If the physician medical documentation and reports I’ve been reading lately is typical for treating physicians these days, claimants/insureds may have a problem keeping their benefits paid in the future.
Not only are physicians spending less and less time filling out forms, but when they do, the forms are shoddily completed and lack information needed to keep a disability claim paid. While some omissions can be excused for the COVID confusion, the tendency of treating physicians to either not agree to fill out forms at all, or take the shortest distance between two points to do it, the result is the same – sub-quality reports.
Although some insurance companies were patient three months ago, they have well lost that patience now. Treating physicians are leaving parts of the forms blank, or have recorded wrong social security numbers, birth dates etc. Clearly, physicians lack the motivation these days to completely and accurately fill out forms.
The problem may be two-fold in that some insureds still treat their physicians as though they are Greek gods from Olympus. The relationship between a treating physician and a patient/insured should be open and honest. Insureds should have conversations with their physicians about the importance of filling out forms completely and accurately. Some of the forms I’ve reviewed lately lack “medical restrictions and limitations” and should be thrown in the bucket for as much good as it will do with an insurance company. I don’t think I’m exaggerating either.
Putting myself in a treating physician’s position probably would cause me to be lackadaisical as well in filling out forms particularly when insurers ignore and misrepresent the data. However, while this is somewhat true, in my experience I’ve found that insurers tend to go the more successful route when forms are completely competently.
I recommend that insureds take a good look at the quality of medical information being communicated to insurers these days. If it appears “short and sweet”, it probably won’t support a disability claim. Communicate to your treating physicians what you need and expect him/her to provide it – after all you are the patient and you’re paying the bills.
Finally, it could be that this is a sign that people in general are becoming slaves to systems that leave them out of any decision-making, or control over their lives. The patient/physician relationship should be mutual, and patients should still have some control over what they pay for.
Treating physicians should be held accountable for the quality of disability reporting and when they don’t do a good job, should be dropped and other physicians found. I should also say that there are some very good physicians out there who recognize their inability to document, and go to great lengths to “ask” how to do it. These are the doctors we’d like to have, but they are few and far between.
Still, insureds are ultimately responsible for the quality of medical information submitted and should let their treating physicians know when the forms they complete are not sufficient to ensure payable claims.