Tell Me Why?

Tell me why it is that criminals get better medical treatment than injured workers?  Tell me why it is that injured workers have to give up their rights in order to get the medical treatment they need?  Why are injured workers second class citizens?  Does the constitution not apply to us?

Why is it under regular health insurance, sometimes treating the same injury but not work related, a person is free to choose their own doctor, go to their own family physician, and have a constructive part in determining their own health care and recovery?  Injured workers are not afforded this same opportunity. 

Why, just because I am an injured worker, must I go way out of my way to a doctor when one is closer to my home?  All these things may seem insignificant to you but if you really stop and think about it these are things that are actually costing workers compensation more money.  Is it not true that an injured worker receives reimbursement for mileage when they take themselves to the doctor or they have transportation provided for them if they have no transportation? 

Have you ever stopped to think even when comp is just reimbursing an injured worker for their mileage, how much comp would save if the injured worker was going to a doctor that is closer to them?  For one injured worker it may not be much but figure it in for all the injured workers and I am sure it is an astounding amount that could be saved just in this cost to workers compensation.  Then if you add in where comp pays a transportation service for injured workers who cannot drive the cost that could be saved increases dramatically. 

Why just because we are injured workers do we have to hire an attorney just to get to a doctor or receive the treatment a doctor prescribes but comp denies?  When we get to court the treatment is usually awarded anyway so there is a tremendous amount of savings that could be made in this scenario as well if the carrier would just go ahead and approve the treatment. 

Why is it that just because we are injured workers, that the carriers are allowed to starve us out of our medical treatment and indemnity benefits until we either settle for not near enough to even cover our medical costs or wait for treatment until a court order is issued, and by then it is often too late thus rendering many of us either PTD or causing our conditions to require much more medical treatment than if we would have had speedy care and the prescribed treatment in the first place? 

Why is it the Carriers in this state are not held accountable for their negligence?  Why are the carriers allowed to cause the cost of comp to go up when the state is looking for ways to decrease the cost to the workers compensation system? 

Why is it the carriers are never considered when issues of comp comes up?  Are they not capable of fraud and mismanagement?  You always look at the injured worker, the employer, the doctors, the medical facilities.  When was the last time you checked out the carriers as a cost driver of comp in this state? 

It seems to me that if you truly want to reduce the cost of the comp system and reduce the number of PTDs in this state that someone should be asking why does it take an injured worker so long to get the proper medical treatment and why do we have to hire an attorney to get it?  The biggest cost driver to the workers compensation system in this state is the carrier itself. 

Please remember that the most expensive injuries are not the small, short term injuries but the mid to long term injuries.  If you check the state workers compensation records you will see that the litigation in this state is primarily on these type injuries and the litigation is caused by denial by the carrier, thus increasing the cost for these type injuries by millions in attorney fees. 

If the carriers were really interested in reducing costs and saving money in the comp system they would not litigate just about every case that is a mid to long term injury. 

Now please take a minute and ask yourself why to all of this.  When will the carrier be held accountable?

Mary Bailey