Here’s a pretty typical scenario for an injured worker in Illinois. You get hurt at work while lifting a box. Your back starts to hurt you. You go to your supervisor and tell them what happened. They tell you to stop everything and head to a random medical facility which is a clinic which makes a lot of money from seeing injured workers. Sometimes your company is so big that the “clinic” is on their property.
You go to their chosen doctor or physicians assistant and tell them what’s wrong. You could tell them that you feel a stabbing pain in your back that is radiating down your legs. This would be the signs of a herniated disc which is a very serious injury. Lo and behold they tell you that you are fine and can return to work. You start to wonder if you are in the Twilight Zone.
So what’s going on and what do you do?
These company medical clinics are money making machines for their owners. They get and keep the business not by looking out for their patients, but by saying what the company or insurance adjuster wants them to say. If they order a bunch of expensive tests that you need (like a MRI) and they show you are seriously hurt, that could cost the company some money. If you question them you will find that they can be very rude. Remember, they aren’t looking out for you.
While they can send you to their clinic, they can’t stop you from seeing your own, independent doctor of your own choosing. These clinics aren’t usually run by orthopedic doctors or other specialists. So if you get referred to a spine doctor by your family physician and that doctor says you need to have a MRI, start physical therapy, temporarily stop working, etc. we are usually able to get benefits started for you right away.
Not everyone at these clinics is unethical, but I wouldn’t trust their diagnosis of you, especially when they say you are fine after a 5-10 minute exam and your body is telling you otherwise. You have a right to your own medical opinion from someone you want to see and you should take it.
If you need someone in your corner or just have questions, fill out our contact form or call us at (312) 346-5578 for a free consultation.