Is Your Doctor Putting Your Disability Claim at Risk?

On September 24, 2012, in London, Ontario, by Jason Hall

Doctors Avoiding Paperwork

Doctors care about us and try to do the best they can. But sometimes, as in the case of an Ontario rehabilitation physician, they can drown in their own paperwork. And that can affect the speed and success of a disability claim. Your disability claim.

As a physiatrist, Emilie Newell specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation (also known as PM&R). She has helped patients with disabilities and impairments that result from injuries or disease, and she has helped them regain movement through physical, occupational, speech, and other therapies.

She brought years of passion to her London, Ontario practice and worked with community organizations such as the Paralympics, the Ontario Wheelchair Sports Association, and the Brain Injury Association of Ontario since 1973.

Unfortunately, Dr. Newell arguably suffered a type of impairment herself: procrastination.

Delayed Records Could Delay Insurance Claims

As Jonathan Sher wrote in the London Free Press last week, “Newell was not filling out some patient charts, waiting up to a year after seeing a patient to jot down notes and not filing reports some patients needed for insurance claims”.

“In some cases,” according to the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons disciplinary committee, “the lack of timeliness resulted in the loss of disability benefits for the patients. The expert also concluded that the lack of timely records could result in delay in the diagnosis and treatment of patients, to their detriment”.

Newell is scheduled to face a disciplinary hearing in Toronto this month. In the meantime, community response has been empathetic, but only to a point.

Is Your Doctor Irresponsible?

“If Dr. Newell was not writing out patient charts in a timely fashion (a year later) and causing patients to lose their CPP Disability benefits, this is very serious,” commented one reader of the Free Press. “It doesn’t matter how kind, gentle and compassionate she is. She is irresponsible toward those who depend on her the most. How can she remember what someone said to her a few months ago, let alone a year ago? Such things matter greatly to a patient’s care and certainly their recovery or in some cases just their daily living…what else is she neglecting?”

When your disability claim is denied, there may be factors that you cannot control, such as your doctor’s record-keeping habits. Is your claim compromised if you doctor won’t complete the paperwork? Ask Dr. Newell’s patients.

If you have been denied a disability claim, don’t put off getting a second opinion. For a free lawyer referral, call toll-free at 1-855-843-9729. 

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