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Work Comp Virtual Doctor Visits – Are You On Board?

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Work Comp Virtual Doctor Visits

The idea of Work Comp Virtual Doctor Visits have been met with many different reactions.   My last article on virtual doctor visits was met with either complete skepticism or acceptance.

Picture of Doctor work comp virtual doctor visits on cam
(c) 123rf

A very interesting article in WebMD on virtual physician visits caught my attention.  It was not the subject matter that piqued my interest.  The mega-corporations are now pushing for these visits- among them:

  • Walgreen’s Pharmacies
  • United Health Group
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield – Anthem.

In fact the astounding claim by the two health insurers are:

Walgreens said Wednesday that it will offer a smartphone application that links doctor and patients virtually in 25 states by the end of the year. That growth comes as UnitedHealth Group and the Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer Anthem prepare to make their own non-emergency telemedicine services available to about 40 million more people by next year.

Forty million is a large number of patients covered by virtual physician visits.  The other astounding number is 25 state coverage.

The Workers Comp industry can no longer ignore or mistrust this area of medicine that is becoming cutting edge.  Smartphone apps are going to be the crux of this medical revolution- even in the WC industry.

One area of skepticism that would naturally occur is the trust of the WC carrier on the results of a virtual doctor visit.  If you will follow the link to the article, you will find a partial solution.

Some states have limited telemedicine:

Telemedicine Work Comp Virtual Doctor Visits On Computer
Wikimedia Commons – Intel Free Press

Some regulators prevent a doctor from using a telemedicine visit to write prescriptions for controlled substances or abortion-inducing medicines. Some states also require a doctor to have an established relationship with a patient, which might include a physical or mental exam, before allowing them to do a telemedicine visit.

I think that physicians would have to screen their patients involving Work Comp virtual doctor visits with concerns such as:

  • Possible malingerer
  • Opioid concerns
  • Severity of injury

Would you let your WC claimant have a virtual visit?   We all have to remember that many of the files will have a rehabilitation nurse assigned that could easily facilitate Work Comp virtual doctor visits.

I do recommend checking out the second link in this article for the AP article to which I am referring for reference.   There are even more astounding numbers in the article that pertain to the near future- totally amazing.

Work Comp virtual doctor visits may be so commonplace someday that the in-person visits will seem out of date.

©J&L Risk Management Inc Copyright Notice

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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