“Why, then, does the industry push claims into litigation?” – David DePaolo, WorkCompCentral.com
Is that a trick question, David? Hint: It’s the business model of profits before lives, by any means necessary, without fear or caution.
Lucy Occupy Says: “Collect a national list of Mediators with WorkComp expertise – and share with Injured Workers in every state. That may reduce costs and save lives! #OccupyVirtually! #Blog4TheWorkCompCures #RomanoSyndrome because WE ARE THE MEDIA NOW!!! Blog on!”
Nurse Sue Says: “Everyone needs to eat, sleep, move, eliminate, and be comfortable; hence everyone who engages in a healthcare encounter should be assessed by a nurse.”
As to your guess that “Litigation involves a minority of claims…” that sounds like DIR stats?
Perspective from the Streets of Work Comp indicate it may be because attorneys alleging to represent injured workers are not litigators, they fail to represent and protect, in some States, ‘for over 50 years’ leading to tremendous unrest and sentiments such as:
They can be file churners playing the numbers game and by working hundreds of files, paying little no attention to any specific case, the average attorney may make some money after the squeezed injured workers — denied medical care for years, and denied TTD benefits for years, give up and settle when at death’s door.
Mayor Betsy in Fort Worth came to the aid of one of her injured police officers, very publicly! Remember how she incited some investigations to Corvel’s alleged practices of harassment and intimidation last year? Let’s hope their Unions back them.
In LA, LA Times seem to be biased and writes regular periodic stories about Cops and Firefighters caught exercising or whatever while on the rest and wait and wait and wait for medical care programs of the CA WorkComp systems. They play ‘blame the victim’ that they don’t return to work for years…. but without medical care, few injured workers do get to return to work.
I hope your panel discussion on The Demolition of Workers Compensation at the CAAA Winter 2016 Conference went well, and that y’all discussed the harsh and horrible realities of WorkComp, and the failures of CA attorneys to adequately protect injured workers. More importantly, let’s hope you and the panel incited discussion of ways that they can indeed begin to protect injured workers.
Injured Workers, in the interim, will work to #Blog4TheWorkCompCure and for the cure for #RomanoSyndrome!
Thank you Sue Naylor Clark! You do tell it good! I will put it to good use! It could help in the world of WorkComp! “Everyone needs to eat, sleep, move, eliminate, and be comfortable; hence everyone who engages in a healthcare encounter should be assessed by a nurse.”
Sorry CAAA wouldn’t let me in to either the exhibit hall or your panel, and the contempt and disdain my request to them was met with… was unforgettable and … unforgivable. I met some very wonderful people there in 2014, when I was courteously given an Exhibit Hall pass and Guest Badge.
“INJURED WORKERS VERBOTEN” at CAAA Events, it’s just the rules? How an organization does one thing, usually exemplifies how do everything. Remember when women were kept out of private “good ol’ boyz” clubs? Are we looking at age, gender, disabilities and economic status discrimination by the private clubs of CAAA that allege to protect Injured Workers?
Time for change for the next 50 years, imho. How many members of USA attorney associations quietly decline to represent injured workers when 1, 2, 3, 4 or more of their fellow CAAA members “DIDN’T DO THEIR JOB” or “DIDN’T PROPERLY DEVELOP THE MEDICAL RECORDS.” Those letters of ‘non-engagement’ countless injured workers seeking competent legal counsel receive do sound fancy, but they are just more evidence of a pathetic CYA mentality of too many members of CAAA, from a Workers Comp Street Perspective.
I’m making my list of CompLaude 2016 Nominees, and keeping a side list of that ‘other’ group. What’s the membership count of CAAA? That’s how big the ‘other’ list is so far. It’s time to:
RESTORE CIVIL RIGHTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS TO INJURED WORKERS NOW
Conduct some DOJ Investigations into reports of Domestic Torture under the banner of Workers Compensation.
Watch for a series of Injured Worker Videos…. from across the nation.
Content worthy of ProPublica Demolition Teams further investigations.
Will you be there on Saturday, December 5, 2015? Did you see David’s videos asking about YOUR nominations?
Nomination Deadline Extended to NOMINATE A PERSON
Individual * Leadership * Medical * Legal * Injured Worker
Nominate A Company
Employer * Service
You Haven’t Nominated Yet? (See what David DePaolo has to say about THAT in THIS video!)
I’m working on my nominations today! We have a few more days….Deadline pressures! C’mon, David and his team can’t find all the good peeps by themselves. Submit at least one—perhaps in every category.
As an Injured Worker (one of last year’s 4 finalists!), I am very grateful for the energy and work David and his team have put into the CompLaude Awards, and the open discussion about the challenges facing Americans everywhere. I am very grateful to have attended a few industry events, and thereby discover there are some good people in this life-destroying system.
In my case, TBI injury was 1/9/12 and in May 2015, I was finally Awarded Social Security Disability benefits [cost shifting complete, huh?]
WorkComp carrier did provide a few more chiropractic sessions since we last met, and now, with Medicare, now I get to see legitimate doctors, with legitimate evaluations and LEGITIMATE TREATMENTS. I have some hope now. The movie, CONCUSSION, may serve to shake up the WorkComp industry soon.
Would you believe I have been evaluated by 39 doctors, most all recommendations for treatment denied or severely modified since date of injury, and the CorVel denials include reams of paperwork since 2013, and a team of 20…. their names are all listed in the blog AAIWN blog:
WORKERS’ COMP TRAIN WRECK – WHO HAS BEEN NAUGHTY AND WHO HAS BEEN NICE?
David DePaolo is collecting the Nice list, the teams at ProPublica are collecting the ‘naughty’ list… and I’m contributing to BOTH! ;p
Every movement needs a Flower, and every movement needs it’s ‘screamers and whistlers’…. The Work of ProPublica, in particular, Michael Grabell and Howard Berkes and their teams seems to be of extreme importance as the national investigations commence. Here’s David’s take on the effort…GET INVOLVED; SAVE SOME LIVES.
A new website is under construction that will also enhance the Resources page… particularly if you have services available to unrepresented Injured Workers, send me an email so we can tell the others. As you may know, of the approximately “15%” of unrepresented workers, it’s a last resort, not a first, and a good many have had unsuccessful representation by 3-5 CAAA attorneys. Follow the blog, if you will.
Remember Remember…. WE ARE THE MEDIA NOW…. CompLaude 2015 Gala coming up….get YOUR nominations in by next Tuesday.
See you there?
PS… Below is the email I sent last year….. and have been meaning to stay in touch, but my case has been…. what it is!
Sent on Tue, Dec 30, 2014 11:00 pm
Great to Meet You at the WorkCompCentral #CompLaude event
One of my favorite sayings is: WE ARE THE MEDIA NOW! This is a touch base note to wish you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.
As an #InjuredWorker, it was great to meet you at the 3rd Annual #WorkCompCentral WorkCompLaude Awards!
As 2014 wraps up, I know we are all very busy, so let’s be in touch again in the new year. We may have mutually beneficial opportunities ahead. Did you see all the tweets at #WCCgala and #complaude? What a great educational day it was!
At first glance of all the marketing materials collected, I didn’t see too many social media resources? Are you LinkedIn? Do you Tweet? Blog? Facebook? Pin? Email? Injured Workers are Uniting and it may be mutually beneficial to share about YOUR services, observations, and expertise. (I am seizing this opportunity to try MAIL CHIMP…an expert recommended it!)
As I told David DePaolo before leaving, “It was great to meet so many wonderful people and to see that not EVERYBODY in work comp wants to kill us injured workers for profits!” He smiled and had a charming reply!
As one of the CompLaude four #InjuredWorker finalists, a fresh perspective may be useful to your communities as well. Future blogs will include more information on several of the people and groups discovered at the event, along withe some “Expert Opinions” with an aim toward saving lives of injured workers while keeping things profitable for y’all.
All the best to you and yours! Let’s MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN 2015!
Final Appeal to CAAA For Assistance Fighting WorkCompsters – Concussion, TBI, PTSD, WCAB and WTF
Ladies and Gentlemen and Others of the WorkCompster Industries:
“Perseveration” is apparently a consequence of Concussion/Traumatic Brain Injury. This post got longer than anticipated, but if you’re in the industry, or know someone who is, or if you are an InjuredWorker, take 5 minutes and peruse it, then share it with someone, even with a subject line of “SMFH – WorkCompsters Exposed”
Years ago, I volunteered in a goodwill effort with and for Convicts in America’s Maximum Security Penitentiaries. It was called “PRISONERS UNANIMOUS — EMBRACING ALL PLANETARY PRISONERS” Maybe you heard of it?
Check FOIA, they probably have several CDs including my visits to penitentiaries across America, and my communications with a handful of government officials, goodwill organizers, friends and families of prisoners, and approximately 1,000 Convicts across America.
I think I was the second woman “in history” to “walk the ranges” at USP Marion Federal Penitentiary, back in the days when it was deemed ‘the worst of the worst” prisons, surpassed today by, so I hear, the likes of Pelican Bay. It was after allegations of a “full scale Nazi-type of retaliation attack” on the entire Convict population. I was corresponding with several of the Convicts listed in that dreadful “Public Report.” I sent copies everywhere, including Amnesty International in Vienna, where they allegedly WATCH for human violations in the Americas. Hmph.
The Guys and I established an “8 o’clock, local time” prayer network when they educated me about how deplorable America’s “Corrections” system is. Now, privatized prisons are a bigger part of the “PROFITS BEFORE LIVES” industries. Some of us still link up, no doubt.
The guys told me how bad things were, and said I was very brave. They said the prison systems in America are very dangerous, and that I had better think long and hard about touching it.
They told me, “Lady, you better know what you’re willing to die for, because you might well be asked to do so if you get involved in attempting to facilitate change.”
They further advised, “Lady, we Convicts are not the problems in your country. We are the end result of the problems in your country. If you want change, you have to go Washington. That’s where the problems are.” (There is something far more polite and respectful from a Convict calling a correspondent “Lady” than the pretentious “Ms. Ayres” used by defense and psychopaths, wouldn’t you agree?)
Those words reverberate in my head as if they were yesterday. I have never forgotten those haunting words. As a Survivor of WorkersCompensation today, I know ever more how true they are.
IT’S A GRAVY TRAIN!
#WorkCompsters have made that choice easier today. They have already taken my life.
Too often, Injured Workers make poor choices in efforts to retain competent legal counsel, much to the detriment of the Injured Worker.
This is often not discovered by injured workers until the 2nd, 3rd or 4th attempt to retain competent counsel.
Including THIS warning in every employee new hire packet, and every Human Resources orientation in California could save lives.
Till then, tell your friends and neighbors, and tell them to tell theirs. WorkComp Kills, without consequences to anybody but the Injured Workers and their loved ones.
Many Injured Workers have even sought the help of ACLU and NLG, to no avail.
We are, however, grateful for the organization, NAIDW.org, National Association of Injured and Disabled Workers, for the encouragement, resources and support they provide, and having been providing for many years. “No Injured Worker Left Behind” Semper Fi, Y’all!
We like a few of the industry bloggers who do their best to do their best for the highest good of all concerned. Cognitive Dissonance seems to be kicking some butt in that arena, wouldn’t you agree?
Bravo to ProPublica for being a catalyst for discussion and possible change. Bravo to WorkCompCentral for relentless efforts at education and inciting legitimate discussions about the need for national discussion and change.
Let’s get beyond “PROFITS BEFORE LIVES”…. let’s incarcerate a few psychopaths for maiming and killing injured workers, too, shall we?
It matters not if the killers are making $250K a year, or $10.7 million or more a year. With proper trials first, of course. FBI and DA and DOJ need to better orchestrate their efforts, ya think?
Crime is Crime, and CRIME SHOULD NOT PAY IN AMERICA.
For personal assistance in my own, but common, horrific case on non-stop abuse of a permanently disabled-by-untreated-brain-injury-and-various-acts-of-legal-chicanery-and-file-churning, older female worker, a local crisis center sent a Marine to help me last year. The Marine Social Worker, kind, fierce and very helpful.
MMI neuro-psychologist report recently received (and posted!) says my future medical needs include similar support, with probability of needs for assisted living and ‘memory care’ for my shortened life span, shortened due to WorkCompsters and corruption, involving many unclean hands. Hmph, Some “Grand Bargain, California!”
Legitimate doctors in 2012 made legitimate and conservative recommendations for medical care, denied. Had treatment not been denied by the defense counsel (not doctors, just defense lawyer and adjuster for 2012, till 2013 came along for the extreme profits of CorVel to obfuscate facts with intent to deny medical care.) return to work might have happened in 2012.
After threats from defense counsel, then PTP released me to work with accommodations, which were denied in October 2012. Things got worse from there, without medical care. I have been fighting to return to work for years, to no avail.
I have endured being penny-less, relying on The Salvation Army for utilities, filing for social welfare due to carrier arrogant practice of denials of payment of TTD, “because they could” (and they were rewarded handsomely by EDD for refusing to pay in 2012/2013 and for refusing to provided medical care. Now, SSA is involved in the charades and chicanery, and trying to sort it all out.
Is it a felony for carriers to provide SSA and EDD with false evidence of benefits paid with intent to deny SSA benefits? Seems to be part of a set of RICO violations, wouldn’t you think?
Yet evaluations upon evaluations upon evaluations have been performed by approximately 38 doctors (ca-ching, no care, just primarily report regurgitations written by non-medical staff, signed by doctors, paid the big bucks).
While we are at it, omission of medical records and obfuscation of facts seems facilitated by the silly “chronological” ordering of medical evidence, rather than by specialty, then by chronological order. Carrier in my case gets charged by most doctors 4-8 hours for “organizing the records”…. and maybe it’s not all the signing leased doctor’s fault their non-medical staff do things like change the date of injury to a year forward, then use first year medical evidence to falsely opine “pre-existing” symptoms. D’oh. Number of hours spent during an evaluation are often “inflated” and far worse, totally fabricated!
The majority of Lawyers don’t seem to care. They shrug say ‘their hands are tied” (and “their lips are sealed?!!!”) Others have told me “Too much fraud in your case, it’s over my head” and “Too many people didn’t do their jobs, there’s no money in it for me”….
One interviewed actually had the audacity to ask, after pages of questions had been answered, “One more question, tell me, why did you wait over 2.5 years for medical care for a brain injury?” D’OH! That didn’t even merit a final response, and that attorney came HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Here’s my story, again. Date of witnessed slip and fall backwards on ice, resulting in Concussion/Traumatic Brain injury 1/9/12 while working for Wyndham Worldwide.
The blogs. ASK ABOUT WORKERS COMP GRAVY TRAINS, began in the Summer of 2013, and continue as the only means available to fight for my life against the widely known corruption of the national WORKERS COMPENSATION SYSTEMS.
This quote is meaningless in California’s WorkComp corruption rackets, is it not?
What kind of system do YOU profit by that requires someone with a brain injury to represent herself because your colleagues (4 of them) could be found guilty of ABA Ethics Violations and Incompetent Representation?
Due to your accepted CA legislated fraud regulations, and your “2 attorney” superstitions, Injured Workers bear the brunt of the lack of expertise of your crowd/CAAA memberhips. This also allows Defense Firms to claim the title ENEMIES OF INJURED AMERICAN WORKERS.
How many injured workers retain and dismiss multiple attorneys, as the corruption is tolerated by those retained to protect injured workers? How many injured workers in California, and in America, must represent themselves due to the failure of the ABA crowds? Some have said that more than 15% of Injured Workers are InProPer…. probably as a last resort, not a first.
Why do your various profit centers/industries refuse to work with InProPer Injured Workers, and why do your industry leased/owned doctors seem so puzzled, baffled and perplexed by the legality of an Injured Worker self-representing? Why do the medical office staffs believe they can ONLY TAKE ORDERS from the Adjuster or Defense Firm?
IS THIS SIMPLY ANOTHER CASE OF “FOLLOW THE MONEY?”
When incompetent and worse attorneys can be allowed to be rewarded for causing harm to an injured worker, how can that be good for anybody?
If WorkComp Mill attorneys have a “case load of 300 clients”…with wishing and hoping that somebody drops dead for some ultimate pay-off for the attorney, how does that help an injured worker get medical care, benefits, return to work and settlement?
Why do employers condone such malicious unconscionable behavior of denials of medical care, benefits, and bullying and all sort of acts of terrorism, experiments, surgeries, poisoning and worse by insurance companies? What good can a WorkComp attorney do?
I even asked a WCAB Judge for permission, as stated is possible on the WCAB recommended reading, to retain an attorney to consult with, on an hourly basis.
Alas, not only did the Judge tell me he would not hear the F-words in his court room, (Felony Fraud with intent to deny medically necessary treatment), he sentenced me to fighting for my life with every ounce of courage and strength and stamina I can muster, fighting organized crimes that EVERY ONE OF YOU ARE FULLY AND COMPLICITY AWARE OF.
But wait, the Team of Four don’t have all the blame. Defense counsel says it’s all my fault. Hmph. He even suggested I consider a Court Appointed Conservator since I am having such difficulty maneuvering the WorkComp system, with denials of medical care, fraudulent reports, unresponsive law enforcement and more. The Carrier’s Fraud Department called, as most of you know, last Fall and made it very clear he did not care one iota that I had not received medically necessary and recommended care, and the conversation concluded when he said, “So, tell me Linda, when ARE you going to die?”
Some things I read on LinkedIn indicated the Employers are responsible for the bullying and terrorism of their vendors. Wyndham Worldwide was immediately apprised of the horrific bad faith and breach of fiduciary responsibility, and outright disgustingly mean thing to say. ( Intent of the caller? A “medicated worker” might have been compelled to irreversible action by such ‘poor customer service’, wouldn’t you agree? )
How many members of your CAAA organizations have been approached, recommended, took time to evaluate the merit and financial possibilities of helping THIS injured worker? You know my name now. I have spoken with many of you. Your declines to help have most always been cordial, except when they weren’t. Just so y’all know, A BRAIN INJURY IS NOT THE SAME AS A BROKEN FINGER, NOR IS THE TREATMENT THE SAME.
Watch the upcoming movie “Concussion” and then ask yourself and your partners how legitimate could it be for an insurance carrier to refuse to pay TTD, provide medical care, and embark on a mission of terrorism and destruction to an injured worker, coincidentally, UPON DIAGNOSIS OF BRAIN INJURY.
The Defense Firm treats me like they pretend to have I & A Officers and Judges in their pockets, as my ADA rights are consistently violated at WCAB-Riverside, and my Civil Rights.
Think about how many of YOUR clients have been sent to merely Orthopedic Surgeons or Chiropractors for TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY? See the current list of names all the 40 doctors I had been sent to, and all the CorVel and Maximus “physician advisors” and team members. In the olden days, they might have all been called, “Sonderkommando”…. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few good doctors in that list of 40, and they will be nominated in the upcoming CompLaude Awards. The others will be nominated to the naughty list for possible inclusion in the ProPublica national efforts.
MY EMPLOYER DOES NOT CARE. DOES YOURS? DO YOU?
I have many of your polite Non-Engagement Letters and I am weary of bothering with your ilk. You are as much a part of the WorkComp problems as are the criminal doctors and lawyers. Perhaps Sophie Scholl is kinder in her description of your ilk:
So, if you are willing to discuss courageous representation of THIS INJURED WORKER, Case ADJ818190, Linda Ayres Vs. Wyndham Worldwide et al, please let me know at your earliest convenience.
I can be reached at WorkCompLinda@gmail.com or phone 760 368 7236. If I don’t answer, please leave a message. “I AM INJURED, NOT STUPID!” I do have auditory and visual processing impairments (untreated, of course). I prefer electronic mail as an ADA accommodation (that defense continuously disregards, while apparently perjuring with proofs of service to cause significant delays and further harm).
The forensic psych AME suggested that if I have Human Rights Violations Complaints that I “take it to The Hague”….. Well, maybe that was only reasonable thing he had to say.
That’s a “Fukushima Rose”…. (3.11.11)
Read “The First Leaflet” then commence Blogging! America needs a fresh #CommitteeOfBloggers, wouldn’t you agree?
“Do Not Walk Quietly In This OPEN AIR AUSCHWITZ!”
“….Highest Recorded #Radioactive City in #America this week”
“A new and unfamiliar Leader this week in the race for the Most Radioactive Weather in America is Ft Wayne, Indiana with 1,326 CPM. Congratulations to Ft Wayne, IN as the Most Radioactive City in America this week.Other competing cities for the title were not even close…..” Your Radiation This Week No 20
“Please explain why you think these providers deserve a Comp Laude Award.”
[Last edited on October 13, 2014 at 2:32 pm — principles still apply; These were MY Nominees for #CompLaude Awards 2014; Deadline for YOUR 2015 #CompLaude Nominations is August 31, 2015 — LOOK, THINK, DO…. ]
“IMPORTANT NOTE: The information you provide should illustrate specific examples of why you think the nominee is deserving of an award. This portion will be reviewed by our judges who will apply a score based on the substance of your answer. Information is subject to verification by WorkCompCentral staff or assignees.”
Don Risser, Licensed Acupuncturist of Hi-Desert Acupuncture Center,
Serving the Hi-Desert since 2000
is a very knowledgeable, practical, pragmatic, kind, thoughtful acupuncturist, with a strong practice in Chinese medicine, and a strong background in law. He works by appointment only. Acupuncture is all about the brain and the body systems.
Traumatic Brain Injury seems to short-circuit all body systems; acupuncture is a tangible, measurable healing modality.
I found Don Risser upon referral by a local real estate broker in August 2013, who listened over coffee to my tale of horrors in regards to the failure of my employer and it’s agents to provide immediate, reasonable and necessary care for a brain injury and related orthopedic injuries since 1/9/12.
(In the first year of the injury, I found a local acupuncturist and saw her twice, and she relieved some brain fog and some neck and back pain, but it lasted just a few hours. Then attorney allegedly representing me, demanded that I could not see her, and that he was responsible for getting me to the right doctors. He never did. I dismissed him in November 2012 when he attempted to coerce me to accept a premature settlement offer, without having seen the recommended specialists and without having benefit of recommended treatments.)
When I first met Don, I rambled in my dysfluent, sometimes incoherent cognitively impaired way, and told my story as best I could that August 2013. I concluded my story-telling with, “So. Do you think you can help me and if so, how??!!!” He gently, in a real Zen-type way, assured me that by using the principles of Chinese medicine, he was certain that my conditions would improve.
Today, I still ramble, but with more fluency and more coherency, and much less tangential-ism.
While I am still absolutely outraged about WorkComp in America, I also attribute nearly weekly acupuncture sessions with Don for re-directed range and inner peace and courage and hope.
I never quote him exactly right, but what I do know is that he was absolutely right, and the results for the improvements in my vision (from self-procured neuro-optometrist in 2013 to self-procured-optometrist in 2014, there were remarkable and measurable improvements in vision, along with speech, depression, and neck and back pain.
Since treatment had NOT been authorized by the WorkComp insurance carrier for my injuries, only evaluation after evaluation, disregarding all physician requests, the only progress to my healing could be attributed to self-procured care. Don is the only provider I have seen consistently, without interruption by or threats from the Defense firm.
In late 2013/early 2014, 6 sessions of acupuncture were finally authorized for treatment of the right shoulder rotator cuff tear (not diagnosed until mid-2013, when physical therapy was finally authorized). It took a Court Hearing and Order to convince the carrier and defense to schedule the acupuncture, and they tried to isolate it to JUST THE RIGHT SHOULDER (even though they objected to the right shoulder as a ‘body part”…although the defense had included it in the premature settlement C & R.)
I had already been seeing Don for relief and healing. Acupuncture is a holistic treatment, and while Don followed the orders for treating the right shoulder, other body systems benefited secondarily.
The company making the appointments wanted to send me to a different acupuncturist, far from home, for the 6 sessions, for the right shoulder only. At my request, they called Hi-Desert Acupuncture and spoke with Don, and apparently he was approved. He helps many work comp injured people, and is apparently a part of many networks, just not the one alleged to exist at my carrier. I believe 12 more sessions were authorized, as the improvements to not only my vision and speech were measurable, but also the pain levels of the right shoulder rotator cuff and ranges of motion were measurably improved.
Of all the visits I have had with Don, most have been paid for out of pocket. He has listened to me whine and cry and babble about the horrors of being abused in the workers comp system, by the carrier and the defense firm, and pure silence from my employer. He has always been kind and non-judgmental, and often providing a short paradigm shifting thought of courage and healing and freedom.
When I was got new neuro-optometric prism lenses, again self-procured due to waiting more than 2 years for the carrier to provide the often requested help, I splurged and used my last few hundred dollars to pay for the new glasses, knowing another disability check was coming. No check came. In fact, a notice of another illegal interruption of benefits arrived. I had a credit on my account with Hi-Desert, and I will always remember his kindness when I cried that I had NO MONEY left and that again they had begun with the financial terrorism. He came back to the treating room and handed me the credit money from my account, so that I could get food.
I am so grateful to Don Risser, for so many reasons, and most of all for the light and wisdom that he powerfully holds and freely and so generously shares. He is a true member of the healing communities and honors the rules to DO NO HARM.
Yucca Valley is near the 29 Palms Marine Base….. We have many returning soldiers suffering from consequences of Traumatic Brain Injuries, and many just written off with a simple “PTSD” diagnosis and some drugs to keep them calm and quiet.
Don has proven to me that acupuncture is a powerful treatment for TBI. I know the VA is aware of the some of the benefits, and that DAARPA is doing a great deal of research. Let’s get #WorkComp on board with acupuncture as a first line of defense, not a last resort.
Just think, if Charles Romano had found a good acupuncturist rather than the cut ‘n poison route he took, probably at the demands of his attorney, he might still be alive, may he rest in peace and know he is not forgotten. When the Orthopedic Doctor in my case saw the MRI’s in mid-2013 for my right shoulder injury, he urged surgery. “Charles Romano” flashed in my mind. I said, “Not now. Let’s deal with my brain injuries first, then I can make an informed decision.”
The body is designed to heal itself. Acupuncture is a way to facilitate such healings. Don Risser is a bright light in our community, and a gift to any injured person seeking assistance with healing.
I wish injured workers throughout the USA the joy and benefits and blessings of finding an acupuncturist with the skill and will-to-good as great as Don Risser! Thanks Don! What goes around, comes around; much good coming back to you and yours! xoxooxxoxo
Dr. Hilda Chalgujian, an extraordinary neuro-psychologist,
normally treats and diagnoses patients with head traumas outside of the world of workers compensation. She is kind, energetic, extremely knowledgeable about the brain, the various lobes, the symptoms and consequences of damage to the lobes, and it seems that she is knowledgeable about the intricacies of even each little neuron and neuro-pathway. She is a scientist.
I found Dr. Hilda after the designated primary doctor, an Orthopedic Surgeon, designated by the Work Comp people to manage specialists, finally said, ‘as you can see, they will not authorize anything I request for brain injury specialists; you’ll have to find your own’.
I made many calls to many doctors in Southern California, and one name kept coming up, Dr. Hilda Chalgujian, as the one who knows the most about brain injuries. In our brief conversation in scheduling an appointment, it was apparent she could tell by my speech patterns that I was in need of help. I told her I didn’t know how I would pay her, but that I would find a way. She told me she would help me, because it was the right thing for her to do, as a doctor. Miraculously, the defense designated her as the secondary treating doctor, and an exception to their alleged MPN network.
I have been seeing Dr. Hilda nearly weekly since April of 2014. Her validation of my concerns and cognitive complaints has been helpful.
At our first session, I was a little early and she was a bit behind schedule. With a brain injury, I am easily overwhelmed, particularly in new circumstances. The door was locked, there were painters in the hallway, and I was very confused if I was in the wrong building, wrong date, wrong time…. so… I sat on the floor and cried hysterically when I dialed her number and got voice mail. Within minutes, she arrived, saw me sobbing on the floor, and we walked in to her office as if nothing strange had just happened. Partially through the session she paused and said, ‘you know, that little incident out there with you sitting on the floor is not unusual for a TBI survivor’… I gasped and said, “OMG, and I do it more and more. I even did it after leaving WorkComp Court, and the Judge kindly helped me to my car, and made me promise not to drive till I pulled myself back together. It’s socially quite challenging…..”
Dr. Hilda did hours and hours of testing (she didn’t delegate it to an assistant or colleague, she administered every test). She then poured through and evaluated medical reports since 2012, at the insistence of the defense, and summarized them all, and pointed out flaws in a few, and confirmed the findings of the early neuro-psychologists I had been evaluated by, and reiterated recommendations for treatment.
Dr. Hilda did not sugar coat any promises of much improvement because of the harsh facts that I was not treated immediately, or within the first two years, but she did offer hope with a small window, if we could get treatment, I could benefit with some compensatory strategies and improvements. In April 2014, she requested 6 months of inter-disciplinary treatment in a facility such as SCRIPPS, Casa Colina or Learning Systems or CNS. Sadly, the carrier wasted time, and then authorized only 16 days starting August 4, 2014, with an additional 8 days at the SCRIPPS BRAIN REHABILITATION PROGRAM in Encinitas, in agreement with Dr. Michael Lobatz, Scripps Chief of Staff and Neurologist. While the 24 days at SCRIPPS were beneficial, they were certainly not sufficient for the work ahead to get me to MMI, with sufficient strategies to return to work, in some capacity.
Additional MRI for TBI protocol was performed, further confirming suspicions and earlier findings of doctors, and Dr. Hilda’s comprehensive indisputable report was nearly 40 pages in length. Was it enough to encourage the carrier and defense to finally provide reasonable and appropriate medical care? No. The fight wages on.
Dr. Hilda has helped me come to grasp with the fact that yes, I am a high IQ TBI survivor and yes, I have severe brain injuries and sadly, because my employer and it’s agents failed to provide medical care impeded self-procured medical care, this is my new reality. The defense delayed, denied and deceived continuously during the time of the small window left for treatment this year, dashing hope for much more improvement outside of compensatory strategies that can be found with neuro-vision therapy, speech therapy with cognitive remediation for high-level executive functions, occupational therapy, and related medical devices such as theraputic prism lenses, and hearing aids and contining neuro-psychological therapy. This apears to be my new reality, harsh as it is.
We are still working on getting authorization for the one-to-two year Coastline Cognitive Rehabilitation Program in Newport Beach, with return to work accommodations. The fact that Dr. Hilda has not given up in the face of all the chicanery, help me keep going too.
Dr. Hilda has helped me to see that in spite of my injuries, I’m still smart, and I can still think, and although my muddling with the written word annoys the heck out of some people, it is a valid compensatory strategy for my loss of cognitive abilities…. While I cannot speak like I can type, that, too, is getting better and better, one breath at a time.
I am so grateful to Dr. Hilda for her will-to-good, for the sake of doing good, and for her support and wishes to see me return to work in some capacity, and to move forward in my new life. She is not a ‘work-comp-mill’ doctor, and does not have templates to fill in on how her patients are doing. She is a real doctor, concerned about her patients, and willing to go the extra miles, as if lives depend on her to do so.
Anyone with a brain injury would be blessed to have Dr. Hilda Chalgujian as a treating doctor, as I feel I am.
Business Development Liaison | Learning Services – Southern California Campus – Escondido
T: 760-746-3223, x5104 | F: 888-427-4572 | C: 858-357-3000
Nancie Glidden is a friendly face in the world of Workers Compensation. I first met Nancie when I was blessed to be granted a guest pass to visit the Exhibit Hall of the CAAA Winter Conference in Rancho Mirage. She graciously gave me information about her company and wished me well. She also introduced me to a few other kind providers with booths at the conference. She followed up to see if there had been any happy resolutions to my horrific battles.
I saw Nancie again at the SCRIPPS 9th Annual Brain Injury Rehabilitation Conference in San Diego. Again, she was a her both, sharing light and joy and all good things of hope and compassion and concern. She again followed up to see if there had been any happy resolutions to my horrific battles.
As delays and denials happened with the defense and carrier to prevent me from being admitted to the SCRIPPS Brain Rehabilitation Program, I called upon Nancie to see if her Learning Services organization could accept me since I finally had a medical report and expert doctor saying, ‘yep, her brain is injured and she can benefit by treatment, even at this late stage’….. and Nancie cheerfully put me in touch with the right people. She followed up to see if there had been any happy resolutions to my horrific battles, and I was glad to be able to say that I was starting for a short time at SCRIPPS. She wished me well.
At the recent CWC- Dana Point/St. Regis conference, I had opportunity to meet with a few wonderful people of the Work Comp world, and I was able to quickly browse the Exhibit Hall. Nancie’s booth was there, but she must have been in the conference, as it was late in the day.
The CEO of her firm spoke at the SCRIPPS conference and indicate many of the challenges of a head injury, and she said, if I heard her right, sort of tongue-in-cheek, ‘….so, if you ever get a head injury, get it at work because then work comp is responsible for your life time medical, and it will be huge….’…. We would have to agree to disagree on that point, because if it wasn’t for the horrors of WorkComp, my injuries would likely be substantially less, and I might have returned to work in that first year.
Maybe we’ll reconvene at CAAA Winter 2015. I have asked them if they will kindly create a new category for INJURED WORKERS, in Pro Per, with at least an Exhibit Hall Pass, and a session or two, or even a buddy – system to connect injured workers directly with providers.
As to Nancie, as I racked my brain to find people to be grateful for in this workcomp terror, Nancie Glidden is a bright spot in my search for help, kindness, compassion and resources. I wish her well, and I say her company is very very very fortunate to have such a bright spokesperson at the various events.
Lynn Lowell, O.D., F.A.A.O., F.C.O.V.D.
Community Vision Care Coordinator
Pediatric and Vision Therapy Department
Marshall B. Ketchum University
Southern California College of Optometry
“Excellence in Patient Care, Clinical Education and Research”
2575 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92831
Phone No. (714) 449-7490
Fax No. (714) 992-7846
It was another miracle to find Dr. Lynn Lowell. In my search for a neuro-optometrist, since the Defense had failed to authorize treatment in the first year of my injury, and interrupted such treatment self-procured in the second year, by early 2014 I knew I had to get some help for my vision if I was ever to return to real life, outside of my home.
I checked the NORA site, https://nora.cc/healthcare-locator.html , Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, “Providing the Missing Link to Your Recovery” for a local provider. Through a series of calls, I found Dr. Lowell and sent her an email, since email is easier than speaking for me. She was so kind, smart and generous with her responses, and I was able to schedule an evaluation with her within a couple of weeks.
Dr. Lowell trains new optometrists regarding brain injuries and vision, and has a background in workers compensation in other states as well. Her expertise in neuro-optometry is unparalleled. The testing was very comprehensive, and included what seemed to be neuro-psych testing as well, and the prescription for readers/distance that I had self-procured from another neuro-optometrist the year before, who’s care was terminated by the defense, was replaced with progressive prism lenses, that opened up my world, and allowed me to leave the house for more than just a doctors appointment.
Because Ketchum University is a teaching center, sending new doctors out around the nation, the costs are relatively low, and the doctors are able to spend real patient time. Their vision therapy equipment is state of the art, and it’s a great place, doing great things, helping people to see and live. Dr. Lowell is a key component of their TBI program.
Dr. Lowell’s scientific understanding of the brain is stellar and mind-bending. In my opinion, she could teach WorkComp neurologists a thing or two about vision and brain trauma, and I hope she will be invited to speak on the WorkComp circuit, particularly as brain injury becomes more ‘mainstream’ and people begin to take better care of their children, and anybody with a brain injury.
While Dr. Lowell made no promises that my speech would improve with the theraputic prism lenses and vision therapy, she did mention that several of her patients do present with many improvements in all areas of cognition. The results of Dr. Lowell’s testing showed some improvements from the prior year’s exam by another doctor, and I attribute that to acupuncture, self-procured. Dr. Lowell indicate that it would take a good 30 days for my brain to adjust to the new way of seeing through the prisms, and that vision therapy would be of even greater benefit.
The blessings of having found Dr. Lowell, and her staff, and getting these new lenses has give me life again, and the will to fight back, and the ability to see better, process information better, and stand taller, and speak more clearly, and just generally, begin the journey back into my life
Neuro-Optometry is a key component of brain injury rehabilitation, and the carriers would do well to court doctors in the NORA group, such as Dr. Lowell, who have current, state of the art information about vision and brains, unlike that sad majority of WorkComp old-school neurologists, working from bodies of information from their school days.
I suggested to Dr. Lowell that we will have to write a book about WorkComp and Brain Injuries and Vision. Perhaps combined with the Neuro-Psychology input of Dr. Chalgujian and Acupuncture of Don Risser, and if we ever get any designated Speech/Occupational therapists on board for the long run, a solid book could be written, based on my case and all the mis-haps of it, so that no other brain injured worker will have to endure the horrors I have within the WorkComp System.
If work comp wants to be a positive force, finding and keeping good doctors in the the provider resources would be a good step forward; Finding a way to eliminate the defense lawyers would be a next step….several could be relocated to local penitentiaries, imho, after proper trials, of course.
The only real treatment I have received, with the exception of the short time authorized on multiple appeals at SCRIPPS, has been self-procured care, with kind and knowledgeable experts, such as Dr. Lowell, or “authorized exceptions” because the alleged MPN had no specialists.
Dr. Lowell’s approach to brain and vision seems a bit like “magic”…but it’s sheer science.
Welcome back, David DePaolo! Wow! The CompLaude Awards was great also, thank you for doing it! And for all you and your staff do! My calendar is marked for Dec 5, 2015, and I’m making my list of nominees…and will keep a close eye on those who might be better served on a list to the Attorney General.
“My life had business relationship challenges too, but thankfully no relations with criminals, though I was stalked a couple of times by some injured workers (and not exactly sure why).”BUMMER!!!
!!!!! That’s awful! Don’t be too sure it was a real injured worker? After I shared about the CompLaude Awards on my blogs, I experienced a pretty vile set of attacks and dramatic ‘character assassination’ from a group of alleged long term injured workers who have allegedly been fighting ‘the system’ for many many years.
Like you, I thought at first it was disgruntled IWs, but the more I thought about it, there is plausible deniability, and it might have just been ‘industry trolls’….at least in my case. I blogged about it and titled it:
“Insurance Industry Trolls or WorkComp Opiate War Casualties?”
I also blogged about the call from the Chicago insurance carrier guy who asked, amongst other things, that since it has been ‘nearly 3 years’ that I have been waiting for medical care, he then asked, “….so when ARE you going to die?” It’s been 3 years of waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting….
2014 was eventful, that’s for sure. Oh, yeah, and tell Peter R. that it’s not shrinking, the criminal elements are just going deeper under layers and layers of legal chicanery.
Maybe WorkCompCentral will do a series of stories on actual injured workers. Also, a study on doctors and lawyers who have left the WorkComp world could be of dramatic interest to all concerned???
ASK MORE QUESTIONS….
NAIDW.org is a wealth of information of the harsh realities to the injured workers, you know, the people WorkComp is supposed to be about serving? Yeah, we know it’s not an “Employee Benefit” and has no pretense of it anymore.
In 2015 it would be great to get more people reading more of the best of the best industry blogs…. so we can incite “Committees of Bloggers for #WorkComp Transformations”
…. I blogged about that too, today, and included one of your 2006 power pieces. That will certainly incite some “cognitive dissonance”… 😀
Wish me luck on my case….that silly ol’ defense attorney is have another tizzy and says he is going to ask the Judge to find me in contempt…. Hmph. He also asked recently what makes me believe I am entitled to any medical benefits or disability benefits and he cited some laws. I suggested, in response, he read the California Labor Code AND the US Constitution.
Did you know that Office of the District Attorneys and Congress people and more can be reached via LinkedIn? Yeah, surprised me, too!
Let’s hope more people in the WorkComp Industry get LinkedIn