For Injured Workers
My goal with treating patients with injuries that occurred at work is just that – to treat you as a patient just as I would with any other patient that walks in the door using their regular health insurance. I do not work for any employer, insurance company, or law firm and never will. You are my patient and my interests are in getting you well and back to the activities you enjoy.
What is Worker’s Compensation?
Worker’s compensation insurance is an insurance policy your employer has in case an employee is injured at work. I like to explain it in a way that is easier for people to understand based on something they may be more familiar with. For this purpose, I use an example of homeowner’s insurance, and while this is not a perfect analogy, it makes the point. Not everyone’s homeowner’s policy is the same – some people have more things covered than others. Workers compensation insurance coverage differs state to state based on the laws that your legislature has created. Some policies may not cover your particular condition. However, even if this is true I care more about treating you as an individual and can continue to treat you under your private health insurance if needed.
Most work-related injuries are very similar to those seen in professional athletes or weekend warriors. Also, in many instances, returning to a job that requires manual labor may require a return to work program in which activity level is increased gradually to allow the body to re-acclimate to the activities for his or her specific job.
Evidence Based Occupational Medicine
More and more research is being performed in injured workers or the work environment, helping us as physicians understand what procedure may be better for certain people based on their jobs and activity levels. This doesn’t mean that we should treat patients with work injuries differently, it just may mean that a certain treatment may be better for a manual laborer as opposed to a banker.
Independent Medical Evaluations
If you are scheduled to see Dr. Mall for an independent medical examination he will explain how this type of visit differs from other doctor’s visits you may have. During an independent medical examination, Dr. Mall has typically been provided with your medical records and has reviewed these before your visit. He will take a history of the injury from you and ask some questions. The purpose of this evaluation is for Dr. Mall to ask you some questions, examine you, review any imaging studies and records provided and then answer some specific questions about your work injury. These questions are different every time and may not even be regarding whether or not the injury is work-related but more so about what the appropriate treatment and time off work may be. However, with these examinations no doctor-patient relationship is established and therefore, Dr. Mall is not supposed to discuss with you what his treatment recommendations would be. Although, we do know that often time the progression of your treatment is waiting on this report and therefore Dr. Mall has typically completed his reports in 48 hours or less.