Colossus Seminar

Last week, I received the following email from a doctor:

“I was looking through your website and I noticed that you talk about Colossus and its value for cases in your state. I hold the largest personal injury seminar in the southeast and our next Colossus Seminar is October 28th. You should not only bring your firm, you should also invite all the physicians that you work with. If your doctors do not know the value drivers to add in their medical documentation, then you cannot add them into your demands.”

Okay, now if a personal injury lawyer asks a medical doctor who often sees the lawyer’s clients to go to this seminar, what would the doctor say? How exactly does the lawyer frame that question? Gee, listen, can you take time away from caring for your patients to travel outside of Maryland with me to a seminar so you can best learn how to rig your medical records?

There are a lot of medical doctors our personal injury lawyers have come to know because the doctors regularly treat our lawyers’ clients. Frankly, if a client does not have a medical doctor and/or has health insurance issues, we will often refer them to doctors who are willing to take their case and hold off pursuing payment until the case is resolved. But I do not know a single one of these doctors who would not be insulted to be invited to such a seminar.

I think it is important to understand how the insurance companies evaluate cases which is why I have written extensively on this topic. I also do not think it is a bad idea that health care providers have some general understanding of the process because patients can get inferior offers based on the specific wording in medical records as opposed to how that patient presented. But, in the end, personal injury lawyers and their clients have a remedy if the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement: a trial. My guess is that is you go to one of these seminars, you will find a lot of lawyers there who are settlement lawyers and not trial lawyers. Ironically, the insurance companies and their computers know who the settlement lawyers are and this devalues the attorney’s personal injury cases more than the nuisances in the medical records.

Final thought: how much would you like to be the defense lawyer who is about to cross examine a medical doctor who just got back from a “How to Rig Your Medical Records to Get Better Offers from the Insurance Company” seminar with the personal injury lawyer who just did the doctor’s direct examination?

  • Bob

    A good defense lawyer would like to know the names of the plaintiff’s personal injury lawyers AND the doctors who attend such a seminar.

  • Donna Morgan

    I get sick of reading so many of these personal injury lawyer blogs where the lawyers view everything from the prism of what plaintiffs’ lawyers do is just great and everything defense lawyers do (of which I am one) is so awful. The double standard drives me utterly insane. I read your blog regularly and why I don’t call your analysis “fair and balanced” I think it is good that you are at least trying to be objective which makes you somewhat rare in the blogsphere.

  • I recently stumbled upon your website and noticed your comments about our programs. I am not sure how you can make such comments when you have no idea of the content of this seminar on Colossus. Some may call you ignorant when making such comments. The 250 or so attorneys that come to our programs are attending not because they don’t know how to litigate or don’t want to litigate. They are coming to learn what many are saying is the best personal injury seminar they have ever attended. As doctors and lawyers we have never been able to truly understand the mechanisms being used by State Farm and All State. So you are aware, State Farm has more policy holders than any other insurance company in the country. Now, what attorney or doctor would not want come and listen to the one person who understands the software being used every day that affects our bottom line. Obviously, you are either not in private practice or just think you are better than everyone else because this is some of the most informative content any attorney or doctor has ever heard on this topic. As for doctors and attorneys coming to the same seminar, what a concept? The insurance company is winning a game at the benefit of patients and defense attorneys. Maybe you need to have a MVA yourself or maybe a family member and then you may realize the abuse patients take or better yet what it really feels like when you are injured. They get little to no compensation for their injuries. You defense attorneys get the abuse you deserve, as you get paid by the insurance companies. This doesn’t make you honorable, it makes you the problem. Sorry, but I think it is quite noble that doctors and attorneys are spending their time to invest in their practices so they can do a better job for their clients and patients. I think if you were being paid 50% of the work you performed, that you would find a way to fight back. Hence, the Colossus Seminars. You should attend one of our seminars and then make comments that truly are worthy of reading. I invite any and all of your colleagues to attend our programs coming in April and May of 2007. I would enjoy watching your comments being mutiliated by Mr. Mathis and his 20 years experience working for State Farm and All State. By the way, your State Bar approves our program for CLE hours. Why? Because it is obvious this is a critical subject. As for doctors being invited by attorneys. Personally, every attorney that attends our programs, leave with the same issue. How am I going to explain this information to physicians? The truth is, no one is rigging(as you state) their notes. We are simply learning the information needed that the insurance companies are asking us to put in our records so we can get paid fairly for what we do. Is there anything wrong with this?

  • Ron Miller

    This is the certainly the most vitriolic email the Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer Blog has ever had. But in the interest of free speech, I wanted to publish it.

    This commenter identifies himself as Dr. Howard Golden. I assume he is a chiropractor but I do not know.

    This gentleman may need to work a bit more on his reading comprehension. He assumes we are defense lawyers in spite of the title and content of the blog. He also assumes that we think knowledge about Colossus is not helpful. Actually, we have written expensively on our website about Colossus. (Google, for example, Colossus insurance and we are the first link that explains Colossus). I think it is imperative that lawyers understand how insurance companies evaluate these claims and I believe it is malpractice not to have an understanding of how Colossus works. I have a book in my office spends chapters discussing Colossus and I have read everything I can find on the subject.

    The question addressed in this blog is a very different one: should doctors attend these seminars? I personally think it is awful if they do. I do not want my treating doctors as co-advocates. I don’t want doctors focused on how to write medical records to impress insurance companies. I want doctors who mission is simply to make their patients better.

    Doctors and lawyers going together to seminars to learn how to “get over” on the insurance companies. This will be the perception.

    Moreover, I understand why this is the perception. Does any doctor go to medical school thinking he will need to know how to write his medical records to help lawyers get their patients money in their personal injury cases?

    I think doctors should be doctors, impartial healers. Plain and simple. If that means I think I’m better than everyone else, as this writer suggest, then I’m guilty as charged.

  • Hello again,
    This weekend something very interesting occurred that I thought would be perfect for you to publish on your blog. It appears that the last time I wrote you not only attacked comprehension, implied I was a chiropractor, and stated that you think it is awful that a doctor attend a colossus seminar. I find this very entertaining as I host, run, and promote these seminars and over 2000 people have come to our program now in just 1 1/2 years. But what I do find amusing, is that, I ran into a doctor that you personally sent to our seminar. First of all thank you. Secondly, he stated that the reason why he came is because you told him that if he does come you will start sending him business again. He introduced himself and brought up your law firm to us. We obviously remember you, how could we not? Now, my question is: If you think it is awful that doctors attend, why would you personally send someone and tell them that this is the only way you would start sending them business. I thought you found it wrong that doctors and attorneys would be trying to get one over on the insurance industry. FYI, this seminar was attended by medical physicians, defense attorneys(Geico to be exact), plaintiff attorneys, and “yes” chiropractors. Everyone is actually out to learn how that can stay ahead in this game of PI. It is obviously getting more difficult if you yourself are talking about this subject. Not to mention, our seminars are sponsored by Bar Assocations, Trial Associations, and medical university’s. All attendees receive continuing education. I think maybe, you should attend this seminar and not be so smart to think you know it all. I am sure the doctor that attended will not only far exceed the documentation requirements of the doctors you presently use, but he probaly could teach you some valuable information. We hope to see you in the future.

  • Ron Miller

    I continue to publish Howard Golden’s comments. If I stop publishing comments that are critical of what I have written, I am defeating the purpose of this blog which is the free flow of information. Let me address his comments.

    1. You say I “implied” you are a chiropractor. I’m sorry, are you a medical doctor? I did not mean to offend you. What are you? Actually, I can’t find you after a quick Google search, but I’m still going out on a limb assuming you are a chiro. Please note there is nothing wrong with being a chiro, some of the best health care providers I know render chiropractic care. I think this is relevant, however, because a chiro has a different background from a medical doctor.

    2. Let me assure you of one thing: I have never spoken to a health care provider in my life about one of your seminars. Ever. I do think that one of the lawyers here might have mentioned it to one of the health care providers who treats sometimes treats our clients. You are correct that if I told a treater to go to your seminar, I would be an absolute hypocrite. I did speak to the lawyer who discussed their experience at one of your seminars and articulated my position on this issue. I do not think that lawyer really thought the issue through. And it is not even that doctors should be blind to Colossus. It is this idea of getting doctors and lawyers in a room and saying here is how we write medical records. I think it is just unseamly. I can’t say this strongly enough.

    (3) Again, our lawyers go to seminars on anything and everything that can give us even the slighest edge in creating value. You do struggle with reading comprehension. I keep telling you lawyers need to learn more about Colossus and other insurance evaluation methods. I’ve been writing about it for years. I have said this now 2 or 3 times on this post and elsewhere on this blog. Your repeating that mantra that I think lawyers should not know about Colossus underscores what I believe a fundamental inability to follow the key threads of this dialogue.

    (4) When you go to the plural tense, you want to change the “y” to “ies.” There are a few exceptions to this rule but if you stick to it, you will fare better.

    (5) I have not responded to a “you think you know everything” comment since I was in the 5th grade. So, if I may, I’m going to pass again. This blisting attack really raises the level of intellectual discourse almost as much as the comment you made in the last blog that “you think you are better than everyone else.” (I suspect anyone reading this has just lost a few IQ points.)

    (6) I would be interested in learning what qualifications you possess. What kind of health care provider are you, what is your education and what legal/medical training do you have to speak to these issues? I get the feeling you are highly credentialed from your post so I want to learn more about your qualifications. In the meantime, I will try to find you again on the Internet when I get a chance.

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