At Renew Health in Tempe, AZ we know that sometimes treating a medical condition can intersect with the law – and that’s when our MedicoLegal Services can be very helpful. When you need a trusted, professional opinion to support your case to your insurance company or employer, our services can ensure that you get the care you need when you need it.
What Are MedicoLegal Services?
It’s sometimes the case that acute injuries, chronic pain, and other neurologic or medical conditions are caused by events that may require legal intervention. The best example of this is when a car or work accident causes an injury through no fault of your own. Under these circumstances, if the treatment for your injury includes a legal case for fair compensation, then it’s likely you will need MedicoLegal Services. Some of these services include:
IME and Expert Witness
IME stands for Independent Medical Exam and is generally something that is used to evaluate the injuries of a patient on behalf of a third party. Examples of third parties can be the insurance company, other people involved in a lawsuit, or even government programs like Social Security for disabled peoples. IMEs can be instrumental for verifying that a patient’s injury is hindering their everyday function or has been caused by a specific event, such as an injury sustained on the job.
Similarly, an expert witness is also involved in legal proceedings to confirm the origin and treatment for a patient’s injury. Both IME and expert witnesses are invaluable objective resources that can legitimize certain diagnoses or other aspects of a case. Either of these services may be vital to winning a case.
What Do IME Physicians Look for?
Although an IME physician will give you a medical exam and assess the condition of your injury, these physicians will also look over other relevant information. For example, it’s common for an IME to review your previous medical records to make an objective assessment of whether or not an injury is caused by a work accident, car accident, or other events. An IME physician will take careful notes and create a report that will be used in your case.
Neurologic Testing and Rehab
In the case of injuries related to neurologic health, it can be important to document the status of neurological injuries. Neurologic testing is frequently used to assess the cognitive state of people who have a traumatic brain injury. Neurologic testing can be used to test memory, attention, and comprehension. Neurologic testing can be used to support cases and confirm other diagnoses.
Medical management generally refers to potential medical negligence from when the acute injury first occurred. In the same vein as an IME, medical management can go over past records and examine the current condition of the injury to assess whether the correct treatment was given at the time of the injury or event that caused the injury. Medical management can determine if other medical practitioners are at fault for worsening conditions.
Why Might You Need These Services?
Most people won’t ever need MedicoLegal Services and this is because these services are reserved for special cases where independent fact-checking is required to help a patient in legal proceedings. As a note, legal proceedings are not always lawsuits; legal proceedings can refer to any bureaucratic process that intersects with receiving medical care.
For example, these services are often used in worker’s comp cases where the company is not admitting fault for an injury or not providing the patient with compensation for injuries sustained on the job. By using an independent physician to examine an injury, worker’s compensation cases can be closed more quickly. These services can also be used to continue certain benefits, like SSID or unemployment, from the government.
What Are Characteristics of Good MedicoLegal Services?
Because delays in treatment can cause patients further injury and pain in the future, MedicoLegal services must share certain characteristics. For example, aside from remaining objective and generating professional reports, excellent services will also have patient-first customer service with fast and efficient communication.
The communication between clinics and third parties must be efficient, as this will expedite any cases that need to be closed. When the communication with the clinic and third-party organizations falls through, so do the services, benefits, or lawsuits that the patient is involved in. For example, since many cases involve deadlines, it can be detrimental to the case if IME reports are not received by the deadline, since this could disqualify the case or end benefits.
Customer service is another important component of good services. For many patients, dealing with medicolegal issues can be overwhelming since there is a lot of jargon and procedural steps that are used. It’s helpful when customer service can effectively answer patient questions about a range of issues, particularly if the patient is handling their own case, such as with worker’s compensation.
Part of excellent customer service comes in the form of easily accessible tools that allow patients to have fast and easy communication with the clinic to receive certain information. For instance, email submission forms to request medical records, medical bills, or referral forms make it much easier for the patient to navigate their own care and their case.
Should You Use These Services?
In general, those who need these services are those who are involved in MedicoLegal issues. If you are trying to receive benefits from the government for disability, worker’s compensation from a job injury, or you are seeking compensation for car accidents or medical negligence, then these services may be right for you. Contacting our clinic will be the first step in determining if these services will be helpful for your case.
Get the Help You Need With Your Case
If you’ve run into a legal issue related to your health, then the chances are high that you may need MedicoLegal services to help resolve your case. MedicoLegal issues can refer to a broad range of situations that can make it difficult to get the care or compensation you need. Good services will prioritize customer service and communication so you can get the help you need and get on the road to recovery.