Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hey Doc, Make a Note of This

Over the years, the processes and computer programs used by many insurance companies to evaluate claims has become more and more rigid and systematized. The basis of these programs and systems is the medical records from the injured person's healthcare providers. While this has the advantage of streamlining the process and likely allowing the insurance companies to spend less time with each claim, it creates other problems. Specifically, because the system relies so heavily upon notes made by physicians, it becomes imperative that the client make sure that his or her doctor takes note of everything that is wrong with them. In reality, however often that is not how most doctor visits work. Patients frequently complain only of their most pressing and urgent medical concern, leaving other less urgent matters to be handled at later visits. Many patients, thinking that their body will heal by itself with more time, do not mention certain aches and pains they are hopeful will resolve on their own. And sometimes nurses and doctors fail to note in the records (or properly code) every complaint made by each patient. While this may not create medical problems, it can create significant obstacles in convincing the insurance company to consider those injuries at a later date.

Most people do not want to be whiners and complainers. Most of us are taught to be tough and endure pain without showing it. However, lack of documentation of an injury can create diffcult obstacles in a personal injury case. For good or bad,the methods used by the insurance companies makes finding a qualified and thorough physician and making sure to communicate all of your injuries to that physician cricitcal to being able to defend your claims against attack.

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