Lawyers PI Program
 
“Building a PI Practice”

#5

 From the Desk of:

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

"Functional Loss"

Long gone are the days when the attorneys only refer to the doctor that sends cases to them. Please don’t think that they don’t care... they do... however, they care more about winning a larger award then getting a case. In recent years, the court's requirements in virtually every state in the country require more then bodily injury. As you will learn later, this is not about the Colossus algorightms as that is purely settlement issues and you will learn about that in the 3rd section titled "Narratives". For now, let's focus on the the lawyer's court requirements and the focus of most lawyers in initially. 

 

Imagine a herniated disc at C5-C6 with a myelopathy* and the attorney losing the case! The answer is “functional loss.” Unless the bodily damage has caused a loss of function, the lawyer will be hard pressed to have a significant case, and many times lose because of no "functional loss." That is where you, the "right" and "credentialed" doctor becomes critical to the lawyer winning and having a substantial case. 

 

It is essential to document functional loss for your patient in the medical records (how to do that will be discussed in a later session) that not only reflects the loss in medical terms, but in real life terms as well. Range of motion loss is one method recognized by the courts as “functional loss”, however, make it real. Discuss the loss in terms of what your patient cannot do in real life. “Mrs. Jones cannot stand in front of the sink for more then 3 minutes without pain, she can no longer work as a stenographer because when leaning over the steno machine her neck hurts too much that forced her to quit her job as she could do prior to the accident” 

 

This is real, and the courts weigh very heavily on this type of documented evidence. This is also what gives you the edge over other doctors in your community because they don’t know the courts standards. You now do for functional loss!!! Over the next few sessions, I will share with you more of what's needed for the attorney to prevail in an honest and ethical relationship.

  

Create a sample narrative that you would normally give an attorney, laminate it and put it in a 3-ring binder (you will learn more about this in section #5 titled "Lawyers and Medical Specialists Meetings and Communication." Call lawyers that you both know and don’t, and invite them to breakfast (we discussed that in an earlier session) or request a meeting with them as you have information that can help make their cases more valuable. This will get their attention and they will meet with you because you are not pleading for cases. You are going to them to show them how they can make more money by working with your office (without saying as much or really caring about the money, it's about the clinical findings and documenting it expertly). This has opened the doors to many referrals (100's) into my offices over the years. You don’t have to ask for the referral, by showing them how using your office will make them more money and they will stop counting how many you refer to them.

This is just one piece of the puzzle, although a big piece; many more are just as big so therefore each piece of the puzzle makes you critical to the success of a case with the lawyers and creates you as their "go to" doctor. Later you will learn why the lawyers will WANT TO BYPASS medical specialists for you as the BEST solution for their business. 

Myelopathy: You need to know the difference between myelopathy and radiculopathy. Not just understand it when it is explained to you, but the intricacies of the findings if you are going to be taken seriously as a spinal expert. There are reasons that lawyers will bypass you for a medical specialist and this is just one example.

If you aren't certain, or need more help clinically, I strongly urge you to take the PI Bootcamp found atwww.teachdoctors.com .

Later we will also discuss credentials and attaining clinical excellence as the core reason for your success in practice until you are "pushing up daisies!" You have only touched the surface...keep reading!!!!

You will also learn everything you need to know about functional losses in the Narrative section of the Consultations.