Academy of Chiropractic’s
Doctors PI Program
From the Desk of:
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
“How to Handle the OLD Patient who was Cared for Prior to the Lawyers PI Program Protocols”
NOTE: The Podcast gives an in-depth description of what needs to be done as it was recorded in a conversation with doctor who asked the same question. This consult in the written form is VERY DEFICIENT in what you need to learn. Go LISTEN!!!!
I received 2 calls today, 10 minutes apart, from doctors who said, "HOLY CRAP! The lawyer just called me and needed paperwork and reports for a patient I cared for 2 years ago, way before I started the Lawyers PI Program. What do I do?"
This is a very common issue because many of you were in the dark on how to triage and document the injuries. In fact, most of you used the strain-sprain paradigm to the delight of the insurance carriers. In fact, you have been a willing and major player in their scheme to "screw the patients, their claimants," as a result.
The solution is so simple. You call the patient back into the office and do a re-evaluation. Do not call it a final evaluation because nothing is a final evaluation. Those words should never be used because whenever the evaluation is done, something may happen in the future that requires another evaluation.
During the re-evaluation, follow the protocols I have shared with you and conclude a diagnosis. You are allowed to change your diagnosis based upon your current clinical findings. Diagnoses are not etched in stone and can change. In fact, it is common for a diagnosis to change from visit to visit.
Prior to performing the evaluation, inform the lawyer that you are doing another evaluation. Do not be bashful about your previous paperwork. I prefer honesty. I have often told lawyers that I wasn’t pleased with the conclusions and I wanted to perform a follow-up evaluation to ensure I missed nothing. You can also tell the lawyer that you have completed training in treating and documenting trauma cases and your previous work no longer meets your new standards. You have to tell the lawyer because they have statutory timelines for submitting documentation and your work must be entered into evidence in a timely manner. Remember, lawyers are notorious for procrastinating until the bitter end and are often pressed against a deadline.
After the conclusion of the evaluation and the report, make sure you sit with the lawyer and review the results. At that time, follow the same protocols in making sure they have a copy of your CV, they know about your listing on the US Chiropractic Directory and they have an educational binder. Your goal, not to testify on this patient, but to get invited in monthly to educate the lawyer and his/her staff.