The AME Trap (aka Why Agreed Medical Examiners Make Me Disagreeable)

by Don Barthel, LLP
You have the right to attempt to resolve virtually any/all workers' compensation issues by going to an Agreed Medical Examiner (AME). Presumably all adjusters and workers' comp attorneys have agreed to one or more (likely many more) AMEs during their careers.

Why?

I've often posed that question to participants in the Continuing Education (CE) lectures that I present, usually two or more times a week. The answer? It typically follows under one of three general headings:



  1. "I want to rely on a doctor I know."
  2. "It's best to use a doctor with a track record."
  3. "Who knows who’s going to be on the PQME panel?"

While there are times that employing an AME's services may be the best plan of action, I strongly believe that, far more often than not, reliance on PTPs and/or PQMEs is a safer (and less expensive) alternative.

Apportionment - Simplified - The Glass of PD Method

In last month's issue (http://www.bradfordbarthel.com/BLOG/V5N1/Five-5.htm, I described how the DEU's erroneous approach to apportionment inappropriately expands employer PD exposure. In this article I use the a "Glass of PD Method" to illustrate this point.

Assuming an empty glass represents 0% PD and a full glass 100% PD, let's review an example from our last article. Applicant suffered accepted injuries to five different body parts, A through E, as outlined in the table below. The PD for each body part received at least 50% apportionment. In another words, the employer was found liable for no more than half of the PD associated with each of the body part. Without apportionment, the total PD was 97%.

Can you guess how much PD the employer must pay? Let's review. The total PD without apportionment stands at 97%. The employer is, based on the apportionment determinations, responsible for no more than 50% of the PD for any one body part. Thus, logic would suggest the employer is liable for something less than half of 100% PD.

"WRONG", says the DEU.

TOP SECRET - Do NOT Read! aka "Collaboration in the Cloud - A Quick Look at Knowledge Sharing"

Welcome to the second in an ongoing series of B&B's "TOP SECRET—Do NOT Read!" articles dealing with the future (read: "now") of communication. Are computers involved? Yes. The internet? Yes. Lots of technology. Yes....BUT don't let that turn you off. The advances planned for B&B do deal with "technology", BUT not that icky, scary, mind-numbing stuff of the past. It's 2010, folks. If, at this late date, the technological "advances" and "improvements" are not simple and easy to use, then they ain't improvements at all.

TOP SECRET - Do NOT Read!
aka "Collaboration in the Cloud - A Quick Look at Knowledge Sharing"

by Eric Hunter, Director of Knowledge Management

In our last B&B BLOG, we introduced the concept of "cloud computing" and the future it holds for B&B in specific and the workers' compensation industry generally. In this edition, we answer the question you've no doubt asked yourself:

So we’re on the cloud... now what? Where (and how) does all that projected collaboration come into play?

Take a look at your department structure and layout, whether it be a claims department, law firm, or any other knowledge-intensive professional setting. How do you currently share information? How is knowledge distributed? And how do you currently train (that is, share knowledge)?

The key to using cloud-hosted collaboration is rethinking your approach to knowledge sharing and information distribution. Once in the clouds, your entire collaboration suite is web-based, and it's built to be interactive.

Need an example?