Sunday, January 8, 2017

Hired gun in a lab coat: How medical experts help car insurers fight accident claims

.... years after being rear-ended in a car accident, Liese Bruff-McArthur saw a small army of medical professionals. Most agreed the crash had left her with chronic pain, depression, PTSD and other troubles, making a return to work untenable.

Then she met Dr. Monte Bail.

Hired by the insurance company she was suing, the psychiatrist spent an hour and a quarter with the Ottawa-area woman — the kind of work that earned Bail as much as $77,000 a month — and concluded Bruff-McArthur was essentially faking it..........

And such cases are likely just the tip of the iceberg, say lawyers representing accident victims, the plaintiffs. Judicial criticisms arise only in the five per cent or so of cases that get to trial, they note, so most instances of bias stay under wraps as lawsuits are settled out of court.

“It’s clear from the (reported) cases that it is far too prevalent,” says Adam Wagman, a plaintiff lawyer and president of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association. “That attacks the very foundation of our system of justice.”.....


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Putting the pieces together - what Ont auto insurers don't pay and how it is creating a crisis

Insurers are pocketing the health care costs of treating MVA victims – funds that should be repaid to taxpayers (not to mention OW and ODSP costs that the taxpayer is unknowingly picking up along with prescription costs) and this has created a health care $ deficit problem for Ontario taxpayers. A problem the Financial Services Commission has known about for years – the Auditor General told the FSCO it needed fixing in 2011 but nothing was done so the taxpayer has continually paid some of the medical costs of MVA victims. To ‘cure’ the problem it is now suggested by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to privatize some services. Which means more people would have to increase their private insurer coverage if they are lucky enough to have this extra coverage. Who benefits? Not the taxpayer and not victims. Insurers who will now sell consumers the coverage they can no longer get from OHIP. Simultaneously auto insurance coverage (as of June 1, 2016) is decreased by over $1 million for the most catastrophically injured among us, thereby saving insurers about $6-800 million a year in payouts. Rehabilitation/medical rehab access is also cut by 5 years for all but children who are injured. . So just as MVA victims are about to be increasingly shunted onto the OHIP system, the proposal is to increase the privatization of that system.


The lingering symptoms of a brain injury force me to lead a double life

With lingering symptoms from a brain injury, I found myself in my late 20s living with a complex chronic illness. In many ways I had to start over. I traded a life that I loved for solitude.


Becoming Disabled

A person without a disability may recognize someone using a wheelchair, a guide dog or a prosthetic limb, or someone with Down syndrome, but most don’t conceptualize these people as having a shared social identity and a political status. “They” merely seem to be people to whom something unfortunate has happened, for whom something has gone terribly wrong. The one thing most people do know about being disabled is that they don’t want to be that.


It's all in their heads

"A concussion is more a mild form of traumatic brain injury in which the brain is exposed to abnormal forces that result in transient neurological dysfunction," Ellis says. "But ‘mild traumatic brain injury’ is a bit of a misnomer."


Canada’s expensive habit: Adding up opioid abuse’s rising financial toll on the health-care system

Public drug programs spent $93-million on medications used for addiction to prescription painkillers and illicit opioids in 2014, compared with $57.3-million in 2011, according to figures for every province except Quebec compiled by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) for The Globe and Mail. In four provinces, this class of opioids ranked among the top 10 in spending on all prescription drugs – a group that traditionally includes medications for arthritis, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.


‘Situation is crisis all the time. There is no plan,’ says Ontario parent of adult son with autism

Ombudsman Paul DubĂ© is set to release that long-awaited report Wednesday at Queen’s Park. Last year, the ombudsman’s 2014-2015 annual report revealed the investigation had drawn more than 1,300 complaints, including “urgent, disturbing cases where adults with severe special needs were ending up in jail, homeless shelters and hospitals because no care or services were available for them.”


These Are The Hidden Costs Of Living With A Disability

Do you know how much a manual wheelchair costs? Not the kind you buy from the Sears catalogue when you break your leg and need someone to push you around for six weeks. I'm talking about the kind that a paraplegic might need, that offers the correct ergonomic support and fits the lifestyle of the person who will rely on it for years.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

College fights to get groping MD’s licence revoked

Following a Star investigation into doctors still at work after sexually abusing their patients, the provincial government established a task force in December 2014 to study the issue and make recommendations. The Ministry of Health has said the report is expected to be made public soon.


Opioid overuse is creating ‘lost generation,’ expert says

Opioids overuse is the “worst man-made epidemic in modern medical history,” a leading expert on workers’ compensation told Canadian physicians Wednesday, urging them to take tough and immediate action to address the problem.