A recent posting on Workers Comp Insider by Lynch Ryan, a prominent Workers’ Compensation Defense firm, exposes shameful behavior on the part of a small but prolific minority of consultants and companies in our field. The posting speaks for itself. It also references the NY Times 2009 expose on problems in the Northeast and links to a plaintiff attorney blog that expands upon the issue.
MCNTalk posted the original NY Times articles and expanded upon ethics and standards in this posting from March 2011.
We were naively hopeful back then that exposure of such practices would lead to their end. We were apparently wrong. The company cited in the article has since renamed itself and continues with similar practices. Certain physicians continue to behave in entirely unacceptable manners, with impossibly brief examinations, use of boiler plate, and other questionable practices.
The end result is a regional ecosystem that is tainted by cynicism and scandal. Those who behave honestly and attempt to provide an ethical product are at a disadvantage when medical bucket- shops operate and charge unrealistically low prices for products that do not meet basic medical and legal standards. There are at least several large carriers whose regional offices have grown accustomed to using these entities and paying fees that ethical companies and physicians can’t match.
One should not have to rely upon external forces to do the right thing, but this situation suggests that expecting integrity for its own sake is not always realistic. We continue to hold out hope that those who buy these services become aware of what they are buying, if they are not already in the know, and that these questionable practices no longer have a market. We also hope that continuing to shine a light on this issue by multiple means, including the regulatory and legal arenas, will bring these abuses to a halt.
We at MCN are not going to just go along or get along when we see behaviors in our backyard and our industry that we can neither defend nor tolerate. We hold ourselves to a higher standard and will not stop until others in our industry stop dishonoring themselves, the medical profession, our industry clients, and claimants. We ask our clients to support us in this industry challenge and ask tough questions of those you are doing business with.