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Treating Patients With An Active Personal Injury Case During The Pandemic
Case values are driven by the reports of symptoms and conditions reported in the medical records. That means that Insurance companies routinely devalue cases when there are “gaps” between medical treatment. That is, if there is a 3-week gap between visits, the insurance company believes the patient is “cured.” If there is an absence of reported symptoms in the records, that means (to the insurance company) that the patient did not have any symptoms.
Although the Covid-19 Epidemic creates a reasonable basis for a lack of reported symptoms due to clinic closures – We fully expect the insurance companies to ignore the realities of the situation and continue to devalue cases where there is a gap in treatment for any reason.
How You Can Fill The Gap
We have asked all treating clients to call their providers weekly and email you with updates on their condition. In the phone call and email they will request that you include an update in their chart. If your patient has not communicated with you about their symptoms, please contact them for a status update and note their remarks in their chart.
If you are unable to see your patients at this time, notes should be taken on the patient’s subjective symptoms. Additionally, you should make record of any treatment or relief suggestions you give- exercises, stretches, etc.
These notes will keep the charting of the patient’s symptoms tracking consistent, without a “gap,” and maintain the value of the case. Additionally, they will make you look like a STAR who cares about your clients!
What You Can Expect From The Law Offices Of Steven D. Weier
Please note that we will make every effort to remain open and working on your patient’s cases as long as we can during this restrictive time. We will, however, be working with minimal staff in order to comply with Governor Inslee’s latest Proclamation.
In order to continue working on our clients’ cases, we have taken measures to protect our staff and clients by restricting contact with others and practicing social distancing. This includes:
- Prohibiting in-person appointments with clients and others;
- Practicing social-distancing within the firm by separating personnel into individual offices wherever possible;
- Allowing staff to participate in job-share shifts (working shifts 6:00am-2:00pm and 2:00pm-10:00pm) to allow staff to continue working on your cases, and to allow for ongoing job income for the staff;
- Allowing staff to work from home where possible; and
- Accommodate those staff unable to continue working due to health and child-care issues stemming from the Covid-19 epidemic.
When working from home, the staff will have limited access to case information and the phone systems, as well as limited ability to send emails. Keep in mind that we anticipate ongoing slow-downs in our ability to retrieve necessary documents for cases, including medical records and other reports.
We are also finding that response from insurance companies is reduced as more and more as adjusters are working from home and have limited access to important resources and information.
Rest assured we will continue to do all we can to move forward with our cases during this difficult time, always adhering to our guiding principle to “Do the Right Thing, Always.”
By choosing to work with the Law Offices of Steven D. Weier to handle your personal injury clients, you are choosing the attention that is vital to your clients’ recovery, and the professional know-how that is crucial to their best possible settlement. Contact us today.