Academy of Chiropractic’s

Lawyers PI Program

#112

 From the Desk of:

 Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP


Become 
Indispensable to the Lawyer: Part 2

"Requirements for Becoming Indispensable"

1.  Credentials and Knowledge.

There is no great secret here, but you have to have the "license" to be an authority. When I refer to a "license," I am not referring to your chiropractic license as every DC has one of those. I am referring to your knowledge base, and credetnial as Trauma Qualified as the basic credential, or the "license." That level of credential is now required in most courts to render an opinion (Voir Dire) and be taken seriously by the lawyer to succeed.

Your CV is your formal authority and verification of your grasp on the subject matter. When critiquing IME reports or peer review reports, you have to be a true expert in spine, not just correcting subluxations. You must own "Case Management." This triaging includes what diagnostic tests are needed and the clinical indications for them. The lawyers need to realize that YOU are their source for everything they need to manage success in their cases.

Your credentials are also the key to overcoming the peer reviewer's or IME's opinion. Without the requisite credentials, the courts will not accept you as a valid expert to overcome the opinions of the insurance company doctors, all of whom have above average credentials. That is why they are chosen.

This is what "indispensible" means. Lawyers cannot win at the level they want to without you. You have to get them to realize that they are often settling for far less than they should without you based upon the clinical findings, the interpretation of those findings and the neutralizing of nonsensical reports by "hired" doctors working for the insurance carriers.

Here is the game: The carriers hire independent companies who then hire doctors. The doctors render opinions independent from the carriers. In theory, it sounds great, but the financial pressures from the carriers to the independent companies have become too great and those companies do WHATEVER it takes to get the opinions they need from the doctors. This way, the carriers are "teflon," where nothing sticks to them and they cannot get sued for unfair claims practice because they are not rendering opinions. Opinions are rendered from independent companies who hire independent doctors. The whole transaction is twice removed from the carriers...Teflon!

What continuing education courses do I recommend? Get Qualifications as individual courses fall short in today's courts [CLICK HERE] Will you need a head trauma course for bleeding in the brain for everyday practice? No...but the lawyer will have cases like that and you need to at least understand the basics or the lawyer will seek out another expert. You have to be versed in most trauma scenarios that the lawyer comes across and you must have YOUR medical team to refer to or confer with so that the lawyer doesn't have to create his/her own team. In the absence of yours, he/she will create his/her own out of necessity and you will lose control.

2. Research

You have to be versed in research. I recommend that if you need help in learning how to do research, you take a course in medical research. The University of Bridgeport, Health Sciences Postgraduate Education Department is creating a continuing education course in medical research that will be available in January. I will forward the details once they are confirmed. I urge you to take this course as it will afford you CE credits, give you access to one of the best research portals worldwide and give you the competitive edge in using research in your practice for both your patients and your medical-legal needs.

You have to be prepared to access research to diffuse many of the peer reviews and often, IME's. Again, the cost for the complete article should be passed onto the lawyer, but you cannot be afraid of reading, understanding and reporting on the complete article quoted by the peer review doctors. They are "banking" on your ignorance and most of you have given permission for them to screw your patients by not being involved at this level.

In order to win, you have to not onlly meet your adversary at his/her level, but be better. Make no mistake about it, he/she is your adversary and he/she has been laughing at the chiropractic profession for decades because the solutions are so easy. It's simply that no one has challenged him/her with the facts.

3. Letting Lawyers Know

This is a sample e-mail that I sent to 3 lawyers and got responses within the hour of sending them to schedule a meeting:

Martin...I met with John Tierney last week and shared with him a strategy to overcome every "bogus" IME and peer review report. You need to learn this as it is the first of its kind in the nation. If you are one of the first to do it...you will prevail with most of your cases at a much higher level...but based upon your lack of implementing stuff I have shared with you in the past, I realize you are way too cash rich and do not need any more money or stuff to cloud your current process!!!! 

I would be more sarcastic, but I can't come up with more "trash talk." Call me to set up you taking me to breakfast or lunch or simply coming to my office so we can chat (but you must bring coffee and muffins). This will make you very happy! I promise...Mark

Although I already had relationships with the 3 lawyers I e-mailed, none were using me for P-IME's and always had nice things to say about the educational materials I shared them. With this e-mail, all responded that they wanted to meet and work with me. Should you not have a relationship with the lawyer, tone down the rhetoric and send this:

Dear Lawyer,

I have been working with doctors nationally in an effort to overcome "bogus" IME's and peer review reports. You need to learn this as it is the first of its kind in the nation and if you are one of the first to do it, you will prevail with most of your cases at a much higher level. This technology has been successful nationally and I have become expert at refuting the inaccuracies by working with research specialists from teaching institutions.

Call me to set up some time for you to take me to breakfast or lunch or simply come to my office so we can chat (but you must bring coffee and muffins). This will make you very happy! I promise...Doctor

Should you want experience in refuting a peer review report with my oversight, I will happily help you. I look forward to working with you.