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 but also invite all the physicians 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 go to this seminar, what would the doctor say? How 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 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 will take their case and hold off pursuing payment until we resolve the case. But I do not know a single one of these doctors who would not feel insulted by an invitation to such a seminar.
I think it is important to understand how insurance companies test cases, which is why I have written extensively on this topic. I also do not think it is a terrible 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 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 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?