of the conversations we had through the years, there are 2 topics that stick out, narratives and IMEs.
Conclusions in the narratives. This is why I have paid such close attention to synopsizing the entire case in 2-3 paragraphs at the end of the narrative and realizing that lawyers rarely read the entire report. To be able to teach you how to do that has taken me 7 years of working with Harold who "tortured me" with a red pen much like a 2nd grader on a test. He even graded me and I failed for many years. He stuck with me because as bad as I was (and I was really bad in the beginning), no one was even listening to him to accomplish this. After years, the language in the reports became so succinct and admissible that the judges in court rulings started quoting the narratives "word for word." When that happens, you know that you have accomplished your goals and that lawyers will take serious notice of you and your work with personal injury cases. For me, this set the groundwork for many new referrals.
Go to the narrative section of the consultations and learn how to do this. Too many of you haven't read the consultations...you only read these "quickie consults" and wonder why everyone else is getting the referrals and not you. DUH!!!!!
Secondly, IMEs. Through the years, Harold would often say to me, "Why do you let them first define you, then destroy your reputation and finally screw your patients? In the end Markey (yes, he called me Markey), the legal community is going to see these reports in court records and the abundance of IMEs and peer reviews the carrier is going to subject you to because they see you are "easy prey" and they are going to exploit that until you push back responsibly." It was only a matter of time before every lawyer in the region saw negative IME comments about me on a repeated basis and it began to destroy my personal injury practice.
My response for too many years was, "I don't care because in the end, I will care for my patients, get paid on most and use the arbitration system in New York to fight for the balance of the unpaid bills." I was focused on the "short term" of only getting paid on the outstanding claims, realizing it was a 1-2 year process to ensure payment. I was also very good at it because my recovery rate was 92%, understanding that the average in New York was approximately 70%. What I was ignorant about was the long-term devastating effect the growing body of negative (false-lying-fabricated) IMEs and peer review reports had on my practice, my reputation and in the end, my ability to secure future referrals.
It wasn't until recently that I started to fight back as I have well-chronicled and have given you tutorials about on the Web site. Doctors around the country are overturning improper negative IMEs on a regular basis. Does it take work? Of course, all success requires an effort, but at the end of the day you get paid, the patient gets the care needed and you have recourse against the newest form of retrospective audit. It is called the retrospective IME and peer review and they are powerful in "screwing you" because the courts will see that another professional who is well-credentialed has either examined your patient or reviewed your work. This so-called "expert" will be destroying your reputation and clinical competency in the eyes of the courts if you challenge them in the usual and customary manner, whining, as 99.9% of doctors do and change nothing. If you do not change the slow, but relentless destruction of your reputation, you will forever be on the short end of the referrals. This is an area that you need to spend time on when you communicate with lawyers. Inform them that you refute any and all IMEs and peer reviews that are improper which you have found most to be.
The first component of this consult is the narrative conclusion. That hits the easy button for the lawyers. The second part, IME and peer review rebuttals which are often the difference between the lawyers winning and losing their cases, with the understanding that we don't pander to the lawyers to help them win their cases. Our job is to bring the "truth to light" and if the IME and peer review doctors are honest and complete in reporting every aspect of patient cases, then all we can do is present our records and hope that we have done a better job than our counterparts. However, if the IME or peer review doctors have lied though acts of reporting false information or omissions that are pertinent to the conclusions, then you will aggressively go after the IMEs' and peer reviewers' licenses in order to set the record straight. In addition, inform the lawyers that you will also do everything in your power to remove those "perjuring doctors" from the system.
This is where you will get their attention. However, you must be the "real deal" and the 6 P's must be in place. You have to know how to do this and you MUST have the credentials behind you.